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Old 05-13-2009, 01:21 AM   #196
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Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
So... are those actual sales figures, or guestimates made by people who haven't got the hard numbers?
I think that the most interesting figure is that for books which are available both in paper & ebook versions, ebooks are getting 35% of the sales.
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Old 05-13-2009, 01:36 AM   #197
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Originally Posted by zerospinboson View Post
CNet article:
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The Kindle DX runs you $489 as an upfront investment, and the average student spends $488 on new and used course materials a year. In a nutshell, Amazon is asking the average student to fork over more money for the Kindle and then buy the textbooks too.
I was spending that much per semester 30 years ago. I wonder where they are getting their numbers. In fact when I could keep it to about $400 in any given semester I was THRILLED. I remember my last undergrad year I spent around $1800 on books.
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Old 05-13-2009, 06:42 AM   #198
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There's a lot of rumbling about Apple getting ready to issue a media player that will be something on the order of a kingsized iPod Touch - an iPad.

If Apple issues an iPad at about the dimensions of the KDX screen, it seems to me that the KDX will die a quick death at any price short of free.

Even now, I can't see any reason that a student would buy it, unless it's subsidized by the university. And there's the answer, I think - this thing's going to be free for students. I don't think that Amazon really thinks that very many ordinary readers are going to buy one.

I think that the ordinary reader is going to get a K2, and the nominal price of the KDX might have been set to make the ordinary reader regard the K2 price as relatively reasonable.
I don't get it. What's with the price worries? It's still a boatload cheaper than the DR1000. Sure, it's only got like 1/3 of the features, but for people who read a lot the larger size might still work for them. Most phones cost something like 500$ unsubsidized anyway, so it's hardly as if the figure is really that large.
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Old 05-13-2009, 02:08 PM   #199
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I think he's just saying that people (especially college students) aren't going to pay close to $500 for something that is ONLY a reader if Apple comes out with some tablet device that can display their text books, but also be a full featured web browser, play movies, have iPhone like apps etc. etc.

And I'd agree. In the mainstream I don't think dedicated readers will ever catch on. They'll stick around and sell to avid readers, but they just dont' appeal to the average joe who maybe reads a handful of books a year.

So I think tablets will be the next big thing in the mainstream tech gadget market. People will have them like they have laptops today, and use them internet, videos, facebook and all kinds of stuff and maybe also buy the occasional book on them. Students will have them for their textbooks and all the other stuff.
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Old 05-14-2009, 04:43 PM   #200
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Originally Posted by Harmon View Post
I think that the most interesting figure is that for books which are available both in paper & ebook versions, ebooks are getting 35% of the sales.
I hate to sound like a rules-mechanic, but given how closely Amazon is playing its cards to its chest, I have to ask:

First, is that figure for sales units or dollars?

More importantly, for those books that have a Kindle version, is that 35% of sales in electronic form related to sales of just among Kindle owners (no doubt even people with Kindles still buy in paper) or all sales of the title, across all buyers, regardless of Kindle ownership?

I suspect your answer to that last will be 'I don't know'... which would be exactly the problem I have with all the Kindle hype.

If the Kindle sold even a quarter as well as some people have speculated, then Amazon would be rightly acknowledged as the eBook king and they'd be crowing their sales figures from every rooftop.

I strongly suspect that Amazon is cherry-picking its comments playing fast & loose with its statistics.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:25 PM   #201
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Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
First, is that figure for sales units or dollars?
Don't know. Units was sort-of the implication -- if a book had a Kindle version, 35% of all purchases were the Kindle version -- but it might have been dollars too. But if it were dollar amount, that would be even more impressive, since the Kindle versions are cheaper.


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Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
More importantly, for those books that have a Kindle version, is that 35% of sales in electronic form related to sales of just among Kindle owners (no doubt even people with Kindles still buy in paper) or all sales of the title, across all buyers, regardless of Kindle ownership?
Across all buyers.

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If the Kindle sold even a quarter as well as some people have speculated, then Amazon would be rightly acknowledged as the eBook king and they'd be crowing their sales figures from every rooftop.
Ask any average person on the street if they've heard of Kindle. If they say yes, ask them to name any other ebook reader. Chances are Kindle is the only one they're familiar with.

I suspect you'll hear Amazon crowing their sales figures once they reach 1 million Kindles. So far they've only sold 700K - 900K.
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Old 05-14-2009, 05:58 PM   #202
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Originally Posted by Dahak View Post
More importantly, for those books that have a Kindle version, is that 35% of sales in electronic form related to sales of just among Kindle owners (no doubt even people with Kindles still buy in paper) or all sales of the title, across all buyers, regardless of Kindle ownership?
The "same store" figures are a staple of the retail industry and "same book" is used for similar reasons - to try to remove the effect of many books not being available as ebooks. I'm sure that Amazon is using unit sales because that is the most favourable to the Kindle, but I don't think this can be "Kindle owners only" because otherwise the percentage would almost have to be much larger. It is also likely to be accurate, because otherwise major publishers would be able to call them on it. No publisher has complete information, but if Amazon says 35% of same title sales are ebooks and a major publisher sees 10% (say) then they would want to know why.
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:23 PM   #203
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Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Across all buyers.
You state that quite difinitively. What's the source on that?

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Originally Posted by sirbruce View Post
Ask any average person on the street if they've heard of Kindle. If they say yes, ask them to name any other ebook reader. Chances are Kindle is the only one they're familiar with.

I suspect you'll hear Amazon crowing their sales figures once they reach 1 million Kindles.
I've had my own dinosaur Rocket eBook called a Kindle. I'm familiar with that phenomenon.

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So far they've only sold 700K - 900K.
What's the source for that number?
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Old 05-15-2009, 03:40 PM   #204
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You state that quite difinitively. What's the source on that?
Jeff Beezos' original statement, reiterated by other Amazon employees.

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What's the source for that number?
Industry and financial analysts who determined this by looking at Amazon's financials.
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Old 05-15-2009, 05:58 PM   #205
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Thanks for the quick response.

I hadn't realized that yours was the first reply after my first foray into the thread.

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Jeff Beezos' original statement, reiterated by other Amazon employees.
Do you have a link for some of that? I'd really like to see how that's phrased.

Like my common rebuttal to all the glowiness surrounding Amazon's non-statements about the popularity of the Kindle, if they were really finding that 35% of all sales for books that appear in both print and are not free-in-Kindle-and-counted-as-units-moved, then they'd be very likely crowing even more loudly than they do now.

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Industry and financial analysts who determined this by looking at Amazon's financials.
In other words, more of the guestimating you mentioned in your original reply.

I'm sorry, but I'm having a really tough time swallowing those figures.

Recently I read an analysis (sorry, I forget where) based on how many panels the display manufacturer could turn out in a month (I think it was production capacity, not even units shipped) and glowingly extrapolated into the number of Kindle sales, despite the fact that everyone else with a 6-inch unit uses pretty much the same panel.

That's a leap of logic I'm not prepared to rely upon.

Honestly... how many other readers have been sold during the last few years? I feel certain that the WAGs being palmed off as 'sales figures' for Amazon would outpace everyone else's sales combined.

Color me completely unconvinced.

Even when Amazon does get around to releasing actual figures, the well has been so poisoned that I'm unlikely to believe it even then.
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Old 05-15-2009, 06:08 PM   #206
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Whatever the numbers it's pretty clear Amazon is going to win the dedicated eReader battle. They've already won what really counts--brand names. When you have average people calling other readers Kindles (like people ask for a Kleenex rather than a tissue many times) you've already won the largest part of the battle.

The only thing I see surpassing it would be if some multi-function table devices that do a lot of stuff other than read books explode in the mainstream. i.e. maybe the rumored Apple tablet device. But that would likely still use the Kindle store since they already have it on the iPhone/iPod Touch.

So I'd be shocked if the Kindle didn't remain the most popular dedicated reader, and that the Kindle store didn't rule the eBook sales market like iTunes does MP3s. There will be other readers and stores around, just like there are other MP3 players and other stores which sell digital music. But Amazon is certainly poised to be the market leader.
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Old 05-15-2009, 08:44 PM   #207
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Do you have a link for some of that? I'd really like to see how that's phrased.
http://www.engadget.com/2009/05/06/l...-event-in-nyc/

"We've added 45,000 books in the last three months. Kindle sales are now 35% of books where we have Kindle editions -- that's coincident with the launch of Kindle 2."

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Like my common rebuttal to all the glowiness surrounding Amazon's non-statements about the popularity of the Kindle, if they were really finding that 35% of all sales for books that appear in both print and are not free-in-Kindle-and-counted-as-units-moved, then they'd be very likely crowing even more loudly than they do now.
I won't say they weren't counting free Kindle versions of books; that's something I would do. But the rest of the statement I'm confident is as I've clarified before. Since you're a doubting Thomas, it doesn't matter the exact phrasing; you're not going to believe it unless you corner Jeff personally, pin him down, and even then might believe he's lying.

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In other words, more of the guestimating you mentioned in your original reply.

I'm sorry, but I'm having a really tough time swallowing those figures.
That's fine, but only if you don't trust figures for any other electronic device like cell phones, computers, PDAs, etc. that are regularly bandied about. Can these industry estimates be wrong? Sure. Are they likely to be wrong by more than 50%? No.

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Honestly... how many other readers have been sold during the last few years? I feel certain that the WAGs being palmed off as 'sales figures' for Amazon would outpace everyone else's sales combined.
Sony has sold about 400,000, and there's no data that shows any other ereader has sold any large number of units in the US during this time. Amazon does indeed outpace everyone else's sales. It was on Oprah, you know.

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Even when Amazon does get around to releasing actual figures, the well has been so poisoned that I'm unlikely to believe it even then.
As I suspected when I began writing this response.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:21 AM   #208
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So I think tablets will be the next big thing in the mainstream tech gadget market. People will have them like they have laptops today, and use them internet, videos, facebook and all kinds of stuff and maybe also buy the occasional book on them. Students will have them for their textbooks and all the other stuff.
I think the crucial question will be battery life. I have days where I need to have a recharge my iPhone at some point before I get home at night. And I'm nowhere near the user that the young folk are.
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Old 05-16-2009, 12:39 AM   #209
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I hate to sound like a rules-mechanic, but given how closely Amazon is playing its cards to its chest, I have to ask:

First, is that figure for sales units or dollars?
It seems to me that logically, it has to be units, since ebooks are priced lower than pbooks, so the percentage for units will always be higher than the percentage for dollars, and Amazon - or any seller - would always use the higher percentage.

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More importantly, for those books that have a Kindle version, is that 35% of sales in electronic form related to sales of just among Kindle owners (no doubt even people with Kindles still buy in paper) or all sales of the title, across all buyers, regardless of Kindle ownership?
My guess is that it's a measurement of sales among Kindle owners. The reason I think this is the same as above: Amazon will always use the higher percentage, and measuring sales limited to Kindle owners will always give a higher percentage than measuring across all buyers.

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I suspect your answer to that last will be 'I don't know'... which would be exactly the problem I have with all the Kindle hype.
I think I have given you the correct answers to your very perceptive questions, and await your observations about what those answers might mean!

EDIT: I posted my answers without reading on down the thread, but nothing I read changes my answers. It is to Amazon's advantage to puff on these matters, so the way to read their statements is to assume that they are puffed.

Last edited by Harmon; 05-16-2009 at 12:53 AM.
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Old 05-16-2009, 03:32 AM   #210
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I think the crucial question will be battery life. I have days where I need to have a recharge my iPhone at some point before I get home at night. And I'm nowhere near the user that the young folk are.
Definitely. But battery tech improves every year, so it will get there.
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