Please Note: We still don’t have any confirmation that Oprah will recommend the Kindle today. An Oprah Kindle recommendation is likely but not a given.
That being said here are 7 things Oprah could do for the Kindle if she recommends it –
- Make Kindle cool again. The Press has started a recent non-stop attack touting Tablets over the Kindle. More people trust Oprah and she’d instantly tilt things in favor of the Kindle.
- Make a ton of people aware that a $139 Kindle is available and that it looks great (screen wise). A lot of people still don’t know what eInk is or what it looks like.
- Cause the Kindle to go out of stock within a few days. Kindle is out of stock outside the US and UK and an Oprah Kindle recommendation is likely to tap out the US supply completely.
- Sell a million Kindles in a week. It’d be the fastest Kindles have ever sold – you can be sure Amazon will find 3 different super-vague Press Releases to send out (Most eReaders ever sold by a Talk Show Host, Most Kindles ever sold in a 17 minute stretch, Most copies of Charles Dickens ever sold to Franzen fans).
- Knock Nook back. With the Nook Color B&N has a potential winner on its hands – numerous articles and blogs are touting it as better than Kindle and iPad. Oprah recommending Kindle would make a lot of people forget all the Nook buzz.
- Show that Amazon is concerned enough to pull out its trump card. Amazon has been doing things it doesn’t usually do – Black Friday Kindle deal, TV Ads, TV Ads for Kindle reading apps. If it also asks for Oprah’s help with the Kindle you know it’s worried.
- Send a signal that a new Kindle is around the corner. Last time Oprah stepped in (October 2008) it was a Kindle 1 stock clear-out move and we saw the Kindle 2 arrive in February 2009. Might there be a color screen Kindle 4 slated for an early 2011 release?
It’s not just the fact that Oprah might recommend a Kindle that’s intriguing. The way Oprah talks about the Kindle and what Amazon does will reveal a lot –
- If there’s a Kindle coupon or a Kindle discount then it gives a lot of credence to both the ‘Amazon is very worried’ theory and the ‘there’s a new Kindle 4 arriving in early 2011’ theory.
- If there’s no Kindle coupon (which seems extremely unlikely) then it might mean Amazon just wants to get back people’s attention.
- If Oprah positions Kindle as a reading device for everyone and focuses on Kindle WiFi it would suggest that Amazon sees Kindle WiFi as ‘the Kindle that everyone has’.
- If Oprah positions Kindle as a reading device for book lovers and/or focuses on the Kindle 3 it would suggest Amazon is more interested in wrapping up the dedicated book lovers market.
- If Oprah doesn’t recommend a Kindle then it’d be a blow for Amazon – especially since Oprah picked the iPad as her ‘favorite gadget ever’ just a week ago.
For me the presence of a Kindle coupon or Kindle discount (or an absence) and Oprah’s words (how they position the Kindle) will be the most important parts of the Oprah Kindle recommendation. They’ll reveal a ton about Amazon’s feelings regarding where the Kindle stands and where Amazon wants to go with the Kindle.