SmoothSpan Blog

For Executives, Entrepreneurs, and other Digerati who need to know about SaaS and Web 2.0.

Wither Kindle?

Posted by Bob Warfield on January 29, 2008

As I was commuting today, I found myself wondering what had become of the Kindle?  As I’ve written, I love the idea.  I didn’t ultimately pull the trigger over the holiday season, largely because I was a subscriber to the theory that it was really a paid beta test and the real Kindle would be version 2.0, a much better product benefiting from all that feedback.  I keep checking in every 3 weeks or so on the Amazon site, and Kindle seems perpetually out of stock as well.  Is that because:

A)  It’s doing fabulously well and they can’t make enough.

B)  They don’t want inventory of 1.0 with 2.0 on the way.

C)  The device is a dud, Amazon is losing their shirt on it, and they just haven’t cancelled it yet, but they sure don’t want to sell any more.

Along comes an article from Compete to pique my interest.  What they had to say is that at least the search interest in Kindle remains steady, that it has completely knocked the Sony reader (which I actually noticed at a bookstore the other day) off the map, and that the demographics are skewed older and richer than normal gadget-buyer demographics.  That still doesn’t tell me whether I’d better wait for 2.0, but it suggests the device won’t be cancelled. 

Meanwhile, they’re still out of stock.  I just checked.

6 Responses to “Wither Kindle?”

  1. […] are a few more theories on why Amazon can’t meet Kindle […]

  2. Jeff Bean said

    Hi Smoothspan,

    I, too, have been watching the Kindle with interest. Note that in the Kindle section of Amazon, there is an users’ image gallery. Among the 47 shots, I see some gray hair, bald spots and wrinkled hands, which came a bit as a surprise. Perhaps book readers skew toward older, while the younger demographic consumes its information via web, IM, facebook, MySpace and Twitter? Fun to ponder.

  3. smoothspan said

    Compete does say the demographic is older. Personally, I have in recent years shifted a lot of my attention budget from printed matter online. Part of it is my esoteric interests: it isn’t easy to find many books on what I want to learn about in bookstores. I look to the Kindle for two things: more convenient travel, and an end to throw away paperbacks that I consume rapidly and litter the house with.



  4. engtech said

    I wouldn’t mind getting a Kindle myself, but I’d really want to be able to hack together my own apps like a CBZ comic book reader on it.

    I’d also love if I could run a Google Reader app on it via my home wifi.

    Sadly, this probably means the Kindle isn’t for me.

  5. lovedrums said

    Amazon associates are getting a premium of 10% for selling the Kindle and content. Sounds like they trying hard to get traction.

    From the associate site: “The Associates program is excited to announce that Associates can now earn 10% in referral fees on the Amazon Kindle wireless reading device and Kindle Edition books.”


  6. smoothspan said

    Ray, that’s a very interesting data point!

    It does sound like they want to step up their traction.



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