Originally Posted by Solicitous
Exactly how credible is an article like this? Outside a few key people at Amazon no-one knows how many Kindles have been sold, how many have been produced, nor anticipated sales in the coming months.
By what negative impact this has, I do not know, but un-released figures being made up by people in an online article IMHO are meaningless.
I don't know how accurate the figures are for a certainty either, and I'm certainly not saying it's the death knell of the Kindle eco-system even if it is true (consider the people using the Kindle app on non-Kindle devices, for example).
My thoughts on this as someone who has watched the business behind the game console industry for a lot of years: these sort of "channel checks" are usually extremely accurate. What gives them credibility is that they're checking Amazon's orders for key components, components that they can't build a Kindle without, something that it's hard for Amazon to hide as people talk (and some of them are publicly traded companies that must, or simply want to, publish this info). The trick is in figuring out *why* they're accurate. Is it because they're "starving the distribution channel" in advance of a new model? Is it because demand is slowing? Is it because their business is suffering more seasonality than before? Have they overbought in previous quarters and inventory is building up to a level that Amazon's uncomfortable with?
The curious thing in all this is that the Kindle Touch has been released in only a handful of countries, and the Kindle Fire in only a single country. Surely if demand was softening in the U.S. it would be an opportunity to build up inventory for international launches for the Fire, and an opportunity to get the Kindle Touch into more than just the few markets it's in now, right?
So my guess is that one or more new models is coming. Any new models would apparently replace, rather than complement, the existing models as Amazon doesn't see value in bulking up on existing models. If this theory is correct, these new models would not necessarily even seem like a new model to the average consumer, they might simply be Touchs and Fires with redesigned internals that can be constructed less expensively than the current Touch and Fire; there may not be more power or new features along for the ride. Though there certainly could be more power and/or new features along for the ride, which is actually the more likely scenario.
If Amazon has the ability to build up inventory for international launches and chooses not to do so, then they're really taking international markets for granted (to their detriment, if you ask me) these days.