new Kindle 3 to arrive – Digitimes

The Kindle is still out of stock and now there’s some interesting news/speculation from DigiTimes that a new Kindle 3 might be the reason -

1.35 million e-book readers were shipped to the global market in the second quarter of 2010, 33.2% fewer than the originally projected 2.02 million units, chiefly because shipments of new models were delayed to the third quarter, according to DigiTimes Research.

It seems a bit of a stretch to say that eReaders sold less because new models were delayed to Q3, 2010.

New Kindle 3 arriving in Q3, 2010 – DigiTimes

DigiTimes is saying that Amazon will be releasing a new product in the third quarter of this year (Q3, 2010 would include July, August, and September of 2010). Kindle 3 is the only thing that comes to mind.

DigiTimes starts off by claiming that 1.35 million ebook readers were shipped to the global market in Q2, 2010. This was lower than its expected 2 million projection. Apple people – Yes, you can now write about how it’s due to the iPad and how iPad ate up 33% of the market. It probably did and it also didn’t kill off eReaders. A 33% loss is easy to withstand – especially since the Kindle price-cut to $189 didn’t happen until June 21st and there may be a new Kindle 3 soon.

DigiTimes also says China Mobile didn’t do well and SiPix shipments were delayed and these factors contributed to the lower eReader shipments.

New Kindle 3 prediction from DigiTimes

Here’s what DigiTimes writes about Kindle vs Nook and a forthcoming Kindle 3 (courtesy Teleread) -

Barnes & Noble took the leading position in the second quarter with 33% market share, followed by Amazon’s 27%.

However, Amazon is expected to regain the leading position in the third quarter when the company launches a new product, DigiTimes Research noted.

For the second half of 2010, demand is expected to pick up as vendors lower their prices.

DigiTimes is projecting 7 million eReader sales in the second half of 2010. That’s quite an assumption given that 1.35 million were sold last quarter. Even factoring in a new Kindle 3 and the holiday season you’d think 4 to 5 million would be the upper bound.

New Kindle 3 – Is Price going to be a big factor?

DigiTimes talks a lot about price. It’s saying that vendors are going to lower their prices, SiPix’s ePaper will lead to more competition (and perhaps lower prices), and system on chip solutions will help reduce prices (and also facilitate new and faster developments and features).

Sounds like we might get Kindle 3, Nook 2, and the new Sony Readers all at around $200 price-points.

Basically, we now have a combination of factors coming together -

  1. eInk might have hit volumes of scale or implemented some efficiencies they learnt from LG Display. That would explain the Kindle DX 2 being $379 and suggests that the Kindle 3 might be closer to $200 than to $259 (price of the Kindle 2 before the price cut to $189).
  2. There is a lot of pressure due to Nook WiFi being at $149 and Amazon is unlikely to price the Kindle 3 for $110 more.
  3. Amazon has new Kindle models and used Kindle models (excluding the DX) retailing between $109 and $189. This suggests that it might have decided that sub $200 prices are ideal. A sub $200 price does seem plausible. Perhaps something between $199 and $225?
  4. All the Digitimes points above. Competition from SiPix and system on chip solutions will definitely help lower prices.
  5. Agency Model and the fact that eReader makers are no longer taking losses on ebooks. They can now price their new eReaders cheaper. Add-on the contribution from ebook sales via various Kindle Apps and Amazon might decide to take a hit on the Kindle 3 or sell it at close to what it costs to make each Kindle 3.

If Kindle 3 is merely Kindle 2 graphite then we really ought to see a lower price than the earlier $259 Kindle. A $199 or $220 price would also help with sales and would entice more people into reading.

DigiTimes has a pretty up and down record when it comes to making Kindle predictions. It does however have its sources in China and Taiwan and there’s a chance it might be right. Certainly hope its right about 7 million eReaders being sold in the second half of 2010 and it’d be good if Kindle 3 makes up 5 million out of those. A lot more money for Amazon that it can devote to getting us a color Kindle 4 and adding new features to Kindle 3 and Kindle 2.

7 Responses

  1. well if Amazon had intended to intro a new smaller Kindle at about the same time as the new DX and missed that date for whatever reason (e.g. FCC approval, componenet shortage) it would not have been able to just “find” another couple hundred thousand of the current product to fill the gap created by the delay. Knife edge rolls for consumer products are hard to executre, have too much of the old product and you have to discount it to get rid of it, new product is late you run out of stock.

  2. new Kindles announced

    [Link removed]
    [thanks – will explain later]

  3. New Kindle 3 3g or W-fi announced per WSJ and engadget

  4. Hey, looks like I was right about the $139 price point for the WiFi one.

  5. You can place re-orders now for the Kindle 3! I just did — I am upgrading from my Kindle 1. I plan to unregister my old Kindle, but am I allowed to keep a copy of the books on it for the person I give it to? I understand that if they delete the books, they will just be gone. Just wondering. (I’ll check with Kindle information on Amazon).

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