View Full Version : Conspiracy Theory on Kindle being Sold Out


markbot
11-22-2007, 01:20 AM
My thoery is that the Kindle isn't really sold out....but rather they didn't feel like paying for the 2 day shipping. So what they are doing is shipping it ground to local distribution centers....and then sending it in "2 days" after it goes in stock. This will save them a couple of million dollars.

SanAntone
11-22-2007, 01:31 AM
Are you serious?

Robert Marquard
11-22-2007, 01:37 AM
The problem is probably the eInk screen. Not enough screens get produced so simply not enough Kindle devices are available.

Roy White
11-22-2007, 01:39 AM
I think.. The guys on the grassy knoll... Wait for it... Bought them all. And are waiting for the economy to collapse becasue of this dastardly deed ushering in a new world order in which Gerbils rule the world!

Alisa
11-22-2007, 02:13 AM
My thoery is that the Kindle isn't really sold out....but rather they didn't feel like paying for the 2 day shipping. So what they are doing is shipping it ground to local distribution centers....and then sending it in "2 days" after it goes in stock. This will save them a couple of million dollars.

I think more likely they just didn't think this many would sell so quickly.

Charbax
11-22-2007, 03:57 AM
But they aren't saying how many. That is kind of funny of Amazon to make a press release saying the Kindle was sold out in 5 hours and then not saying how many units that amounts to.

I don't think it was many thousands of units, probably max a few tens of thousands of units I would guess.

And yeah, it's probably hard for PVI in Taiwan to keep up with the E-Ink screen production no matter how much money Amazon is paying them upfront. The factories making those E-Ink screens probably simply aren't big enough to produce E-Ink screens in quantities of millions, probably that current factories have a capacity limit of some hundred thousands a year. But also probably that in preparation for the release of the Kindle, that in Taiwan, PVI has invested whatever hundreds of millions required to ramp up the production, probably all paid for in advance by Amazon, Philips, Sony and some others..

I'm just guessing here, but I think in terms of risk taking and physical capacity to mass produce, the Kindle production has to be gradually ramped up. A bit like the OLPC XO computer also. For that computer for example, first weeks mass production capacity is only something like 40 thousand units per month, then it can gradually jump to 400 thousand units per month. Simply something to do with even the largest screen factories in the world, cannot just jump start mass production of new technologies from day one. Cause a full capacity specialized factory to produce those new kinds of screens such as the XO screen and E-Ink screens costs billions to make. So unless Amazon believed so much in the Kindle months in advance to pay in advance the construction of those specialized factories to have a full production capacity in time for Christmas, then the only thing to work would be gradual ramp up of production adjusted after the initial market demand, and it probably has to take at the minimum a few weeks for a new production cycle to result in new batches of shipped products.

I'm totally guessing here, but possibly Amazon is not going to satisfy all the demand for Christmas (it will be sold out), but are counting on large demand up till Christmas to make them confident about ramping up production to maximum capacity to be delivered after Christmas.

TadW
11-22-2007, 04:31 AM
I think it was similar with the other E Ink reader when they came out. The first Sony Reader (PRS-500) was sold out in a couple of hours (if I remember correctly). And orders for the Bookeen Cybook Gen3 have also been delayed.

SanAntone
11-22-2007, 09:07 AM
Companies hold sales numbers pretty close to the vest on innovative new products. Look at Sony...as far as I know they haven't released any sales numbers for the Reader.

igorsk
11-22-2007, 09:16 AM
I have a number for iLiad:
...the UK distributor for Dutch e-reader vendor Irex estimates that at most, 10,000 units of its iLiad device have been sold worldwide.
From http://www.guardian.co.uk/technology/2007/nov/22/news.gadgets

tsgreer
11-22-2007, 11:28 AM
I also think it may have something to do with the Kindle being on the cover of Newsweek, on Good Morning America, NPR, CBS News, etc. I never saw this sort of advertising blitz for the Sony Reader and it sold out quick too. So I'm not really surprised that the Kindle sold out so fast.

To be honest, I am surprised that I got one already. I am usually the one that misses out on these sort of things...

RWood
11-22-2007, 12:05 PM
Most likely they have a staged delivery system from China of so many units per shipment/week. They had a backlog/buildup prior to launch. They delay they first posted was less than a week until more were available.

It just sold well.

Alisa
11-22-2007, 01:33 PM
Most likely they have a staged delivery system from China of so many units per shipment/week. They had a backlog/buildup prior to launch. They delay they first posted was less than a week until more were available.

It just sold well.

That's my thought. Hence they can replenish quickly. It doesn't help that they've adopted a pretty laborious packout concept, too. Each one has to be individually loaded with personalizing information. I don't know what their warehouse automation looks like but that sounds like rather a new routine.

nekokami
11-22-2007, 01:36 PM
Wouldn't you think they'd handle that by scanning a barcode with the serial number and matching to the customer's order at the time of shipping, so the information would be picked up by the Whispernet when the unit is turned on?

Alisa
11-22-2007, 01:44 PM
Yes which is more than they have to do with other items they pack and ship. If I order a book, they grab that book and throw it in a box. They don't have to grab a specific copy of it.

Nate the great
11-22-2007, 01:46 PM
That's my thought. Hence they can replenish quickly. It doesn't help that they've adopted a pretty laborious packout concept, too. Each one has to be individually loaded with personalizing information. I don't know what their warehouse automation looks like but that sounds like rather a new routine.

From what I got with mine, I don't think you are correct.

The fancy white box came in a protective cardboard sleeve. On the bottom of the box was the SN of my device. he most likely way they did it was scan the shipping slip, scan the box, and place both in shipping box. I doubt that the info was loaded directly. It was probably sent over the Whispernet.

Alisa
11-22-2007, 01:48 PM
From what I got with mine, I don't think you are correct.

The fancy white box came in a protective cardboard sleeve. On the bottom of the box was the SN of my device. he most likely way they did it was scan the shipping slip, scan the box, and place both in shipping box. I doubt that the info was loaded directly. It was probably sent over the Whispernet.

But it arrived powered off. At the very least that means someone had to switch it off and box it.

Nate the great
11-22-2007, 01:50 PM
But it arrived powered off. At the very least that means someone had to switch it off and box it.

Not necessarily. That was likely done at the factory.

Alisa
11-22-2007, 01:59 PM
Not necessarily. That was likely done at the factory.

Ah, duh. Makes sense why the first boot is so long. Loads personalization then. So all they really need to do is correlate the serial number to your order. So one extra step. Still a slow down in the packing process, though. That's why I think in the first day we saw the time creeping up a week. I think the batch coming Dec. 3 is probably a second shipment from the factory.

davec67
11-22-2007, 03:30 PM
My bet is that amazon deliberately had little volume available precisely so that they could issue a press release saying that demand had sold them out in a few hours. This is a well known (and worn) marketing ploy where making something scarce makes more people want it.

The real measure of how popular this is if in 6 months time it is still hard to get ( like the wii) or if it is easily available and at 1/2 the price which is my bet.

pilotbob
11-22-2007, 04:43 PM
And yeah, it's probably hard for PVI in Taiwan to keep up with the E-Ink screen production no matter how much money Amazon is paying them upfront. The factories making those E-Ink screens probably simply aren't big enough to produce E-Ink screens in quantities of millions, probably that current factories have a capacity limit of some hundred thousands a year.

Is this PVI a public company? Perhaps time to buy some of it's stock!

BOb

TadW
11-22-2007, 07:33 PM
Is this PVI a public company? Perhaps time to buy some of it's stock!

BOb

Yeah, they are traded on the Taiwan stock exchange. See:

http://finance.google.com/finance?q=TPO%3A8069
http://finance.yahoo.com/q?s=8069.TWO
http://finance.yahoo.com/q/bc?s=8069.TWO&t=1y

Their stock price is up some several hundred percent y-o-y.

JSWolf
11-22-2007, 07:53 PM
I think the reason the Kindle is sold out is the fact that screens cannot be made fast enough. Remember, they have to make screens for the 505, Gen3, Kindle, V3, Nuut, and a few others. All the same 6" Vizplex screen.

nekokami
11-22-2007, 08:26 PM
Regarding the Amazon packing process, I'm pretty sure they scan the barcode of each item they pack already, so scanning the serial number doesn't add much, if anything to the packing process.

My guess is that they had a production problem that could have caused a delay in the launch, but they'd already pushed as far into the holiday shopping season as they dared, so they launched anyway, even knowing they'd run out quickly. With the amount of marketing they've put behind the Kindle, I can't imagine they lacked confidence that it would sell.

alphasun
11-23-2007, 01:51 PM
From what I got with mine, I don't think you are correct.

The fancy white box came in a protective cardboard sleeve. On the bottom of the box was the SN of my device.

I wonder can we guess the production run from the serial number?

NatCh
11-23-2007, 07:57 PM
I also think it may have something to do with the Kindle being on the cover of Newsweek, on Good Morning America, NPR, CBS News, etc.I still think the front page of Amazon was the biggest exposure for them. :grin:

AintLDS
11-23-2007, 08:42 PM
From what I got with mine, I don't think you are correct.

The fancy white box came in a protective cardboard sleeve. On the bottom of the box was the SN of my device. he most likely way they did it was scan the shipping slip, scan the box, and place both in shipping box. I doubt that the info was loaded directly. It was probably sent over the Whispernet.


When I turned my Kindle on for the first time, it would not connect to Whispernet and was not personalized. After restarting a few times, the unit finally connected and personalized itself.

Nate the great
11-23-2007, 08:44 PM
When I turned my Kindle on for the first time, it would not connect to Whispernet and was not personalized. After restarting a few times, the unit finally connected and personalized itself.

Yes, that was a problem inside Amazon's servers. It happened to me too.

AintLDS
11-23-2007, 08:59 PM
Yes, that was a problem inside Amazon's servers. It happened to me too.

Maybe, but I had no EVDO connection, no bars just the '?" for service. I live in a very rural area so for a minute I thought I was screwed, even though the maps show we have coverage. I went outside and reset twice and finally got a connection. I now routinely get full bars.

Servers went down? What happened there?

Nate the great
11-23-2007, 09:41 PM
Maybe, but I had no EVDO connection, no bars just the '?" for service. I live in a very rural area so for a minute I thought I was screwed, even though the maps show we have coverage. I went outside and reset twice and finally got a connection. I now routinely get full bars.

Servers went down? What happened there?

I don't know exactly what the problem was. I got a call later that day from customer service. They explained that there had been a problem, and they wanted to make sure that my Kindle was working properly. It worked just fine by that point.

CCDMan
11-24-2007, 11:56 AM
Come on Guys! It is pretty clear that the aliens are buying these up. Paper books are too bulky and heavy to take back to the home planet! There is only so much room in the 'ole saucer! <g>

dugbug
11-24-2007, 01:12 PM
My bet is that amazon deliberately had little volume available precisely so that they could issue a press release saying that demand had sold them out in a few hours. This is a well known (and worn) marketing ploy where making something scarce makes more people want it.

You don't dedicate your storefront to something you can't sell in late November.

The real measure of how popular this is if in 6 months time it is still hard to get ( like the wii) or if it is easily available and at 1/2 the price which is my bet.

So no accounting for buying seasons, eh?

-d

Roy White
11-24-2007, 02:22 PM
CCDMAN is on the right track here people.. Lets not get sidetracked from the conspiracy!!! Just the other day I saw two gerbils huddled in a highly secret conference discussing their nefarious plan to take over the world.

The aliens theory is silly though... Almost every alien ship has a tachyon beam that they use to create a wormhole, then use the matter transference atomizer to beam stuff halfway across the galaxy.

Doesn't ANYONE on this board watch Star Trek?

CCDMan
11-24-2007, 07:16 PM
Maybe the Gerbils are in Cahoots with the Aliens?

JSWolf
11-24-2007, 07:38 PM
Pinky: "Gee Brain, what do you want to do tonight?"
The Brain: "The same thing we do every night, Pinky—Try to take over the world.

NatCh
11-25-2007, 02:04 AM
Maybe the Gerbils are in Cahoots with the Aliens?Pshaw -- ignoramuses -- the gerbils are aliens. Everyone knows that -- they had to switch from being white mice after they were exposed by Douglas Adams, the Pinky/Brain exposť was waaaaay behind the times. :vulcan:

Now they'll have to switch to hamsters or something ....

markbot
11-25-2007, 10:57 AM
Now that the Kindle is on back order until Dec 17th, I think we can safely say there is no conspiracy surrounding the free 2 day shipping :)

But now I'm actually worried that they don't have enough production capacity on tap. This is a very serious bottleneck. But on the other hand, scarcity can build buzz. so, perhaps the conspiracy is still on!

Alisa
11-25-2007, 01:27 PM
I doubt this level of demand will be sustained, though. I think a good portion of their market jumped on this right away. Plus it's the Christmas shopping season. This level of production may be fine for meeting the demand over time.

brecklundin
11-26-2007, 04:11 PM
dunno if it fits here bit perhaps the price of the Kindle is so high to keep the number of buyers lower. Afterall Amazon likely has oodles of existing inventory they must dispose of as well as existing agreements with printers & publishers that must be satisfied before the Kindle can be a true success...?

Seems like a good conspiracy to me... ;)

azog
11-26-2007, 04:53 PM
I doubt they have "oodles of inventory". I suspect that they had massive buying. As someone pointed out, this thing was pretty well hyped with highly visible coverage. People who buy these things are not necessarily the same people who post in forums or post reviews. Average human behavior tends to keep us quiet unless there is a problem which we can be vocal about.

brecklundin
11-26-2007, 05:38 PM
azog:

I was referring to existing hc/pb books not Kindle device inventory...think it through and it seems reasonable they would/will begin shifting inventory stores based on Kindle popularity. A more popular selling Kindle means a more remainered books to dispose of & lose money on...Amazon is a smart company and has to have considered these things...

I am sure they can also make decisions on inventory based on the buying habits of the Kindle buyers themselves...this all would seem to be true no matter if the Kindle existed or not. Eventually some form of reader would begin to dominate and influence the numbers of printed books sold. So in a way Amazon has been pretty proactive...now they can control (to a degree) the market much more so and reduce their liability in terms of printed books they warehouse.

For example I imagine they will reduce their inventory of Best Sellers significantly over the coming year. But until they know the effects of the Kindle on sales of printed books supply of the Kindle will be controlled via a higher price for the device itself. I can imagine given the DRM Amazon could almost give the devices free to folks and make a profit...from the Kindle side...from the printed books side they would lose money if the printed inventory went unsold as a result.

markbot
11-29-2007, 11:01 PM
I've reading on the amazon forums that people are getting their Kindles several days before me...even though I ordered mine first!!! no fair.

I actually do think my "conspiracy" is legit now.

NatCh
11-30-2007, 12:42 AM
Obviously, they monitor MobileRead and have targeted you for reprisals for your rumor-mongering here, markbot. :mad:

Alisa
11-30-2007, 03:57 AM
I've reading on the amazon forums that people are getting their Kindles several days before me...even though I ordered mine first!!! no fair.

I actually do think my "conspiracy" is legit now.

I ordered on the 20th and was originally supposed to get mine on 12/4. I upgraded to overnight shipping (I'm a Prime member so it's cheap) and the date got bumped up to 11/29. I don't know if I'd do that again, though. At first they weren't giving me a ship date and when I called them they said sometimes changing ship options bumps you to the back of the queue. Glad it didn't happen with this or I would have been sorely peeved.

TadW
12-01-2007, 06:12 PM
Here is another theory:

Amazon throttled the Kindle supply to ensure that Whisphernet will not crash due to the high volume. Would that be theoratically possible?

RWood
12-01-2007, 06:22 PM
Here is another theory:

Amazon throttled the Kindle supply to ensure that Whisphernet will not crash due to the high volume. Would that be theoratically possible?
Yes. Sprint is still rolling it out and testing the network. While it worked fine in the lab environment, many fear that it will have problems in a large scale implementation. The Amazon book delivery system will be (from what I have read) the first large scale national test of the system.