Amazon (AMZN) confirms that its Web site is correct: The Kindle e-reader is sold out through Christmas. New orders will take “11 to 13 weeks” to ship. That means you could be (unknowingly) ordering Kindle 2.0, which is expected to launch in Q1 of 2009.
So: Time to announce Kindle 2.0 tomorrow. And start selling it tomorrow, via gift card.
No, it won’t be as good a gift as a real Kindle under the tree. But Amazon could make up significant lost Kindle purchases this quarter by selling gift cards that’ll ensure recipients are among the first to get the new Kindle when it comes out next year.
Earlier this year — before the bottom dropped out of the economy — Citi analyst Mark Mahaney estimated that Amazon could sell 150,000 Kindles this Christmas. Now it’ll surely sell far fewer. (In part because people don’t know what they’re getting.)
Still in production? No Mossberg review yet? No problem. It’s not like the Kindle is a productivity tool. It’s an expensive novelty. And it’s not like there’s much serious competition — sorry, Sony — that would get a leg up knowing Amazon’s new features a few months in advance.
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