Amazon’s Bezos still won’t say how many Kindles sold; Emptily proclaims ‘millions of people’

“Amazon.com keeps secret the number of Kindles it sells, saying the devices generate too small a portion of overall revenues to warrant disclosure,” Douglas MacMillan reports for BusinessWeek.

MacMillan reports, “In a press release detailing the e-commerce giant’s solid all-around performance in the fourth quarter of 2009, CEO Jeff Bezos says, ‘Millions of people now own Kindles.'”

“Amazon spokeswoman Mary Osako declines to specify whether the word ‘millions’ was deliberately pluralized in the release,” MacMillan reports. “‘We’re letting the quote stand for itself,’ she says.”

MacMillan reports, “The size of the Kindle market has been the subject of much guesswork… Forrester Research recently estimated that 2.5 million Kindles have been sold, based on consumer surveys.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The reason Amazon won’t give Kindles sales figures is because they’re disappointing.

This Kindle fantasy, which we’ve never bought into — the complete lack of actual sales figures from Amazon doesn’t help to sell us — is about to come crashing down for everyone else. Even before iPad ships, Apple already has long had two Kindle (hardware) killers, iPhone and iPod touch.

Apple’s currently shipping devices already offer e-reader functions, including Amazon’s Kindle app itself. And, unlike Amazon, Apple hasn’t sold just a meager 2.5 million devices. Apple sold some 20 million iPhone and iPod touch devices in the holiday quarter alone; 40 times the Kindle sales estimated by analysts. 40 times. To date, adding in the holiday quarter estimates, Apple has sold roughly 75 million iPhones and iPod touches combined, all of which, providing they are running at least iPhone OS 2.0, are capable of using Amazon’s Kindle app, not to mention a huge selection of other e-reader apps. 2.5 million Kindles vs. 75 million iPhones and iPod touches. The facts are the facts: For quite some time now, the far and away #1 electronic reading device in the world is from Apple, not Amazon.

Mr. Bezos should forget his amateurish, goofy, severely-limited hardware and focus all of his company’s attention on Amazon’s Kindle software for Apple hardware.

31 Comments

  1. Like the vast majority, I have not seen the iPad or the Kindle in the wild. What intrigues me is the constant references across all the relevant websites to the ‘eyestrain’ which I am apparently supposed to suffer when reading text on my iPhone. If I wasn’t so fresh faced, wide-eyed and innocent, I would assume that lots of trolls have come out to play.

    As an English teacher and soon to be published author, I spend half my life reading web pages, blogs, pdfs and emails on my iPhone. If I’m not doing those things I am typing notes or replying to emails. At no stage have I felt the experience to be a negative one. Can someone point me to the research that shows why I am in the lucky minority?

  2. MDN’s take on the iPad vs Kindle is all wrong. When I heard the pricing of the iPad during the keynote I said that is the most expensive eReader in the world and it doesn’t appeal to readers because it doesn’t use e-ink which makes it not a very good reading machine. Now, it may sell very well or not, I, you know. Amazon has it’s strategy, they’ve got an eReader device in the market today. You can get a Kindle now for $259, it’s a very capable machine, it’ll do books, it’ll do persistent connectivity, soon it’ll do apps. So, I kinda look at that and I say, well, I like their strategy. I like it a lot.

  3. to Britney’s Postpartum Sister™

    That was sooo funny, you nailed it exactly on the head. If anyone here didn’t quite get it, you should see Ballmer’s response to the iPhone. This is a word-for-word paraphrase and it makes it just so absolutely true and correct!

    Just hilarious!

  4. Why the harshness toward Amazon? They seem to be playing well with Apple to me. Not everyone in the world needs the capability of an iPad, they really appeal to different markets.

    If Kindle is retired — which it may be — then there will simply be a big hue and cry from e-Reader fans who don’t want to pay for the capability that the iPad offers.

  5. He did say “millions of Kindles” so unless he was outright lying <cough, Ballmer, cough> that statement implies at least 2 million units (“millions” – plural).

    Would be nice to see if the CEO of another company likes to knowingly lie to the public like Ballmer does on a regular basis.

  6. No. Who cares? Forget about the Kindle. This isn’t an iPad/Kindle battle. The Kindle isn’t competition, it’s not even on the radar. Apple is inventing the future.

  7. The Kindle is a cheap plastic piece of junk.
    My wife order one and it was so cheaply made I had her return it because it looked used. The pla……….
    stic parts the color was mixed shades the fit was poor the overall construction was just cheap.
    The outside was cover in BFR’s (a swab test for BFRs on the outside of the case should always be a negative. Not, so on a Kindle, even the battery compartment and battery were covered in BFRs.

  8. Check out Amazon Taps Its Inner Apple

    It’s about this wannabe Apple.

    Half way down is the prophetic line:

    This is where Amazon, with very little experience in designing and building electronics, is weakest — and where Apple could sabotage Bezos’s best-laid plans.

    Another one bites the dust!

  9. When it comes to economics, you know, good old bang for the buck, if you are looking for books to read, the best buy is at the used book store.

    Less than ¼ the price of new or digital, no electronics involved, no eye strain involved, even out of print books available, all 3 books in the trilogy still on the shelf and you can gift the books to someone else when you finish them.

    The used book store, books you can read, touch and smell.

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