Did Nook really outsell Kindle in March 2010?

Find this Kindle vs Nook snippet from DigiTimes really hard to believe -

Manufacturers’ e-book reader shipments to Barnes & Noble surpassed those to Amazon in March 2010 …

Digitimes Research senior analyst Mingchi Kuo cited figures from upstream suppliers as indicating that the nook accounted for 53% of e-book readers shipped to US vendors last month.

Kuo attributed the nook’s strong shipments partly to consumers’ interest in new products, as Amazon’s Kindle has already been on the market for some time.

Barnes & Noble also has extra competitiveness in its own retail outlets across the US, Kuo explained.

So DigiTimes are saying that since the Nook is newer and available in B&N stores it’s selling more than Kindle.

Really?

Until the browser upgrade released a few days ago no one was even talking about the Nook. Google Trends clearly shows that interest in the Kindle was much higher – in fact it was more than double. 

DigiTimes do have access to eReader manufacturers so there’s a slight chance they’re right.

1.43 million eReaders solid in Q1, 2010

Digitimes Research say that 1.43 million eReaders shipped worldwide in Q1, 2010 and 2.02 milllion units will ship in the second quarter.

They are also pretty upbeat about eReader prospects -

Worldwide shipments for 2010 will reach 11.40 million units, up from 3.82 million in 2009, Digitimes Research added.

It seems a bit optimistic given the Press’ devotion to Apple and devices not meant for reading. 

On the other hand we might see a new wave of very impressive ereaders released. Kindle 3 (if it comes out in 2010) and Nook 2 (rumored to be out in Fall) may very well take us to 10 million plus eReaders sold in 2010.

Kindle Secrecy continues to get Amazon free press

While DigiTimes give out their estimates (and much-needed hope to Barnes & Noble) Joel West at Seeking Alpha wonders what Amazon is hiding -

At the end of 2009, CEO Jeff Bezos said “millions” of Kindles have been sold. Assuming 2 million as the upper limit, at $250 each that’s $0.5 billion on 2009 sales of $24.5 billion.

So I suppose until sales are 5x as big (proportionately), Amazon will be able to postpone honest disclosure of how the Kindle is really doing.

Let’s not use phrases like ‘postpone honest disclosure’ – Wall Street is the last entity that should be accusing others of not providing honest disclosure.

Being able to keep numbers secret is great for Amazon – another year or two of secrecy would be great. That’s another year or two of fooling competitors into being out of stock at Christmas and getting loads of free Kindle press coverage.

4 Responses

  1. All these figures should be treated with caution, none of the parties providing them are disinterested observers. That said I’ll repeat my comment from another website:
    ‘These are shipments not sales. Indicative of 2 things(warning:speculation to follow)
    1)Possible pent up demand from B&N to push the Nook into its stores.
    2)Preparation by B&N for a big sales push – the Best Buy partnership & TV ads suggests this.’

    • that’s a really good point. It’s shipments and might be an indicator that B&N expect their sales push to generate a lot of sales.

    • A) I had the same thoughts as “gous”… these are shipment numbers and not sales. It would represent Nooks floating around in the marketplace but not sales.

      B) To add to “SomeGuy” comment, DigiTimes is crazy when it comes to their figures. I used to follow Apple’s progress and the Apple community would have a good laugh everytime DigiTimes released a prediction, rumor or sales figure. Oh, good times!

  2. I work for a not to be named Taiwan-based company in the tech industry. Just about any time we get mentioned in Digitimes, the information is widely inaccurate. In fact, not too long ago they mentioned our company had improved sales in the previous quarter due to increased shipment of a certain type of product to North America. This was a product that we hadn’t even put into production yet, and wasn’t going to be sold in the North American market when we did.

    I tend to view the Digitimes as a tech version of the Weekly World News or Daily Mail.

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