This incomprehensibly strange analysis of the potential for the Kindle strains the technological imagination. The idea that this device doesn’t suck is foolish enough, but more importantly it can’t possibly have half the sales of the wildly popular iPOD, which debuted to considerably more positive press than the Kindle.
I think the problem is the notion that average folks might buy a Kindle. They *might* buy a smartphone someday and probably will buy a computer, but they won’t be buying many Kindles.
Is there evidence that people really are buying Kindles? Actually, very little. Amazon has very conspicuously decided not to share sales stats, so only rumors have fueled speculation that Kindles are flying off Amazon’s warehouse shelves in numbers approaching the 55,000 used in the above mentioned crazy analysis.
Yes, it is possible that Amazon is making a killing with the Kindle and that they have chosen to remain very quiet about this, but it’s pretty darn unlikely. I’d guess these things really are happening: 1) They are stockpiling in the hopes this will be a 2008 Christmas hit (it will not) and 2) they are promoting the heck out of this at Amazon.com trying to build a market (this will fail) and 3) they are engaging in somewhat deceptive practices to maintain the pretense these are selling lots of Kindles and will sell a lot of them in the futurel (this may not even be legal as SEC rules don’t look favorably on things that could be seen as mechanisms of stock price manipulation).