Digitimes quotes Digitimes Research (the beginnings of an infinite recursion loop) and makes some pretty bold claims –
- 1.43 million eReaders were shipped in the first quarter of 2010. This is worldwide.
- 740K eReaders were shipped in April-May 2010.
- B&N’s Nook accounted for 37% of shipments and the Kindle accounted for just 16%. That would mean 118,000 Kindles shipped and 273,800 Nooks shipped.
The last piece of data is rather sketchy – Amazon was readying up a launch at Target and just announced refurbished Kindles and refurbished Kindle DXes. Surely, those must have shipped in May.
That brings us to Kindle 3.
Claims of a Kindle 3 launching in July-August
Digtimes adds further fuel to the Kindle 3 in August rumors –
Amazon is reducing its Kindle inventory as it prepares for the launch of a new version of its e-book reader in July-August, Digitimes Research explained.
The new Amazon e-book reader will still use E-Ink solutions, but picture quality will be better than the present Kindles. Production cost and street prices will also be lower.
Street prices will be lower – that’s certainly very enticing news.
Kindle 3 rumors are all pointing to August
The Kindle 3 rumors are quite an odd bunch – However, they all point to August and to a cheaper Kindle.
- The Digitimes article and a past report on a rumored Kindle WiFi both suggest a lower price. Kindle WiFi would obviously be cheaper due to a cheaper wireless radio and not having to subsidize wireless costs. If the Kindle 3 3G version were cheaper too that would be quite impressive.
- Bloomberg reported on a thinner Kindle 3 with sharper screen contrast and they said it was scheduled to come out in August. Now Digitimes are also talking about a Kindle 3 that comes out in July-August and has better picture quality.
If nothing else the rumors are all very consistent.
Was Kindle 2.5 a fond goodbye to Kindle 2?
This has come up on the forum and you have to wonder whether Kindle 2.5 is Amazon thanking Kindle owners and getting ready to move on to Kindle 3.
Kindle 3 is a much-needed release
At $500 you have the iPad threatening to Retina Display your eyes and at $149 we’ll soon have the Nook WiFi. That leaves Amazon in a rather precarious position with the Kindle –
- There isn’t any killer eInk technology (at least to the best of my knowledge) on the near horizon.
- Update: Kindle 2 is now $189. Which matches very well with the $199 Nook and $149 Nook WiFi. A $259 Kindle vs $149 Nook WiFi comparison will cause the Press to become delirious and will end up creating a whole new perception problem for the Kindle.
- There’s only so much you can do via software.
Amazon’s already added PDF and rotation support in end 2009 and Folders and Supersize Fonts recently – they’ve squeezed more out of the Kindle’s hardware than you would think possible. Surely, they can’t keep coming up with software improvements to make fonts sharper and battery life longer indefinitely.
At some point of time you have to stop depending on software upgrades and improve the hardware drastically. The only way Amazon can do that is with Kindle 3. So, hopefully, the rumors are true and an improved, cheaper Kindle 3 is indeed on the way.