Early adopters love them some gadgets — almost as much as gadget-makers like making fuzzy, non-specific claims about how well the gizmos are selling. Amazon’s 7-month-old Kindle is, according to Amazon, the top-selling and most wished for consumer electronics item on the site. And Netflix’s 20-day-old streaming box is sold out.
What does that mean? No idea. Amazon will tell you that the $359 Kindle is selling better than the two cent, two-meter HDMI cables (#3), but its most popular electronics list doesn’t have any actual numbers. Ditto for Netlix CEO Reed Hastings, who told Bloomberg that his Roku box is sold out and on back order, but didn’t indicate whether he’d sold 1,000 of the things or 100,000.
Maybe, one day, we’ll get a number out of Reed. Very unlikely we’ll get one out of Jeff Bezos, who showed up to the D conference last month knowing that he’d be asked about sales numbers, and showed zero interest in providing an answer. He did throw out a non-stat: That Kindle titles now account for 6% of sales of the 125,000 titles that are available both in Amazon’s physical stock and in digital form. Is that a lot? A little? Who knows?
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