Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Kindle. Or Kindling?
Liz Gunnison Aug 5 2008
Amazon’s Kindle is a game-changer alright. Too bad there's so little to win.

Since the Kindle was launched last November it has been the subject of careful dissection, review, and speculation by countless blogs and news outlets, sparking one of techland's all too frequent debates: is Amazon's new e-reader a game-changer? More pressing than whether the answer is 'yes' or 'no' is why we're even talking about it in the first place. The game in question is reading, after all –not exactly a growth industry, as Simon & Schuster and Random House will tell you.

While Amazon has yet to provide official sales figures, TechCrunch has a source saying that the online retailer has sold 240,000 of the e-readers in their first eight months on sale, for a total of almost $100 million in revenue.It’s not difficult to imagine that thanks to its aggressive Kindle marketing push (such as prime advertising space in the middle of Amazon's homepage), those 240,000 units represent a good portion of the total market for the device out there.Consider that the literate population of the United States is about 270 million, and that according to a 2007 AP-Ipsos survey, one in four people didn't read a single book in the past year. Of those who did read books, the average consumption was seven per year – too few by a long shot to warrant buying a pricey e-reader device.

Read the full story at Portfolio.com


Anonymous said...

Does anyone know the comparable figures for New Zealand? I know as a nation we buy a lot of books, but are we reading and how often?

James said...

The consensus seems to be that power storage is the "game changer" of the future as the focus on the smart grid was intense last week.