CNBC’s Jim Goldman: Drunk on Kindle-Aid

“Today’s Amazon announcement of the new and improved Kindle might be the tech industry’s worst kept secret, but at least we now know some of the new specs, and why some key analysts on Wall Street seem so excited about this device,” Jim Goldman writes for CNBC.

“The new $359 version will ship in a couple of weeks, and will be ‘thinner, faster, crisper with longer battery life,’ and capable of holding 1,500 complete, electronic books. It weighs just over 10 ounces, and is about a third of an inch thick, and will boast 16 shades of gray instead of the 4 shades that came with the original version. The company also wants to make books available in less than 60 seconds, wirelessly, from anywhere you happen to be. The longer battery life means readers can read for 2 weeks on a single charge,” Goldman writes.

MacDailyNews Take: Plus, Kindle 2.0 is still reminiscent of something John Dykstra superglued together back in 1975!

Goldman continues, “Last week, Amazon got quite a boost when Citigroup’s Mark Mahaney dramatically increased his Kindle sales estimates. Back in August, he suggested the device would sell 378,000 units in 2008, about double his initial estimates. In his most latest note, Mahaney now estimates that the Kindle sold a half million units instead, and speculated that the Kindle could generate $1.2 billion in revenue, or 4 percent of Amazon’s business, by next year. Juicing revenue by 10-fold, going from roughly $150 million in revenue this year to over $1 billion next year, is no small feat. He also says that if Kindle hadn’t sold out toward the end of 2008 — and Amazon hadn’t stopped building the older generation model to prepare for this newest version, that the company could have sold 750,000 units. Barclays estimates $700 million in revenue and more than $100 million gross profit by 2012.”

“Sanford C. Bernstein is a little less sanguine, anticipating 750,000 units sold this year, calling Kindle a niche product that’ll unlikely impact 2010 EPS significantly,” Goldman reports.

MacDailyNews Take: Thanks, Jim, for squeezing in about half a drop of sanity after spewing forth an ocean of orgastic delight over one random analyst’s ludicrous fantasies.

Goldman continues, “Still, even if these range of numbers is the ballpark for Kindle sales, then the device is outselling those early versions of Apple’s iPod by about 30 percent. That too is no small feat. I’m not saying that Kindle sales can sustain the growth they’re seeing now, so that this thing actually overtakes iPod sales, but it sure seems like a compelling start for the little book-reader that could.”

MacDailyNews Take: Jim, put down the pitcher. You’ve had quite enough. Your “range of numbers” starts at 750,000 Kindle units sold in its 2nd year. Apple sold 1.5 million iPod units in its 2nd year. That would be double, Jim.

Goldman continues, “There’s also something to be said for a device that does one key thing, and well. I love the concept of smart phones, that let me listen to music, watch videos, play games, e-mail, web surf, and oh, make phone calls, too. But with limited battery life, I’m usually sacrificing one task at the expense of the others, and I hate burning battery time by ‘playing’ only to be left scrambling for a charger when I need to make a call or send a note. That alone makes the Kindle an easy sell.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: Obviously, Jim’s had way, way too much Kindle-Aid this morning.

Exponentially more people listen to music than read books today. The Bernstein estimate (750K units in 2009) is much closer to the truth than Mahaney’s pie-in-the-sky lunacy.

As Dan Frommer writes for Silicon Alley Insider today, “Amazon did not do much today to make the Kindle significantly more attractive to mainstream buyers: It’s still $360 and it’s still only really good for one thing — reading books… For now, we still see the Kindle as an expensive toy for reading enthusiasts, frequent travelers, and gadget lovers — and not yet a mainstream device. Today’s improvements will make new Kindle buyers happier than they’d be with the old one. But they alone won’t do much to dramatically drive adoption.”

As for the iPhone’s battery, use what we use and you’ll never be “left scrambling for a charger” again:
Review: Mophie Juice Pack for Apple iPhone 3G – highly recommended

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