Amazon’s Kindle a huge flop?

“After six months of nothing happening on the Kindle front, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos issued a press release calling the Kindle a ‘huge success’ and a ‘revolutionary’ device. Now, we’re not new to such hype, but the clincher here is he had no numbers, no sales figures and no revenue amounts to support his claim,” Prashanth Cherukuri writes for Seeking Alpha.

“It is very obvious that Amazon’s Kindle is a huge flop. In six months of traveling, I am yet to see a single person on any bus, train or plane with a Kindle in their hands. Contrast that with the iPod or iPhone or even the Sansa, where people can actually be seen using them everywhere,” Cherukuri writes.

“Even if we accept the fairy tale that Bezos is weaving and accept Kindle to be a resounding success, the difference to Amazon’s bottom line revenues will be 3%. JUST 3%,” Cherukuri writes.

Full article here.

[Thanks to MacDailyNews Reader “David” for the heads up.]

It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore. – Apple CEO Steve Jobs remarking on Amazon’ Kindle, January 15, 2008


  1. I’m one of the 60% that has read more than one book and I’ll be looking forward to downloading books onto my iPhone. I would never buy a Kindle, just as I would never buy a GPS. In fact I hope to never buy a single purpose gadget ever again. Whether this works out depends on how soon Apple can get a decent camera into the iPhone. If it takes more than 24 months, it’s a problem. By then I’ll be thinking about upgrading the iPhone 3G I’m about to buy.

  2. Last weekend I was at the Long Beach airport and saw 5 people in a very small space with a Kindle. My Kindle made it 6! I was shocked to see that many in one place. I ride BART in the SF Bay Area and have only seen 1 other person besides myself with one.

    I love the KINDLE and have read a lot of books off it since its release in Nov 2007!

  3. People who like books are generally fans of low tech. And they generally like the feel of dead pine trees in their hands. ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  4. To be fair, the Kindle is not a mass-market product. It doesn’t have to be to be a success, and Steve Jobs knows that. I mean, look at the iPhone. He set the success bar at 1% of the global cellphone market. If you set the bar for the Kindle at 1% of the US public, about 3 million, then who cares if 40% read less than 1 book a year. I mean, the Kindle isn’t just about books, it’s also magazines and newspapers.

    Having said that, I read dozens of books in a year, and have no interest in getting a Kindle.

  5. I’ve read a few thousand books, but would never consider getting a Kindle. Books are handy, durable, high res, and they smell good.

    I emailed a pdf version of a book to my Yahoo account on my iPhone, and have been working through that. Works okay, but as Famous Grouse observed, when you can have a book handy as an add-on to an existing device, that is best.

    Another device; no.

  6. The Kindle is a pretty impressive device. It’s not perfect, and it lacks the elegance of any Apple product, but it’s still a fine device and I really enjoy using it.

    The fact that a new product is only 3% of Amazon’s bottom line does not make it a failure. Has the iPhone–which had a lot of hype and a six month head start–topped 3% or 5% of Apple’s bottom line? I suspect not, not least b/c it’s being accounted for on a subscription basis. But that does not make it a failure either.

    Boy, I wish Apple would come out w/ a reading device!

  7. Ironic that Steve Jobs helmed the creation of the iPhone which turned me into an avid reader. I hate to sit at a desk and read from a computer screen and I wasn’t fond of books. The iPhone was the perfect compromise, always ready and right there in my pocket. After jumpstarting my interest with the many wonderful things I read daily using Safari over the past year, I’m now digesting all forms of print like never before. I swear this never would’ve happened if it wasn’t for the iPhone.

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