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Amazon Sells 500,000 Kindles in 2008

Amazon's Kindle is certainly started a fire for consumers in 2008.

According to industry analysts, Amazon's Kindle eBook reader saw sales numbering around 500,000 in 2008. According to All Things Digital, Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney estimates that the popular device, what he calls the "iPod of the eBook world", saw the 500,000 mark in 2008 sales. That number will supposedly double to 1.27 million in 2009, and then skyrocket to roughly 3.5 million in 2010.

These predicted sales numbers would put the Kindle somewhat on par with the iPod during its first three years of sales in 2002, 2003 and 2004. The adoption rates peak at 132 percent for first year sales (500k for the Kindle, 378k for the iPod), and drop to 80 percent in year three sales (3.5 million for the Kindle, 4.4 million for the iPod).

On the money side of things, the Kindle generated about $153 million in revenue in 2008, which would represent about 0.8 percent of Amazons total revenue on the year. Mahaney predicts that number will jump to over $1.2 billion in 2010, and will account for approximately 4.4 percent of Amazons total revenue. The projected revenue is based on Kindle owners buying one eBook through Amazon every month. Chances are most Kindle users buy (or pirate) more than that.

While Mahaney seems optimistic on the Kindle, he has some sobering advice for Amazon. "The structural challenge facing Amazon is that approximately 50% of its revenue is generated from the sale of books, music, and videos–three  product categories that are all in the process of being digitized," said Mahaney. "If Amazon can’t successfully jump the chasm from Internet-ordered/mailman-delivered media products to Internet-ordered/digitally-delivered media products, its financial fundamentals and its stock price will be significantly challenged.” The Kindle is certainly a step in this direction, as is the company's deal with Vizio.

The Citigroup analyst also has some predictions on the next Kindle, which many believe will be revealed next week during an Amazon presser in NYC. Mahaney speculates that the next iteration of the device will be longer, thinner, have an enhanced design (less accidental button pushing), and will hit the $300 mark (the current price is $359). Furthermore, he says the Kindle 2.0 will lack a color screen and touch capability.

  • trevorvdw
    $300? There's a sucker born every minute. You can get a netbook for that money that can read ebooks just fine on a bigger, sharper screen and do tons of other things too and isn't really much larger.
  • revolink24
    And kill your eyes.
  • bf2gameplaya
    No book ever had the type disappear from the page on me while I was reading it.

    No book ever stuck itself closed.

    No book ever came with a coin slot to keep on reading it.

    I understand e-paper, might even be kinda useful in unconventional settings, but this Kindle e-book concept creeps me out, seriously. And I love Amazon, I'm a very loyal Amazon shopper, yet I won't get anywhere near this 'thing'.
  • tayb
    Just don't understand the whole Kindle thing and why people buy it. A book itself is a portable product you just stuff it in your bag and pull it out to read it. When you finish that book you switch it out with a different book. Why pay $300 to digitize something that is already ridiculously easy to do on its own??

    How many freaking books can I buy for $300??
  • knipfty
    Ever try to read on your netbook for a couple of hours or cross country? Or while standing on the train. Or outside on a sunny day? Kindles work just like books. Have a similar form factor and feel like real books.

    You can carry around 200 books in a Kindle. No I don't read 200 books at one, but I am reading three right now (and one is a 3600 page trilogy). Books are almost always cheaper than DTB (Dead Tree Books). So over time, you will save money. All the classics are free and available from sources outside of Amazon!

    Clearly none of you have ever tried to read on a Kindle, and until you do, you are speaking from ignorance. The screen is sharper than any computer screen. No eye strain. And no you don't need to feed a meter to read your books. And if you wanted to read nothing but free books, you could do that without another dime ever going to Amazon.
  • nottheking
    eBook readers certainly have the appeal; they combine the readability of paper with the storage density of computers, with a lasting power somewhere in-between.

    Yes, what many people are missing is that a netbook relies on a backlit LCD screen, which will cause eye strain. eBook readers instead use ePaper, which does NOT need a backlight, as its appearance mimics real paper, at a sharpness level rivaling laser printers and done on a hexagonal grid, resulting in strain-free reading.

    This also means that they require utterly no power to keep displaying the same page, only to change the displayed page, as the frame display is effectively non-volatile. Hence, should the reader lose power while you were reading, the screen would NOT go blank; it'd just sit there with the current page still displayed. Perhaps better yet, while a netbook might keep you powered for 2-6 hours max depending on your eye fatigue and netbook model, the e-books would last you hundreds or thousands of hours, and have a battery life more of measured in pages read rather than hours displayed.
  • tayb
    Talk about ignorance. Kindle is an electronic product that will last maybe 5-6 years before breaking down and needing to be replaced. You are trying to contend that within 5 years you will save $300+ from book purchases alone? Got to be kidding me. Not to mention the hassle of having to transfer all of your purchases to a new device, deal with the hassle of your kindle and every one of your books being stolen, etc, etc, etc.

    There is an idiot born every day. At least 500,000.
  • nottheking
    Your claim is backed on the (as of yet evidence-free) assumption that the device will break down in 5-6 years. And also, each and every one of those comments would apply 100% to the iPod as well... Yeah, it was more expensive than any other option for music. And there was the hassle of ripping and moving all your music, and the hassle of every single song being stolen...
  • ubrella_corp
    I've been back and forth on this for a wile, I did try and read Ebooks from my palm-Pilot once and gave up into the third page, But Ive seen this thing in action as I borrowed my friends for a week, this is no Palm screen It really is nice and sharp and I do Digi-Photography. Yes it is redundant to have over 3K of books at you tipsy-tips but "IPHONE ANYONE" That thing has more useless apps then Microsoft has Security patches! As for it being a idiot box, Well I know a lot of people that by books for $15-$25+ and then ether Trade/sell them for %5-%10 of retail or just chuck them away. So Come ON!! for at lest 3 out of 5 people I know that do this I think It's Perfect!!! 3 out of 5 X a few billion pages that came from Trees that could be saved, "lets not throw the word ignorance around so lightly." I but I do have to agree with the IPOD transfer fiasco and APPLE Flup up with switching devices, I am one of the few 2-5 that like my Leather bound Gold leafed edged book on my shelf, and yes it won't ever disperse in 3 to 5 years but I also don't have $161,000 for a 3500 book library in my taste. Now It is a bit price'y, but it does have some net'o b's-&-whistles for 3/4 of a inch. CONS: SUCH A BIG BATT why not back-lit so you can read at night, Amazon need to just stop being like Apple and Metalica and accept formats to be sent directly instead of this Email conversion crap. There is already a Crack for it! supporting protected files is fine but not at the expense of the consumers ease of use and or privacy. As for the Eye strain I found Reading for 2 hours on it was about as strenuous as 2hrs on PB. This is the difference, 1) BOOKS - 3D and in your hand this forces your eyes to focus on a wall, ceiling or something else as your hand gets tired and you move positions or flip the page, Computer screens not so much and sense this is a beautiful crisp screen that doesn't blare light into your eyes it's not that bad, just look away every 15-20 mins, this will allow you to keep reading without that pesky migraine, BTY to the makers of Kindle a opt 20min tone might help with that. Overall I like it but and I hope it go's down in price just a bit or they come out with a DX2 that is more Open sourced and maybe a touchpad to flip through pages with a flip of the finger I/O back-lit. just an idea It's cool and saving trees is a good thing!