updated 04:05 pm EST, Wed February 25, 2009
JPMorgan sees 500K Kindles
In spite of a major redesign effort, Amazon isn't likely to experience the iPod-like growth curve in Kindle 2 sales that some expect, a research note from JPMorgan says today. Analyst Imran Khan expects the retailer to sell only 500,000 of the e-book readers this year and thus that the company will grow relatively little from its sales of the first-generation Kindle in 2008. Amazon has been hesitant to provide definitive numbers for the original reader despite frequent sellouts.
As a consequence, Amazon would ultimately make little money from the Kindle 2 relative to the rest of its business, even if customers are regular customers of Amazon's online book store. If 1 million owners each bought a typical $8 book once per month, the income would only result in about 5 cents extra earnings per share for the entire year.
Amazon has pushed the Kindle 2 as an alternative to other mobile devices for reading and is specifically touting it as a lower-priced alternative to audiobooks through a text-to-speech feature that automatically reads books out loud. The company has also faced minor pressure from readers for the iPhone that, while limited to a smaller screen, often provide older books for free.