Kindle WiFi sold out for Christmas, Kindle 3 available

The Kindle 3G is the only Kindle available in time for Christmas. The Kindle WiFi is experiencing 3 to 5 day delays, which means it is sold out for Christmas.

Thanks to Peter for the update.

Here’s what Amazon’s Kindle WiFi page says –

Expected to ship in 3 to 5 days.

Ordering for Christmas? Due to overwhelming customer demand, Kindle (Wi-Fi) is temporarily out of stock. Orders placed today will arrive after December 24th.

Order now to reserve your place in line. Our Kindle 3G for $189 is still available in time for Christmas.

Well, selling out around a week before Christmas isn’t terribly bad. It could have been much worse.

It does mean that people looking to buy Kindles will either have to buy the Kindle 3G, or they will have to patiently wait past Christmas to get their Kindle WiFi.

Was Kindle WiFi selling a lot more than Kindle 3G?

It seems plausible that Amazon was either producing more Kindle WiFis than Kindle 3s, or that it was producing equal quantities of both. If either was the case, it would mean Kindle WiFi was selling much faster than Kindle 3.

Given the $139 price of the Kindle WiFi, it shouldn’t be a big surprise that it was selling faster, that it sold out before the Kindle 3, and that it sold out a week before Christmas.

It makes Amazon’s decision, to limit Kindle sales to the US and UK, seem a smart one – If Kindle WiFi and/or Kindle 3 had sold out at the end of November, that would have meant more Nook WiFi sales and more Nook sales. It does, however, make you wonder why Amazon recently changed its limit on Kindle sales per person from 3 to 5. That must have contributed to the sell-out.

The Kindle 3, in both white and graphite variants, is very much in stock. Amazon states on the page that orders placed today will arrive on or before December 24th. That’s definitely your best option if you’re looking to buy a Kindle for Christmas.

Kindle 3 starting to sell out, Agency Model Wars in the UK

It seems the Kindle 3 is beginning to sell out again. Here’s what the Kindle 3 graphite product page says –

Expected to ship in 3 to 5 days.

Ships from and sold by Amazon Digital Services. Gift wrap available

The Kindle WiFi product page has the same message. The Kindle 3 white isn’t suffering from any shipping delays and is still in stock.

If the recent past is any indicator we might soon see 2 to 3 week kindle shipping delays. If you’re thinking about buying the Kindle 3, it might be a good idea to make a decision soon.

Kindle 3 Reviews up to 1,046 total reviews

A lot of Kindle 3 reviews have been added in the last 10 or so days – the total number of reviews is increasing steadily and there are now over 1,000 Kindle 3 reviews.

It’s interesting to see the number of reviews go up so quickly – It certainly suggests that Amazon has managed to ramp up production and is shipping out Kindles at a faster rate.

Agency Model rears its ugly head in the UK

It seems that Hachette’s plan to impose the Agency Model on retailers in the UK isn’t going well. The Bookseller has an interesting article on Hachette’s Agency Model woes in the UK –

  1. Waterstone’s, W H Smith, Tesco (a major grocery store chain),  and The Book Depository have all removed Hachette ebooks from their stores.
  2. Apple is pricing books according to Hachette’s Agency Model guidelines.
  3. Amazon is pricing books as it wishes. This will probably lead to yet another Amazon vs Publisher stand-off. 

Kieron Smith of The Book Depository explains why his company has removed Hachette books –

the company had taken the decision to remove the books from sale and did not plan to sign the agreement. Smith said:

“One of the many reasons is we want to apply consistency of offer to the customer. One of the stipulations is we can’t offer coupons or discount vouchers.

If we did an e-book offer we would have to have a massive list of exceptions for Hachette titles. We are not being straight with the customer. Unless I can control a customer’s experience, selling e-books with the price set by the publisher is not something I want to do.”

It’s all very strange with Hachette asking that retailers not change prices without Hachette’s prior written consent. They’ve got to be kidding. We’re in an age of email and instant messenger and instant price changes – Do they really expect retailers to ask for permission and then wait for written consent?

If retailers agree to this what happens next – Will Hachette ask people to correspond with them via snail mail and to use Latin on their websites instead of English?

There’s also a lot of talk about Amazon UK’s stance in the past that it would set the prices of books it sells (without allowing any outside interference). has previously insisted that it would set its own prices for Kindle editions.

Amazon’s pricing is in line with comments made by Steve Kessel, the retailer’s senior vice president of Amazon Kindle, in August, who said the retailer will set the prices of the e-books it sells

The good thing is that Apple seems to be the only retailer going along with the Agency Model in the UK and it has little presence as far as books are concerned. If Amazon, W H Smith, Waterstones, Tesco, and The Book Depository all refuse to adopt the Agency Model then Agency Model publishers won’t really have any channels left for selling their ebooks.

Kindle 3, Kindle WiFi selling out, 1 week delay

In an interesting twist Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are both sold out.

This is what Amazon’s website says –

Temporarily Sold Out. Order now to reserve your place in line

Due to strong customer demand, Kindle is temporarily sold out. Order now to reserve your place in line. Orders are prioritized on a first come, first served basis. Orders placed today are expected to ship on or before September 4th.

It’s a bit strange that Kindle WiFi, graphite Kindle 3, and white Kindle 3 would all sell out at around the same time.

You can order now and the orders will ship on or before September 4th – That’s exactly a week after the August 27th Kindle 3 release date.

Are there signs suggesting Kindle 3 really did sell out?

Well, from anecdotal evidence Kindle traffic has been much higher. For my site the release day and the day after were the highest traffic days after Christmas (when everyone was trying to find free books for their new Kindle). Getting almost as much traffic as Christmas Day on a  summer day is a sign that the amount of interest was incredible.

The Press has been positive, Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are both priced really low, and perhaps the biggest factor is that Kindle 3 has been a really solid release. So it’s entirely possible that Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi did sell out.

The strange part is that they sold out around the same time and that the white Kindle 3 model also sold out.

Given the low price point of the Kindle WiFi and the amount of features packed in I suspect we’ll see it selling out a ton over the next few months. The graphite Kindle 3 with 3G and WiFi – Well, perhaps it’ll sell out a few times too. It’s hard to imagine the white Kindle 3 selling out as much – the graphite casing really does improve screen contrast and you’d think people would prefer the graphite kindle disproportionately over the white kindle.

Might make sense to get in line and grab a Kindle WiFi, or perhaps a Kindle 3, before the delay grows longer.