Thoughts on 12 million Kindles sold estimate

Stephen Windwalker at Kindle Nation has a very interesting set of Kindle Sales Estimates.

Here are the five figures that are most interesting to me -

  1. 1 million Kindles – March 2009 (Kindle 2 ships). Which sounds about right.
  2. 3 million Kindles – December 2009. This also sounds about right.
  3. 4 million Kindles – July 2010. Again, sounds reasonable.
  4. 12 million Kindles – January 2011. This is where it begins to seem super optimistic to me.
  5. 22 million Kindles – December 2011. Still in the super optimistic range.

An important disclaimer – No one except Amazon knows the exact figures. So optimistic speculation is just as valid as pessimistic speculation, and all estimates are just estimates.

The Critical and Critically Interesting Things

Although the 12 million Kindles sold so far estimate seems optimistic, and the 22 million Kindles sold by end 2011 estimate seems even more optimistic, the truly interesting things are -

  1. The Kindle sales trend. While no one agrees on just how many Kindles have been sold, almost everyone agrees that millions of Kindles have been sold and that sales are increasing.
  2. The belief that Kindle is a Runaway Success. Everyone believes the kindle sales figures are large, and that Kindle is outpacing all other eReaders.

These two things are far more consequential than exact Kindle sales figures.

Why it’s important that Kindle Sales are increasing

It doesn’t really matter whether 5 million Kindles have been sold so far, or 10 million Kindles have been sold.

All that matters is this -

  1. 2007 and 2008 – Hundreds of thousands of Kindles sold per year.
  2. 2009 – Millions of Kindles sold per year.
  3. 2010 – Millions of Kindles sold during Holiday Season.

The fact that the Kindle sales rate is increasing is hugely important. We know ‘millions of Kindles’ had been sold by end 2009. That means that if the sales keep increasing we’ll eventually hit ‘tens of millions of Kindles’ - At that point eReaders and the Kindle would be here to stay.

Why it’s important that everyone thinks Kindle sales are super high

Spreading and encouraging huge Kindle sales estimates is anchoring. People read the ’8 million Kindles sold in 2010′ rumor (courtesy BusinessWeek), and see the ’12 million Kindles sold through January 2011′ estimate (courtesy Kindle Nation), and that anchors ‘Kindle is a Huge Success’ in their heads.

It gets other people to revise their estimates upwards. It gets people to write about it. It just keeps growing – this anchor of the Kindle being a huge hit with sales so shiny that no one can see the actual figures.

This is hugely beneficial to Amazon -

  1. When customers are deciding which eReader to buy, they automatically assume they should get Kindle – it might have sold 12 million units.
  2. When authors are deciding which platform to focus on, they choose the Kindle Store – since there might be 12 million Kindle owners buying books.
  3. When companies are wondering whether to get into eReaders, they get disheartened by the thought of competing against a company that already has 12 million Kindle owners in its camp.

It seems like a dream scenario for Amazon. Except, at some point it stops being sugar and spice and all things nice.

The Flip Side of the Coin

Amazon wants to have its cake and eat it too - It doesn’t want to reveal sales figures because its competitors might get the three witches from Hamlet to concoct a potion based on the magical figures. At the same time, Amazon wants to get the benefit and social proof of being considered the most successful eReader.

Where it could back-fire is if estimates get out of line.

We’ve jumped to 12 million in January 2011. By March 2011 we might be at 20 million. By end of the year we might be at 50 million. At some point the rumors and estimates will get out of hand and start hurting Amazon. It’ll be interesting to see what approach Amazon takes to avoid super-high estimates.

What do we know for Sure?

Not very much.

Just that Amazon has sold millions of Kindles. We really don’t know anything beyond that. Amazon is in love with the idea of sending out vague clues, but it’s all pretty meaningless.

If Amazon really had sold 12 million Kindles, you could have made a strong argument that Amazon would benefit a lot more from revealing that figure right now, than by continuing to hide it.

  • The iPad 2 is going to arrive soon. What better way to reduce the impact on Kindle sales than by revealing 12 million Kindles sold?
  • Nook Color is eating up the casual eReader market. There’s nothing better to fight it off than the social proof of 12 million Kindle sales.

Is secrecy a better option here? Not so sure.

Is Secrecy and pretend-Social Proof more powerful than Social Proof?

It’s contrasting schools of thought – Apple uses 7 million (or however many) iPad sales to beat people over the head and get them to buy the iPad. Amazon hides sales figures but uses strategic leaks to try to convince customers it’s sold 8 million or 12 million or 5,673 million Kindles.

The former uses certainty. The latter uses an open loop. Which is more convincing?

Well, my guess would be that the open loop (there might have been 8 million Kindles sold) creates more buzz and interest, but that the solid figure (7 million iPads sold) creates a lot more sales. People hate uncertainty - it gets them interested, and puts them in discovery mode, but it doesn’t necessarily get them into buying mode.

Has there ever been an electronic device that chose mystery over revealing solid sales figures? Can’t think of anything off the top of my head.

For a data-driven company, Amazon seems very strongly wedded to a strategy it couldn’t possibly have enough data on. Where are the prior examples of companies that kept sales figures secret, and ended up benefitting wildly from the secrecy?

Thoughts on various bits of Kindle, eReader news and speculation

The Kindle is again stirring up speculation of all sorts. There’s also some interesting Kindle related news.

Author finds a new way to market his book

An author at the official Kindle forum has found a new way to market his book -

  1. He announced 20 free copies – all he asked for, in return, was a genuine review.
  2. There were soon 250+ replies, with at least 100 people interested in reviewing the book.
  3. It’s gotten a lot of buzz. It might have cost him a few thousand dollars in advertising to get a similar level of publicity.

A good indicator of how competitive things are is that another half a dozen or so authors are now offering a similar deal. It’s less than a day, and already authors are copying what worked for one author. People are severely under-estimating how competitive things are going to be.

5.4 million Kindles and 4.5 million Kindles

Ming-Chi Kuo, former analyst at DigiTimes, and current analyst at Concord Equity Research, has this to say -

  1. 5.4 million Kindle 3s and Kindle WiFis sold since launch. 
  2. Amazon shipped 1.6 million Kindles in December – same as iPad. However, iPad sales in the winter quarter are expected to be between 5 and 10 million units. The shipments are down only due to iPad 2 being on the horizon.
  3. 4.5 million Kindles are expected to ship in Q1, 2011. That seems an awfully optimistic estimate. Unless there’s a new Kindle, it might be hard for Amazon to sell 1.1 million Kindles a month.
  4. 12 million eReaders have been shipped so far, and another 27 million eReaders will ship in 2011. Another very optimistic estimate – almost bordering on the unbelievable.

Thanks to Apple Insider for the scoop.

B&N might have two eReaders lined up – Nook2 and Nook Kids

PocketNow has the news that B&N is applying for a lot of new trademarks. There’s some intelligent speculation - Evan Blass at PocketNow points out that two of the trademark applications seem to be for new devices.

  1. One seems to be for the second version of the Nook, named Nook2.
  2. The other seems to be for a Nook aimed at children, called Nook Kids. The description reads –  

    “portable electronic apparatus for displaying, receiving, reading and storing downloadable electronic publications, namely, books, e-books, magazines, newspapers, text, images, digital web site content and digital media featuring music through wired and wireless Internet access, accessories therefor and instructional manuals, sold as a unit.”

  3. Both Nook2 and Nook Kids trademark applications were filed on June 8th. The same day that B&N applied for the Nook WiFi trademark.

There’s also talk of a software called Nook Cook, and a service called Nooksellers - which seems to be a recommendation engine.

Kindle 3 vs Nook 2 ought to be very interesting

Amazon has done really well with Kindle 3. It wouldn’t be a surprise to find out that B&N had something lined up, realized it couldn’t compete with Kindle 3, and went back to the drawing board.

If a Nook 2 arrives in early 2011, and it’s good, it could cause a lot of problems for Amazon. On one side, there’d be Nook Color eating up the casual reader market, and on the other side, there’d be an improved Nook 2 – stealing away readers interested in library books and ePub.

Depending on what features the Nook 2 has, it might even force Amazon to drop the price of the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi. We do need more competition in the eReader space – a Nook2 would be great for everyone.

Is a Kindle for Kids in the works? If not, how will Amazon respond to Nook Kids?

If B&N manages to introduce an unbreakable ‘Nook Kids’ eReader, for $100 to $150, it would do exceptionally well in the children’s eReader market (which we’re assuming exists). Already, with the Nook Color, B&N has shown its interested in the children’s book market. Now, with this trademark registration for ‘Nook Kids’, you have to imagine there’s a high chance we’re about to see the first eReader made for kids.

The biggest concern parents have is that they can’t hand a $189 or $139 eReader to a kid, who might drop it or throw it, and literally throw away all that money. An unbreakable eReader would solve the issue.

At the same time, most parents do want an eReader for their kids – reading makes kids smarter, it’s a far better use of free time than TV and video games, and it can also be used for school-work.

The market is huge. You have to suspect an unbreakable Nook Kids would also do very well with junior school and middle school kids. If B&N includes support for library books, and it almost certainly will, it becomes very, very compelling.

Apparently, Kindle is doing very well

The Kindle is now the best-selling product of all time on Amazon.

Yup, I don’t know what that means either.

Apparently, the latest Kindle outsold Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, and since everyone knows exactly how many copies of that Amazon sold, we know exactly how many Kindles Amazon has sold.

Well, actually - No one knows that Harry Potter number.

We can only make wild guesses while Jeff Bezos laughs at the amount of mileage he’s getting out of all these inane comparisons. Wonder what’s next – We sold more Kindles in the last 27 hours than there are craters on Ganymede.

Harry Potter sold over 44 million copies. What share did Amazon have?

By end of 2008, the 7th Harry Potter book was estimated to have sold 44 million copies. Let’s assume that at the end of 2010, the figure is 55 million. Next, let’s assume Amazon sold between 5% and 8% of copies sold worldwide (which is pretty generous).

That would mean Amazon sold between 2.75 million and 4.4 million copies. Amazon is saying sales of the latest Kindle have exceeded that figure – which suggests 3 to 5 million new Kindles sold.

LCDs aren’t hurting eReaders – so says Mr. Bezos

Mr. Bezos also took the time to mention that customers ‘report’ that they use their LCD tablets for games, movies, and web browsing, and their Kindles for reading.

Apparently,

  1. Kindle eliminates battery anxiety. Methinks people who have battery anxiety need something other than a Kindle.
  2. Kindle doesn’t interfere with sleep patterns at bedtime. What other kind of sleep patterns are there?
  3. The $139 price point is low enough that people don’t have to choose.

There are more gems in the Press Release -

On Christmas Day, more people turned on new Kindles for the first time … and purchased more Kindle books than on any other day in history.

Have we started measuring things like how many people turn on devices on a particular day now?

At this point you can be 100% certain the people at Amazon are having a huge laugh about their Press Releases. It’s like a vagueness contest. The first person says – Let’s talk about selling more than Harry Potter. The second says – You know what’ll really wind people up. Talking about how many people turned on a Kindle.

You also have to commend the use of ‘more Kindle Books than on any other day in history’. This is a product that’s 3 years old. ‘History’ is a bit of a stretch isn’t it.

The Too Much Information Department

Here’s the first thing that seems supremely out of place in a Press Release -

One of Amazon’s most remote shipments contained the “Tinker Bell and the Great Fairy Rescue,” “Toy Story” DVDs, “Chicken Soup for the Dog Lover’s Soul,” NHL 11, Halo Reach and Call of Duty: Black Ops and was delivered to the hamlet of Grise Fiord, north of the Arctic Circle in Canada.

Here we were, thinking that people who live in the Arctic Circle lead exciting lives with Predators and Penguin Races and Polar Bear Wrestling. Thanks for killing that fantasy Amazon.

There’s also stuff like this -

Amazon customers purchased more Philips Norelco shavers this holiday season than the average beard hairs on a man’s face.

You know what – That doesn’t sound very impressive. It’s not like we men have millions of ‘beard hairs’ on our faces. Perhaps BigFoot’s beard would make for a more apt comparison.

Coming back to the Kindle

There’s interesting news everywhere -

  1. Earlier this morning we discussed the rumor that Sony might have sold 2 million Sony Readers in 2010.
  2. Nook sales must have been good because Nook owners are complaining B&N’s servers haven’t worked properly for the last three days.
  3. Kobo sold 50 times more books this Christmas weekend, than it did during last year’s Christmas weekend. It also saw a million people register at its website over the course of last weekend, and people from 130 countries bought Kobo books.

A 50 times increase in books sold seems almost unrealistic. Was Kobo even open last year?

Kobo is beginning to learn from Amazon – It peppers in enough vague statements to be confusing - ‘hundreds of thousands’ of devices have been registered to Kobo eBook Store everyday since Christmas Eve.

What does ‘register’ mean? Wasn’t Christmas Eve just 3 days ago?

The silver lining to this ‘best-selling item ever on Amazon’ Press Release is that it introduces the possibility Amazon stops beating the ‘best-selling item’ horse to death. Surely, there couldn’t be anything else left. It’s #1 reviewed, #1 gifted, #1 most wished ever, #1 in vagueness, #1 best-selling, #1 best-selling of all time.

Is there something else left, or can we finally get some respite?

Kindle is the best-selling of all best-selling. It is so best-selling, it’s sold by thought – People just think they should get a Kindle, and it materializes.

Could Nook sales be within striking distance of Kindle sales?

The Kindle is alleged to have sold 8 million units in 2010. That’s a HUGE number.

It makes you wonder whether Amazon has destroyed the competition, and accounted for 80% of eReader sales in 2010, or whether the Nook and Sony Reader have done quite well too.

Let’s look at 3 scenarios, and the data points that support each. To simplify things, we’ll only consider Kindle and Nook sales.

8 million Kindle Sales, 2 million Nook Sales

This is the ‘Kindle dominating 2010′ scenario.

Here are the data points, and factors, that support this -

  1. [Rumor] ‘Insider sources’ claiming they saw Kindle sales projections of 8 million units sold in 2010.
  2. [Vagueness Overload] Amazon saying it sold ‘millions of Kindles’ in the first 73 days of Q4, 2010. Also, that sales exceeded Kindle sales in all of 2009 – which were also stated to be ‘millions of Kindles’.
  3. [Vagueness Overload Part 2] Amazon saying it sold more Kindles around the time of Kindle 3 launch, than it sold in December 2009. 
  4. Kindle was the markedly better eReader, once Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi came out.
  5. Kindle WiFi at $139 was a steal.
  6. Kindle is available internationally. Nook isn’t available outside the US. Sony Reader is only available in some countries.
  7. Kindle was finally available in stores – Target, BestBuy and Staples. 
  8. Kindle 3 won over some of the main stream press.
  9. Amazon did a lot of advertising.
  10. Kindle 3 reviews were very good.

It seems 8 million Kindles might be a possibility. Does that mean Amazon dominated Nook thoroughly, and only 2 million Nooks were sold?

Here are some things that make it unlikely that Nook accounted for only 20% of eReader sales in 2010 -

  1. There wasn’t a very clear cut winner between Nook and Kindle 2 at the beginning of 2010. It’s not until the end of July, when Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi came out, that Kindle became the no-doubt-about-it #1 eReader choice.
  2. Then in October end, Nook Color was announced, and it again muddied up the waters. Kindle was still the best eReader – However, there was doubt over which was the better reading device.
  3. Kindle doesn’t support ePub and library books – That causes a significant number of people to choose Nook or Sony Reader instead.
  4. Kindle doesn’t have lending and the Nook’s LendMe feature must have made a difference, until October, when Amazon announced it would be adding lending.
  5. Nook Color has done very well in the last few months. B&N’s CEO claimed he was seeing 540,000 Nook Color sales per month – which probably means Nook Color alone sold around a million units in 2010.
  6. Nook is available in more stores than Kindle, including WalMart. It was available at BestBuy earlier than the Kindle was. Plus, it’s available at all B&N stores.
  7. Kindle was not available internationally for the last two months of the year. 
  8. Kindle was often out of stock at retailers – which meant people chose Nook or iPad instead. 
  9. B&N has had Nook in stock throughout.
  10. There was a brief period, perhaps 2 to 4 weeks, where Nook WiFi was available, and Kindle WiFi hadn’t been announced.
  11. Authors have been talking about the impact Nook ebook sales are having.

Looking at this list, it seems extremely unlikely that Amazon managed to sell 8 million Kindles while B&N got stuck at 2 million Nooks. The gap couldn’t have been 6 million units.

8 million Kindle Sales, 5 million Nook Sales

Let’s assume, and it’s a big assumption, that Amazon did sell 8 million Kindles in 2010. Then we could extrapolate Nook sales by comparing the two eReaders’ relative appeal, their value for money, and their availability.

What do we know about Kindle vs Nook -

  1. Until Kindle 3 came out the two were neck to neck. After Nook Color came out, you can argue they were again close.
  2. DigiTimes claimed that Nook was doing better than Kindle in April and May of 2010.
  3. B&N’s Nook has had better retail availability throughout 2010.
  4. Amazon has been available internationally in 2010 – until the last two months, when it was sold out.
  5. Amazon has the Kindle DX. B&N doesn’t have a competitor for the DX.
  6. B&N has a ‘Reading Tablet’ (the Nook Color), while Amazon doesn’t.
  7. Nook WiFi was the cheapest eReader for a few weeks. For the rest of the year Amazon has had the cheaper eReader.
  8. Kindle is the ‘default’ eReader associated with reading.
  9. Kindle has a slightly better store.
  10. Kindle has better infrastructure and provides free Internet.
  11. B&N’s Nook supports library books and lending.
  12. B&N has its book store and book store based features.

If you look at all the factors, it’s hard to imagine a scenario in which Nook sales could have been less than 50% of Kindle sales.

Kindle 3 is clearly better than Nook – However, Nook has some strengths Kindle can’t match (library books, ePub, lending) and better retail availability. Kindle WiFi beats Nook WiFi – However, the Nook WiFi has much better availability and some clear advantages. It’s unlikely that Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi were outselling Nook and Nook WiFi 4:1 or 3:1.

Combine that with the fact that Nook Color probably sold 1 million units, and that for the first 6 months of the year, Kindle and Nook were neck to neck.

If Amazon sold 8 million units - B&N must have sold 4 to 6 million units.

Amazon selling 8 million Kindles in 2010, and B&N selling 5 million Nooks in 2010, is pretty optimistic – However, it’s not impossible. If true, it would be great for readers, eBooks, and eReaders.

6 million Kindle Sales, 4.5 million Nook Sales  

What if we play devil’s advocate, and assume one of the following -

  1. Kindle Sales Projections of 8 million Kindles sold were for lifetime sales. Which would mean 2010 Kindle sales projections were around 5 million.
  2. Kindle Sales Projections for 2010 were 8 million, but they weren’t hit. That we ended up with around 5 million or so sales instead.
  3. The ’8 million Kindles sold’ rumor is not based on fact. Bloomberg is basing its article on kindle sales projections that two people saw at some unspecified point of time in 2010. It’s pretty sketchy – even for a rumor.

We’re saying the ’8 million Kindles sold’ rumor/projection/estimate is nonsense.

Let’s build our own rough estimates of what Kindle sales and Nook sales were like in 2010.

First 6 to 7 months (before Kindle 3 came out)

Let’s assume that true sales lay somewhere between what DigiTimes claimed (Nook outselling Kindle, 1.3 million eReaders in Q1, 2010), and what a 8 million Kindle sales figure would suggest (2 to 3 million Kindle sales in the first 6 months of 2010).

Let’s say Kindle saw US and International combined sales of around 1.25 million Kindles. Nook saw US sales of around 1 million Nooks.

Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi golden run

For the first 3 to 4 months the Kindle 3 was out, it was the best option. Let’s assume that it captured the majority of eReader sales during that stretch.

In July through September, Kindle saw US and international combined sales of around 1.75 million Kindles. Nook was hit by the Kindle being so good, and only saw sales of 1 million Nooks.

Holiday Season

Here we’ll assume that Amazon was correct – that it did sell more Kindles in the first 73 days of the Holiday season, than it did in all of 2009. We’ll also assume that 2009 saw 2 million Kindle sales.

Add to that – Kindle wasn’t being sold outside US and UK for most of the Holiday season. Nook Color was doing very well, and iPad was again getting a lot of buzz.

It would suggest 3 million Kindle sales during the Holiday Season. Nook probably saw 1.5 million units sold, and Nook Color probably saw 1 million units sold.

Putting it all together

For Kindle we get: 1.25 + 1.75 + 3 = 6 million Kindle sales.

For Nook we get: 1 + 1 + 2.5 = 4.5 million Nook sales.

For some reason, even these seem a bit optimistic. However, ’6 million Kindles sold and 4.5 million Nooks sold’ sounds a lot more believable than ’8 million Kindles sold and 2 million Nooks sold’.

Kindle = new iPod, or ’8 million Kindle sales’ is an anchor

The rest of this post is a wild, wild guess. Based on zero facts.

There seem to be only two plausible explanations for the 8 million Kindles sold rumor – Either Kindle is the new iPod, or Amazon is using amazingly good anchoring.

If it’s the first, then there’s nothing to discuss - Amazon has won the eReader wars, eReaders are going to sell tens of millions of units a year, and the eBook wars are effectively over.

The second possibility is very interesting. The 8 million Kindles sold rumor seems like anchoring.

Could Amazon be leaking inflated sales figures to establish social proof, and anchor Kindle as the winner?

Consider what we have -

  1. Nook Color doing well, and selling half a million units a month.
  2. iPad doing very well, and having sold 7.3 million units between launch and Holiday Season. 
  3. Nook and iPad being available in a lot more stores.

Amazon needs to take back the momentum. It needs to re-establish ‘Kindle = Reading’. The best way to do that would be to leak a very impressive figure for Kindle sales which makes the Nook Color’s sales seem trivial, which shows Kindle is doing nearly as well as the iPad, and which makes it seem that Nook has lost the eReader wars.

8 million Kindles does that. It makes everyone assume that Kindle is the new iPod, and that Nook is dead and buried. It makes every potential eReader owner feel she must join the 8 million people who have chosen a Kindle.

Why doesn’t Amazon make the killer announcement?

If Amazon wants it can drive a stake through the heart of every other eReader by announcing 10 million total Kindle sales. If Amazon has sold 8 million Kindles this year, it has the opportunity to tell every potential Kindle owner – Choose our team of 10 million Kindle owners, and not that team of 1 million Nook owners.

Yet, it would rather let people ponder Kindle vs Nook and Kindle vs Nook Color. That makes no sense.

At this point everyone knows the market for eReaders is huge. They just don’t know whether it’s 5 million eReaders sold this year, or 10 million. Amazon can’t fly under the radar any more. What reason is there to hide actual Kindle sales figures?

Every single Amazon rumor seems to have amazingly good timing – the Kindle DX rumors, the Kindle WiFi rumors, this 8 million Kindles sold rumor. Amazon seems to be doing its best to either make good sales figures seem great, or to hide great sales figures from competitors. Yet, the second seems more doubtful by the day.

If Kindle sales figures really are absolutely amazing, and Amazon wants to hide them, why are there constant strategic announcements (millions of Kindles sold) and strategic leaks (8 million Kindles sold)?

If Kindle sales are so great that Amazon doesn’t want anyone to know, the most effective move would be to say nothing. The fact that Amazon isn’t choosing that option might be more revealing than all the rumors and estimates.

What’s sold 8 million units in 2010? What’s up 800% in UK? + free book

First, for your Kindle, we have -

  1. Deadly Sanctuary by Sylvia Nobel and Christy Moeller. Price: $0. Genre: Mystery, Suspense, Whodunit, Suitable for all ages.

It sounds like a winner.

Random House’s eBook Sales have exploded

We’re talking about an 800% increase in the UK, and a 250% increase in the US.

Teleread has both articles, including the one about the 250% increase in US ebook sales, and lots of choice snippets -

  1. [US] Random House’s digital book sales are expected to be up 250% in 2010. 
  2. [US] eBook Sales account for nearly half the first week sales of some titles.
  3. [US] Expectations of a huge jump once eReaders and eBooks start gaining ground in Germany, UK, Spain, and Latin America.

When Random House talks about ‘the forthcoming huge jump’ when eReaders and eBooks become big in other countries, it might be referring to what’s already happening with its UK division -

  1. [UK] An 800% increase in Random House’s ebook sales in 2010.
  2. [UK] 2010 is being described as a ‘true tipping point’ in Random House’s ebook publishing efforts, and a ‘cultural transformation’. Whatever that means.

That’s just stunning. You have to suspect that most of this is due to the Kindle. Nook isn’t really sold in the UK, Sony Reader hasn’t been doing much, and Amazon has been pushing both low-priced eReaders (Kindle WiFi for 109 pounds), and low-priced Kindle books (really, really cheap prices).

Credit to Random House for staying away from the Agency Model

A quick note to say that readers everywhere appreciate Random House being fair, and staying away from the Agency Model.

Not sure what sort of gains the Agency Model 5 are seeing in the US and UK. If they aren’t as high as Random House’s gains, then it probably means the Agency Model has prevented them from seeing similar gains.

UK has hit the Tipping Point, what’s next?

This explains why Amazon was saving up Kindles for US and UK. 

You have to wonder which country is next. Also, it seems that Amazon is doing really, really well with Kindle sales.

There’s ‘insider information’ from Business Week that Amazon sold 2.4 million Kindles last year, and has sold 8 million Kindles this year. Thanks to Roger Knights for the update.

Has Amazon really sold 8 million Kindles this year?

Business Week is saying that Kindle sales have exceeded analyst estimates of 5 million Kindles being sold in 2010.

Lots of interesting claims, including -

  1. Amazon likely to sell 8 million Kindles in 2010.
  2. Amazon sold 2.4 million Kindles in 2009.

This goes very well with what Amazon said i.e.

More Kindles were sold in the first 73 days of Q4, 2010, than in all of 2009.

It would suggest that Amazon sold 2.5 to 3 million Kindles in the first 73 days of the holiday quarter. It would also explain why Amazon is having supply issues this year, even though it had no issues last year.

8 + 2.4 million + 0.5 million = 10.9 million Kindles

Assuming the claims BusinessWeek has made are correct, and that 500,000 Kindles were sold before 2009, we arrive at a grand total of 10.9 million Kindles sold by the end of 2010. That would be a very impressive figure.

If 8 million Kindles were sold, in a year when both iPad and Nook Color were launched, Amazon might have very little to worry about.

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