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Old 05-04-2012, 10:35 AM   #1
abookreader
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Kindle Sales (Hardware) Appear to Be Way Down

The quarterly let's try to guess how many units are being sold seems like Fire and Kindle sales have dropped dramatically.

Huge argument against "Amazon is a big scary monopoly." Huge argument for -Amazon is not winning against the iPAD/Apple.

http://tech.fortune.cnn.com/2012/05/.../?iid=HP_River
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:41 AM   #2
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IMO, huge argument for market saturation more than anything.
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Old 05-04-2012, 10:47 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post
IMO, huge argument for market saturation more than anything.
Agreed. With ~80% of the population reading 5 books a year or less, dedicated eReaders don't have the potential market breadth of other electronics.


It seems to me that Amazon is in the business of selling ebooks, the eReaders are a means to that end, so the ultimate measure will be how many ebooks Amazon is selling. Since they can sell ebooks to iPad users with their Kindle for iPad app, strong iPad sales aren't as big a problem as the article suggests.

Last edited by Synamon; 05-04-2012 at 10:49 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:04 AM   #4
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E-book sales are more important now then the hardware and the Kindle numbers will rise again when Amazon releases the next generation of Kindle. I know the Touch is new but Amazon does seem to release a new Kindle every year to 18 months. With the glow light technology and a good number of folks asking for the return of buttons to the KT, I would not be surprised if there is a new Kindle announced by the end of the summer.
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Old 05-04-2012, 11:44 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post
IMO, huge argument for market saturation more than anything.
Yup!
And for "Kindle sales show seasonality".
By now it is known that reader and tablet sales spike during the holiday season. So a 50% or more drop in march from december is pretty much as expected.
(Gaming consoles are the same; huge spike in Q4, big drought in Q1.)

The market saturation aspect is also supported by the recent eInk financials and the Nook STR underperformance last XMAS.

In North America, at least, dedicated reader penetration has already reached pretty much everybody who can justify one at present. A good portion of sales (at least til next holiday season) will come from the reader replacement market and incremental improvements to the current readers' feature set (already being address by the Nook Glowlight, for one). And from mulltipurpose devices, which will better appeal to the casual readers.

The plateau'ing of NorthAm hardware sales also explains the increased focus on international expansion.

This is just verification of what we've known since January.

Last edited by fjtorres; 05-04-2012 at 11:47 AM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:03 PM   #6
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Originally Posted by howyoudoin View Post
IMO, huge argument for market saturation more than anything.
This was the first thing that popped into my head when I read the article.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:14 PM   #7
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I did notice that on the latest Kindle Fire TV commercial, they showed a lot of people doing different things on their Kindle Fire (watching a movie, playing a game, etc) and not one of them was reading a book.

It doesn't portend well for the future of e-ink readers. Will we ever see a $50 reader? Will e-ink readers go back to being specialty items, in the $200 and $300 price range, rather than mass-market items?

eP

Last edited by elemenoP; 05-04-2012 at 12:16 PM.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:16 PM   #8
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I don't think Amazon intends on marketing the Fire as an e-reader, that is what the Kindle is for. The Fire is a mini-tablet that is reasonably priced.

I think the way the e-reader aspect of the Fire works shows this. As I understand it there are no collections, the book carosel (sp) is awful, and it is hard to limit what books end up on the device. This tells me that Amazon never intended the Fire to replace the Kindle but to be more of a low priced, IPad substitute.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:18 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by elemenoP View Post
It doesn't portend well for the future of e-ink readers. Will we ever see a $50 reader? Will e-ink readers go back to being specialty items, in the $200 and $300 price range, rather than mass-market items?

eP
Reading (novels) is a speciality interest. It wouldn't actually bother me to have to pay $200 for a really good dedicated reader. I paid over $600 for my first eInk reader (a Sony PRS-500).
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #10
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Reading (novels) is a speciality interest. It wouldn't actually bother me to have to pay $200 for a really good dedicated reader. I paid over $600 for my first eInk reader (a Sony PRS-500).
I agree entirely. I paid well over $200 for my early (in the UK) Touch and cover. It's one of my most treasured gadgets, and I've had a new iPad every launch day so far.

An eInk reader is a specialist device for prolific readers. Sadly, they are in decline.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:48 PM   #11
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Harry, we are the strange ones who think that an e-reader is worth that. Most people held off buying them until they were in the $200 or less range. Given that there are now LCD Tablets that do more than just read novels, I seriously doubt that people will be all that willing to pay more than $150 for an e-reader. I would even guess that the 3G enabled No Special Offers Kindle Touch is the model that sells the least for Amazon.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:50 PM   #12
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I don't think it's all saturation. To be honest, since I got my EVO3D phone with a 4.25" qHD display, it's fairly rare I use my Nook anymore.

The phone is easier to hold, always with me, has great resolution and contrast, and is big enough (barely) to comfortably read on for fair amounts of time. This kind of device simply wasn't available a few year ago. Is it as good as the eink Nook for reading? In some cases, like reading at night, yes, but generally no. But it is good enough.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:55 PM   #13
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Probably also contributing is people waiting for release of the next gen devices either 1) to decide, or 2) to take advantage of last gen selloffs. Too many rumors for people to ignore.
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Old 05-04-2012, 12:56 PM   #14
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How does this relate to the number of ebooks sold? How about the number of ebooks downloaded. I have not bought any electronic books in quite a while, I am getting them all for $0 for now, will have to pay up eventually.
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Old 05-04-2012, 01:06 PM   #15
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I wouldn't have purchased an eink reader for over $100 - my first K2 was given to me, and Amazon only charged me $60 when the K2 died to upgrade to a k3. I wonder whether all the publicity about high ebook prices and the DoJ lawsuit might be making people more cautious about going into the ebook market. Certainly if I wasn't already a convert, I'd be cautious until the format and DRM and pricing issues all died down a bit.
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