Bloggers roundly panned the Kindle a few weeks ago during it’s launch, and then Amazon sold out of them almost immediately. However many (including me) suspect they just didn’t build that many. Given the negative initial reactions from so many, and the fact Amazon has very conspicuously failed to mention how many sold, I think the “Kindle sell out” was a marketing ploy rather than a sign of the Kindle’s popularity. In fact I’d be surprised if they sold more than 50,000 or so – probably far short of the numbers needed to bring the Kindle project close to anything approaching profitability.
Adding insult to injured initial reputation, Walt Mossberg just wrote in the Wall Street Journal that the Kindle is just an OK device. He was not too hard on it, but no endorsement either. In contrast and over at CNET, Josh Taylor is warming up to the Kindle after a few weeks of use. Of course he was on a beautiful tropical beach reading, so maybe that colored his perception to a Kindley hue ? All I know is that at $399 + $9.99 per book and a buck per blog I won’t be buying one anytime soon.