Special Report: E-paper Rising … Exploring Amazon Kindle rumors and sales estimates, and a tough, new player entering the e-book market.
In case you missed it, the editor-in-chief of Tech Crunch Network’s Crunch Gear blog (www.CrunchGear.com), John Biggs, posted last week that new Amazon Kindle versions are soon to be released. The rumor circulates just as competition is about to heat up in the e-reader market.
Kindling the Buzz
According to Biggs: “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 first-gen iPod and the new version to something like the sexy iPod Mini.
“The second new model, which is shaped like an 8.5-inch by 11-inch piece of paper, is considerably bigger than the current model and should be available next year.”
Amazon’s press department would not confirm nor refute the reports, giving the usual, tight-lipped, Amazon response: “… We do not comment on rumors or speculation.”
The secrecy can’t hurt to fuel the buzz, though, and keep everyone guessing how the Kindle is faring in the marketplace.
Time magazine recently reported (in an article titled “Amazon Kindle Sales on the Rise?”): “According to a source at Amazon, ‘on a title-by-title basis, of the 130,000 titles available on Kindle and in physical form, Kindle sales now make up over 12 percent of sales for those titles.’ ” This, Time reported, was double what Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cited at a conference just a few months prior.
Time noted that the uptick coincided with a new supply of Kindles hitting the market, after it was sold out not long after its release, as well as with a price drop from $399 to $359. Time also noted, “Since we’re dealing with percentages rather than unit sales, it’s impossible to say whether we’re talking about a ton of books, or a modest number. But it’s fairly certain that, given the enormous number of new books that Amazon sells, and the fact that many, if not most, are also simultaneously released as Kindle e-books, we’re talking about a good sign for Amazon.”