Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle e-book reader celebrated its first birthday yesterday. How was its first year?
Amazon doesn’t share sales figures, so we don’t really know. Today, either supply is low or demand is high — there’s a three to four week wait to buy them for $359.
The only stat Amazon has shared recently: During its Q3 earnings call, CFO Thomas J. Szkutak said, “Kindle titles already account for more than 10% of unit sales for books that are available in both digital and print formats.”
That’s OK, of course. It took Apple (AAPL) a while to start selling its iPods by the boatload, and next year they’ll sell their 200 millionth. Though the iPod had a few advantages: Easy, free ripping CDs you already own to iTunes, and rampant music piracy. Amazon charges for all books, even ones you already own on paper. And the book piracy market doesn’t seem to be as organised as Kazaa was.
But the good news: Amazon has plenty of time to figure out e-reading, and not much competition. And we should start to see new Kindles next year, the company has said.
On our wishlist: Kindle software for more gadgets, like the iPhone and iPod touch, and computers. We’d like to be able to start a book on our computer, read it on the subway on our phone, and finish it on the couch with a Kindle. Or maybe Amazon could use its new tie-up with Google’s Android division to make a combo e-reader/mobile multimedia tablet. But we’re not holding our breath on that one.
Let’s open this thread up: What’s your take on the Kindle’s first year? Wish list for next models?
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