Kindle Books Coming to New Devices

Image by TimYang.Net

Jeff Bezos With Kindle DX (by TimYang.Net)

Amazon Chief Executive, Jeff Bezos, has made clear the company’s intention to bring the Kindle’s eBook store to more devices.  Apparently, Amazon views the Kindle and the bookstore as two separate ventures, and is not afraid to let competitors access the same library that the Kindle does.

Currently, the only non-kindle device with access to the book store is the iPhone, through the Kindle for iPhone app.  I would guess that some of the new devices getting Kindle support would have to be the iPhone’s competitors, most likely Palm, Blackberry, or Windows Mobile.

But the most strategic platform to cover would have to be Android.  If Amazon hopes to compete with Google’s upcoming bookstore, it would make sense to first push their own books onto Google’s mobile OS.

Unfortunately, it doesn’t seem like Amazon has any current plans to share their eBook format with everybody.  I’m guessing this will at some point be a necessity, however, as eReaders and competing bookstores become more prominent.  Sure, extra support for mobile devices will help the Amazon bookstore, but it won’t affect the buying habits of a Sony eReader user.  Eventually, Amazon will need to open their bookstore to all eReaders unless it wants to lose business to someone like Google.

The numbers are in, Amazon has sold 240,000 Kindles so far

Wireless Access with WhispernetI guess the figures had to come out sooner or later.

240,000 Kindles have been shipped since November 2007, according to TechCrunch, that’s what their source claims. We know that Amazon always stays coy about sales as part of its company policy so we may never get any conformation from Amazon about this.

TechCrunch says that their source is close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the numbers, possibly the same source that claimed Kindle v2 is on it’s way this fall — we’ve yet to see any evidence of that prediction.

TechCrunch goes on to say;

Doing a little back of the envelope math, that brings total sales of the device so far to between $86 million and $96 million (the price of the device was reduced to $360 from $400 last May). Then add the amounts spent on digital books, newspapers, and blogs purchased to read on the device, and you get a business that has easily brought in above $100 million so far. (Each $25 worth of digital reading material purchased per Kindle, add $6 million in total revenues).

From these numbers is appears that Kindle is already a profitable operation and has been so from the beginning, however, what we don’t know is whether after research and development costs have been factored in if the Kindle project overall is in profitability.

Wall Street has also came out with some new estimates;

Scott Devitt, an analyst at Stifel, Nicolaus & Co., predicts that Amazon is on track to sell 500,000 to 750,000 more Kindles over the next four quarters (including this one). He estimates that Kindle owners will buy an additional $120 to $150 worth of books and other content for each device, bringing the total revenues over that time period to somewhere between $225 million and $355 million. Based on that, he values the Kindle as a $1 billion business for Amazon.

So by this time next year there could possible be over a million Kindle’s sold by Amazon. In May, Citi analyst Mark Mahaney was estimating that total sales of Kindle’s this year would only reach 189,000. The image below shows what he thought would happen. Turns out that his numbers were way off, that’s analysts for you! Its time for him to significantly revise his estimate.

Citi-Group Amazon Kindle Sales Estimates

240,000 Kindle’s shipped, would you call it a success? It certainly has proved the nay-sayers wrong, it’s proved Wall Street wrong as-well.

If the numbers are to be believed, then its a wonderful start for the Kindle, the revenue from hardware sales alone is an estimated $100 million. When you begin to add on book sales, Amazon looks like its earning some major money for its shareholders.

Source: TechCrunch

New Kindle models possibly coming in October, Kindle v2 already?

pink-amazon-kindle-v2As crazy as it sounds, according to an intriguing CrunchGear article today, a trusted “insider” has revealed that Amazon will be releasing two new Kindle models, the first of which could be hitting shelves as early as October.

From CrunchGear;

An insider let slip that two new Amazon Kindle models will hit stores this holiday season, with the first coming as early as October.

The first is an updated version with the same sized screen, a smaller form factor, and an improved interface. The source told us that Amazon has “skipped three or four generations,” comparing the old Kindle to the 1st gen iPod and the new version to something like the sexy iPod Mini.

The rendering to the right is NOT what the new Kindle will look like – we hope – it’s CrunchGears own rendering. However, according to the article, Amazon will be making the new Kindles available in a variety of colours to make the device more appealing to a younger audience, so buying a pink Kindle is not out of the question – yet.

Reportedly, the first model will be a smaller incarnation of the existing Kindle with the same sized screen and an “improved interface”. The source goes on to say that the newer smaller Kindle will have “skipped three or four generations” it will be interesting to see exactly what this means, a new eInk display perhaps or a new operating system? The second new version will be shaped like a 8.5 – 11 inch sheet of paper and will be noticeably larger than the current model, it will hit shelves early next year.

There is no word on the pricing structure, or indeed if it means that the existing Kindle will be reduced in price – we hope so.

We would advise that you take this news with a pinch of salt because Jeff Bezos said this at “D: All Things Digital Conference” back in May;

“There will be a second version, a third version, a tenth version. … but a second version is not that near.”

Was Jeff deceiving us? I don’t think he was, however I think the most likely reality is that Amazon is refreshing the product line – just like the Apple did with the iPod. First we had the iPod, then along came the iPod Nano, iPod Shuffle and iPod Touch, most likely that is what is going on. Amazon is offering different flavours of the Kindle depending on your reading habits, a “Kindle Nano” if you occasional reader, a “Classic Kindle” if your a major bookworm etc…

This rumour has thrown a gigantic spanner in the works if you were thinking of purchasing a Kindle any time soon.

Source: CrunchGear