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Old 06-09-2008, 08:59 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Kindle and Sony Reader sales way up, says Oxford UP VP

How many Kindles has Amazon sold? Is Sony's Portable Reader still on track? We don't have a clue. Meanwhile analysts and industry experts crawl out of the woodwork providing their own sales estimates. The latest word has Evan Schnittman, Vice President at Oxford University Press, who sees, based on company data published on Digitimes, "the success of Kindle and Reader dramatically expanding next year and growing by a factor of five."

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DIGITIMES, a daily news service covering the Taiwanese IT market, reported on April 18th, in a story entitled PVI EDP shipments to grow sharply in 2008, that PVI expects EPD module shipments to reach 120,000 units PER MONTH in the second half of 2008. It further explains that the unit price of the screens are $60-$70 per unit and that the current volume has been 60-80,000 units PER MONTH.

Also intriguing is the article’s claim that 60% of the EPD’s go to Amazon and 40% go to Sony. This is an important factor as it implies that there is a market beyond Kindle – a very, very strong market. Taking the figures at face value, Sony was selling (or at least manufacturing) an average of 28,000 readers per month (I took 70,000 units as the average sold per month and then 40% of that). Using this monthly rate, the annual sales of the Sony Reader are at nearly 350,000 units. Using the same formula, Amazon is ordering an average of 42,000 units per month, which will add up to over 500,000 units sold this year.[...]

With this in mind, I can easily imagine the success of Kindle and Reader dramatically expanding next year and growing by a factor of five. If that happens, then the formula above leads to a completely new ebook economy. Five million devices would mean ebook sales of $1,200,000,000, which, by my estimation, is 1.3% of the current global book market of $90,000,000,000.
Related: PVI to double E Ink panel capacity, 120K E-Ink displays per month in 2H08

[via TeleRead]
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:13 AM   #2
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If Amazon and Sony are receiving 60% and 40% of the screens from PVI where are all the other companies getting their screens?
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:17 AM   #3
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Definitely also PVI. Heck, they even market their own devices under the Netronix brand.
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:32 AM   #4
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Kind of have to think of the old thumb rule that 90% of statistics are made up on the spot .

Seriously, this appears to ignore Netronix, Hanlin, etc who are also making the devices. not to mention the upcoming Astek device which is supposed to launch in july. It does take some time for the devices to roll out
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:37 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by TallMomof2 View Post
If Amazon and Sony are receiving 60% and 40% of the screens from PVI where are all the other companies getting their screens?
Do you mean there are other companies besides Amazon and Sony who make Eink devices? I don't believe you.

But seriously, we've heard that production quote before. If we know those numbers are wrong, then why couldn't this journalist figure it out? Hasn't he ever heard of research?
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:43 AM   #6
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Okay, but if the total screen sales is roughly accurate, it hardly matters to me whether it's Sony, Amazon, or someone else who is selling them. I'm interested in them being sold to consumers by anybody who will make ebooks take off and a million readers or so for 2008 is a better number than a few tens of thousands in my book (which is an ebook, of course).
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Old 06-09-2008, 09:51 AM   #7
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If the price of e-paper display are accurate, then why are the ebook reader device so damn expensive?

I hope someone will offer a cheaper device.
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Old 06-09-2008, 10:01 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Okay, but if the total screen sales is roughly accurate, it hardly matters to me whether it's Sony, Amazon, or someone else who is selling them. I'm interested in them being sold to consumers by anybody who will make ebooks take off and a million readers or so for 2008 is a better number than a few tens of thousands in my book (which is an ebook, of course).
But if the 60/40 split is wrong, how do you know the production number is correct?
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:32 AM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
But if the 60/40 split is wrong, how do you know the production number is correct?
I'm not sure it matters. Even accepting the statistics of 60-80,000 screens per month, you are talking 720,000 to 960,000 units in 2008, which is still a significant amount. And even if we assume that the real number is 720,000 units and that Sony and Amazon combined account for just 50% of that volume, which is probably low but not unreasonable, that's still a lot of e-book readers being sold in the U.S., considering this is breakthrough technology at this point (at least in the consumer world).
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Old 06-09-2008, 11:55 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
But if the 60/40 split is wrong, how do you know the production number is correct?
They could be just rounding up. If screens going to other places like Bookeen, Hanlin, etc, account for less than 2% the math would still be close enough.

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Old 06-09-2008, 12:36 PM   #11
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Hanlin has the China, Russia and Europe markets mostly to itself. Sony only sells in the US and Canada. Which do you think is bigger?
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:43 PM   #12
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Hanlin don't advertise in Europe - or at least, if they do, I've never seen them!

The EU is a somewhat larger market than North America, but I suspect that the Far Eastern market is considerably smaller, in terms of "disposible income" for spending on consumer electronics.
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Old 06-09-2008, 12:58 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
But if the 60/40 split is wrong, how do you know the production number is correct?
Any article of this kind is filtered from the original source (who may know a lot about PVI production, but does not want to say much) via the reporter and editor. In this case, the production figures seem solid but the 60/40 split may mean the ratio of Kindle to Sony screen-sales is 60:40 (saying nothing about what fraction of the total this represents) or it may mean that all other sales are small (5% to 15% say). This statement was probably true in some sense for the source, but we don't know what he or she meant by it.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:37 PM   #14
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Taking the figures at face value, Sony was selling (or at least manufacturing) an average of 28,000 readers per month (I took 70,000 units as the average sold per month and then 40% of that). Using this monthly rate, the annual sales of the Sony Reader are at nearly 350,000 units. Using the same formula, Amazon is ordering an average of 42,000 units per month, which will add up to over 500,000 units sold this year.[...]

Makes sense to me if I follow the writers' logic.

What's more interesting is finally getting closer to some real hard numbers on the number of e-reading devices sold.
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Old 06-09-2008, 01:39 PM   #15
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Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Hanlin don't advertise in Europe - or at least, if they do, I've never seen them!

The EU is a somewhat larger market than North America, but I suspect that the Far Eastern market is considerably smaller, in terms of "disposible income" for spending on consumer electronics.
I know that the V3 is sold in Europe. One retailer is Apollo something. And then there is the Bebook and Walkbook, which are both rebranded V3s. Just off the top of my head: I know there are V3 resellers in Spain, Turkey, and Ukraine.
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