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Old 08-21-2008, 06:04 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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PVI asked to keep quiet about E Ink shipment figures

How many E Ink display panels did Prime View International ship this year? How many of them went to Amazon (Kindle) and Sony (Reader)? In the words of a wise man: Seal up your lips and give no words but mum. Which is pretty much what PVI has been told:

Quote:
With a 90% share of the EPD market, PVI nevertheless has been asked by its major clients, such as Sony and Amazon, not to reveal its EPD shipment figures, industry sources claimed.

Sony's e-Reader and Amazon's Kindle account for more than half of EPD shipments, the sources said.
Source: Digitimes

Does anyone care to speculate why our friends from Amazon and Sony would be so desperate to keep hints of actual sales figures hidden? It makes you wonder... anyways, according to the same report, PVI is going to single out revenues from their e-paper business starting next year. Then we'll know more.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:09 PM   #2
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What? PVI sold 50 billion e-ink screens, and Amazon and Sony have millions of e-book readers stockpiled, and the delays and backorders are just to drive up consumer demand? Conspiracy Theorists, Away!
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:13 PM   #3
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I heard they sold 50 e-ink screens. And I have one of them so there are only 49 unaccounted for. I think they'll be out of business soon.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:26 PM   #4
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They don't want you to know because ignorance is bliss.
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:33 PM   #5
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Sounds like a courtesy to Amazon who, in particular, is making noises about massive Kindle sales. If the actual numbers were released it might negatively impact their stock price. I can't imagine Sony caring since their e-reader marketing is M.I.A..
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Old 08-21-2008, 06:48 PM   #6
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It would not be in the interests of either company to disclose those numbers. Why let the competition know your numbers? This way everyone is left guessing what the other guy is up to.

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Old 08-21-2008, 07:12 PM   #7
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You would think that whoever is really winning the electronic reader battle would be wanting to release that data as quickly as possible. Maybe they are more evenly matched than we think.
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:49 PM   #8
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[Voice of Doom] Or maybe the whole ereader and ebook business is a tremendous flop!!! [/Voice of Doom]
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Old 08-21-2008, 07:54 PM   #9
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Quote:
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[Voice of Doom] Or maybe the whole ereader and ebook business is a tremendous flop!!! [/Voice of Doom]
paaa hahaha !!!! "voice of doom" ftw !
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Old 08-21-2008, 08:23 PM   #10
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The absence of sales data on all fronts makes one initially think that the ebook readers are flopping, but the activity at this forum alone seems to indicate at least a healthy niche market.

Anyway, sealed lips all around might indicate that competitors simply don't want their numbers leaked, as Solitarywolf suggested. This is typcially an industry knee jerk response to most situations.

As for Amazon, it is probably keeping numbers secret as a marketing ploy so everyone is left guessing (and gossiping) about how the Kindle is actually selling. If the numbers are low, then Amazon would be embarrassed and it would make the product look unappealing. Now, if the numbers are high, then Amazon might have to worry about big stinks coming from other large corporate players like the bookstore chains and major publishers and book distributors because ebook reading could be about to undermine their markets.

I'm thinking that the secrecy is mostly about marketing buzz and avoiding the inevitable gloom and doom ebook naysayer crowd that would criticize any amount of sales as insufficient to topple the sacred p-book. (Side note: I think that books and ebooks will coexist happily in appropriate markets for a long time.)

To be realistic, Amazon needs to give its Kindle a couple years of solid marketing at least before they can call it a success or failure. As for Sony, I don't know what they do or what they want. I do like my Sony reader though.
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Old 08-22-2008, 12:10 AM   #11
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I think there's two reasons that they could be keeping it secret. First is the boring, "It's flopping, don't let anyone know" answer. Possible, but not too likely, based on what numbers we have seen

The second answer is a bit more Tinfoil hatish. I think they're doing extremly WELL with the E-readers, but they don't want anyone to know. Why? Lets say they realeased market data that showed that they've sold over a million readers and the market is growing very quickly. What would happen? Well, every other company and their brother would want to get in on the act, flooding the market with other readers, some better, most far worse. And they don't have the market share to withstand that kind of flood, so they have to play it cool. *Tinfoil hat off*

Anywho, just my idea! :-D We'll see what happens with the kindle 2.0
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Old 08-22-2008, 05:55 AM   #12
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If they didn't want everyone to know, I don't think they would mention the 6% figure.
Anyway, here's another piece of anecdotical evidence on the number of Kindles.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Speaker to Lab Animals
I have no inside knowledge, but a guy who saw me using mine at the AArrivals Lounge in Heathrow commented on it. his company makes the "official" cover for it and he said tens of thousands.

(and also told me to watch out for Kindle version 2 which may be out or at least announced this winter).
(emphasis mine)

Edit: oh, and some guy who's running a chain of stores selling hi-end notebooks (Sony VAIO etc) in Ukraine is claiming that they sell 500 Readers in month.

Last edited by igorsk; 08-22-2008 at 06:06 AM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 08:47 AM   #13
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Edit.

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Old 08-22-2008, 09:22 AM   #14
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People have a bad habit of mixing apples with oranges when it comes to numbers. What amount is a success, what is failure? At $300 you can't put a reader up there with a computer or a phone or even an expensive itouch. Is a million in a year too much (80k monthly) or too little. I don't think that e-readers are as common as some of you think but they are growing. Not at the rate of people who download music as opposed to those who buy CDs or people who even own PS3, XBox systems ir Wii. One day, everyone who owns a desk-top computer will also have a reader.... but not today.

It wasn't long ago that people didn't see the need for a mp3 player/ipod now everyone has at least one, somewhere. I have 3. Remember when there was only one TV in a home, one car in the driveway, no or one computer in the house. If readers could get themselves into the school system, then overnight you will see them everywhere. They have to get to the kids. They will need Dr. Seuss and color.

Last edited by pagansoul; 08-22-2008 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 08-22-2008, 11:23 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Penforhire View Post
I can't imagine Sony caring since their e-reader marketing is M.I.A.
In today's New York Times there was a large ad for the Kindle announcing that the New York Times was available for easy download to the Kindle. Nice ad. Now where was that Sony Reader ad?
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