Wednesday, May 7, 2008

48,000 Kindles Per Month?...I Doubt It

The Silicon Alley Insider is speculating that Amazon is currently selling about 48,000 Kindles per month. For the record, even though I'm in the publishing industry I have no insider knowledge about the device's sales rate. That said, 48K/month sounds extremely high to me.

Why? I'm pretty sure I'm tracking all the Kindle-related blogs and message boards and I'm just not seeing any significant up-tick in postings, traffic or buzz. Despite the fact that the Kindle has been back in stock and shipping for at least a couple of weeks now I'm seeing roughly the same number of weekly posts/comments on the Kindle Forum and Kindle Korner as there were when it was out of stock. You'd think the pent-up demand for the device would have caused a surge on these forums but that doesn't appear to be the case. New Kindle-related blogs aren't exactly crawling out of the woodwork either. There was a flurry of new ones back in December and January but I couldn't tell you the last time I discovered a new one...and I tend to search for them every week!

Finally, there's my old pal, Google Trends. According to this chart, Sony's Reader is still getting more Google searches than Amazon's Kindle, but the latter has closed the gap a bit on the former, perhaps attributable to the Kindle being back in stock.

6 comments:

Elroy Jetson said...

It's interesting that if you drop the word amazon from your Google Trends chart you get a different perspective on the buzz of the Kindle versus the Sony Reader.

Joe Wikert said...

True, but look at all the irrelevant searches that pulls into the results. For example, "ABB Names Sulzer's Kindle to Succeed Dormann in 2005 (Update4)", "ABB may see sales growth drop to higher single-digit rate in Q4 - CEO Kindle" and "Texas' Kindle arrested on DWI charge". I'm sure there are some searches conducted with just "Kindle" but there are probably a few for Sony's device as well that are made with just "Reader".

Anonymous said...

Why do you think Kindle ownership would directly translate into Kindle blog increases? You're assuming the average purchaser of a Kindle is someone completely computer/internet savvy.
The Kindle is the first e-book that doesn't require it's user to actually be computer savvy. They never have to hook it up to a computer at all.

Joe Wikert said...

Well, for one thing, there were zero blogs about the Kindle before it came out and now there are more than zero. And like most topics, the more popular they are the more blogs they tend to have. It's not a perfect formula but there does seem to be a correlation. The message boards are another indicator. You're absolutely right about the fact that you don't need a computer to use a Kindle, but that's true for quite a few blog and message board topics.

Auliya said...

We're all busy reading. :-D

Anonymous said...

In this month's "FORTUNE" magazine there is along article on Amazon and Bezos, which seems to describe the Kindle as yet another blunder on his part. There is a supporting sidebar by Nora Ephron, the author, who describes how she ordered one for herself and two for her sons and none of them ever arrived. She gave up and canceled the order. A person like this is a major market influencer so she should have been at the top of the list to get one. Coincendentally, Amazon Kindle has stopped reporting sales to vendors citing "technical difficulties."