Maybe the Kindle *is* on fire…

A Techcrunch post links to some Citigroup analysis which suggests that kindle is actually doing really well (edited extract here):

How Is Kindle Doing So Far In The Marketplace?

Our ability to answer this question is very limited. Amazon is the sole retailer of the Kindle and it has disclosed no information about its sales other than to say that it sold out in the first 5 1⁄2 hours. But we have pieced together four different clues to gain a sense of Kindle’s traction.

First, we note that Kindle has consistently been ranked among Amazon’s Bestsellers in its Electronics category…

Second, we note that the Kindle has received a very large number of customer reviews… 

Third, we see that the quality/tone of the customer reviews the Kindle is receiving is relatively positive…


And fourth, we note that the most reviewed Customer Review of Kindle (“Why and how the Kindle changes everything” by Steve “eBook Lover” Gibson) has been reviewed by at least 27,000 people…

We believe that this helps provide something of a proxy for how many Kindles have likely been sold. We’d peg the number as somewhere between 10,000 and 30,000 Kindles sold to date.

The analyst then compares that with the 129,000 ipods sold in its first three months – and extrapolates the data (with some pessimistic discounting) to suggest that the kindle might have legs too. Now there’s all sorts of flaws with that kind of direct comparison, both up and down  – not the least of which is that there was a point when the ipod sales took off and the device became a mainstream phenomenon instead of a geek toy. Which has not happened to the kindle yet. That’s not to say that a parallel trajectory is impossible, but there’s nothing to suggest it’s inevitable.

But what do I know, I’m not a highly paid consultant for a big investment firm 🙂


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