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Old 07-30-2010, 09:54 AM   #1
L.J. Sellers
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Amazon: Paying a Price for Going Cheap

This WSJ article implies that investors will be unhappy with Amazon for taking a loss on the new $139 Kindle. I guess they want to see a better bottom line right now instead of Amazon's long-term goal of building book sales.

http://online.wsj.com/article_email/...TEyNDkyWj.html
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:10 AM   #2
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That article is sooo clueless it's not funny.
- Amazon has *always* been scolded by the "investors" for its long-term thinking. Yet their stock price and liquidity never suffers. And the strategy has always paid off. Actual stockholders, rather than the faceless mythical "investors" of the press, understand what kind of company Amazon is and they have never even dreamed of a stockolder revolt.

- iPad readers will "inevitably" gravitate to iBooks even if they "currently" read on Kindle? Really? (Somebody explain lock-in to the dude, please; I don't have the time.)

- Apple and the Price-Fix Five Forced Amazon to raise prices? Yeah, but *only* on the books from the PriceFix Five, not on everybody else's. And those books are a minority.

Amazon has a strategy and they're executing; no reasonable stockholder will have an issue there. If they didn't like low margin retailers they wouldn't be an Amazon stockholder because what Amazon is now is what its always been. They have always marched to the beat of their own drummer. It's gotten them this far and so far they are succeeding in their goals.
The faceless "investors" clearly don't understand the implication of what Bezos is doing and if he is right, that ebooks sales will surpass paperback sales within a year or so those same "investors" are going to be kicking themselves for passing up the chance to jump on the bandwagon. The stockholders, though, I suspect will be quite pleased. (Too bad I'm not one.)
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:10 AM   #3
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I wont certainly go with them (I don't need the cheapest, plastic reader, I need the quality). Yes, they are going cheap but we'll see the results. They are opposite of Sony, which always tries to give the best possible quality to customers (but sometimes fail, like in Beta, and sometimes win, like in Blu-Ray).
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Old 07-30-2010, 10:35 AM   #4
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Uh, is that kool-aid grape or cherry?

Sony readers are pretty good. But so are Kindles, Nooks, Pocketbooks, and others. Most of them offer useful features that Sony doesn't. And they do it for significantly less.
If the Sony brand floats you boat then, great; enjoy your reader.

But don't try to make out that they are anything special; they are not. They don't offer anything you can't get with other readers at better prices, and often done better. Today there is nothing "premium" about Sony readers. They are middle of the pack at best, which is what you'd expect from a year-old design with two-year-old screen tech. They are no longer leaders or even close followers, and if they don't come up with something new, they'll merely be also rans.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:33 PM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
- iPad readers will "inevitably" gravitate to iBooks even if they "currently" read on Kindle? Really? (Somebody explain lock-in to the dude, please; I don't have the time.)
a) You put inevitably in quotes, but it does not appear in the article, which (to put it generously) is misleading. What the article says is:
Quote:
Amazon has sensibly ensured Kindle books can be bought and read on the iPad, too. But there is a danger that iPad users, even those buying Kindle books, will at some point gravitate to Apple's iBooks store.
b) What lock in?
He is talking about iPad users reading books in the Kindle app.
There is no lock-in as to where they buy the next book from.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:36 PM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by L.J. Sellers View Post
This WSJ article implies that investors will be unhappy with Amazon for taking a loss on the new $139 Kindle. I guess they want to see a better bottom line right now instead of Amazon's long-term goal of building book sales.
Who says they're losing money on it? Probably not making much, but I'd guess they're making a minimal (maybe $20) profit on them.
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Old 07-30-2010, 12:44 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by AnemicOak View Post
Who says they're losing money on it? Probably not making much, but I'd guess they're making a minimal (maybe $20) profit on them.
I'd be very surprised if they are even breaking even at that price point, unless their quarterly order volumes are in the millions.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:33 PM   #8
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This is the same set of people who ran AMZ stock up to 150 and them trashed it when they didn't turn a profit fast enough - all the while ignoring Mr Bezos' statements that it might take him a full decade to make a profit?

I think I will ignore those short-sighted people now like I did then.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:37 PM   #9
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**wrong thread**

Last edited by OrcaBlue; 07-30-2010 at 02:18 PM.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:45 PM   #10
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Quote:
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Who says they're losing money on it? Probably not making much, but I'd guess they're making a minimal (maybe $20) profit on them.
I'd say the same. I see lots of claims that Amazon is losing money on the new $139 Kindle, but it's all just supposition and maybe a bit of sour grapes.
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Old 07-30-2010, 01:52 PM   #11
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really not all that different than what most of those experts said about Amazon in the 1990's when Bezos was running losses out the Wazoo building market dominance. Because as we were told, people will never want to buy books over the internet. They'll insist on going to a store and browsing. The internet will never replace bricks and mortar bookstores.

It wouldn't surprise me at all to see Amazon selling Kindles at a loss. It's a strategy that's worked for the company before. Jeff Bezos has a track record of thinking in 5 to 10 year time frames, while Wall Street these days can barely think past the next quarter.

As for the stock price, shoot I hope it does fall. I didn't get in on that $100 dip after the last quarterly release and I'd really like to buy some more Amazon stock.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:03 PM   #12
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I wont certainly go with them (I don't need the cheapest, plastic reader, I need the quality). Yes, they are going cheap but we'll see the results. They are opposite of Sony, which always tries to give the best possible quality to customers (but sometimes fail, like in Beta, and sometimes win, like in Blu-Ray).
COUGH*BULLSHIT*COUGH! I've got TWO K2s and they're quite solid and reliable. They're noticeably heavier than my Bookeen Cybook Gen3s and even *that* device is reliable - as long as I don't do something stupid like drop it 4-6 feet onto a concrete surface, or put it in my back pocket then SIT on it!

The K2 is a user-friendly design and the K3 looks to be the same. But yes, I like the idea of a lighter device - the one complaint I had for the K2 over the Gen3. And given how many ebooks I buy in .epub and convert to .mobi using Calibre, I don't really *need* 3G... So, yes, *I* will be spending $139 for a WiFi K3.

Derek
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:04 PM   #13
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a) You put inevitably in quotes, but it does not appear in the article, which (to put it generously) is misleading. What the article says is:


b) What lock in?
He is talking about iPad users reading books in the Kindle app.
There is no lock-in as to where they buy the next book from.
Sorry if its not clear, I was paraphrasing; hence the quotes.

My point is that *amazon* has the lock-in, not Apple. To say Kindle readers on iPad are ging to move to iBooks *at any point* is ludicrous because once you've bought into the Kindle platform you're locked-in to the kindle platform. Buying off iBook brings no advantage to somebody already buying Kindle books.

The only growth path for iBooks (and it *is* substantial) is from people who buy iPads who're *not* reading Kindle or B&N ebooks. But that growth is *not* going to come from Amazon's (or B&N) existing customers, just the newbies. His whole thesis is half-baked.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:07 PM   #14
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I'd be very surprised if they are even breaking even at that price point, unless their quarterly order volumes are in the millions.
Which they just about are.
(Estimates are from 3.5 to 4.2 million Kindles to ship in 2010, more in 2011.)
Unless we see newer/better numbers, that's what we have to work with.
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Old 07-30-2010, 03:27 PM   #15
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I wont certainly go with them (I don't need the cheapest, plastic reader, I need the quality). Yes, they are going cheap but we'll see the results. They are opposite of Sony, which always tries to give the best possible quality to customers (but sometimes fail, like in Beta, and sometimes win, like in Blu-Ray).
Might you show us the "best possible quality" Sony is giving to their customers?
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