Newest data point on Amazon’s Kindle sales, which Amazon says are great but won’t ever quantify: TechCrunch cites “a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the numbers” who says the company has shipped 240,000 units since it went on sale in November.
That number is more or less in line with Citi anlayst Mark Mahaney’s estimates from May; Mark thinks the Kindle could be a $750 million business that accounts for 3% of Amazon’s sales by 2010. And by our thinking, it compares very nicely to Apple’s iPod introduction: Apple sold 376,000 units in the first year after introducing the MP3 player, in 2001. And the iPod, recall, didn’t require users to actually go out and purchase any music in order to use it – you could load up with music you already had bought, or had stolen. We’ve been sceptical about the Kindle’s prospects to date, but if these numbers prove out, we’ll be happy to reassess.
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