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I believe if there were 500,000 out there I would have seen at least one in the wild with all the traveling I do.

I don't believe this for a second.
 

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I haven't seen a single kindle in the wild either. yet alone a Sony outside the store display. Amazon hasn't released any info on kindle sales as far as I heard.
 

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We have CNBC on all day at work (b/c HR is trying to cure a rampant insomnia problem), and if I recall correctly, Amazon rarely releases sales figures of any kind.

Right after Black Friday, Amazon issued a statement along the lines of "best black Friday ever", but analysts were quick to point out there's really no way to tell.  amazon didn't release prior-year data, nor did they release data from this year.  So I think people who track that sort of thing tend to think of amazon data as "unquantifiable".

I have also not seen a kindle besides my own.  And my co-worker, who travels four out of five days every week, has only seen one besides mine.  But I've never seen a sony either.  By comparison, does anyone know any sort of sales figures for the Sony ereader?
 

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I know of three people with the Sony e-reader. I have yet to see a Kindle in the wild.

The 500,000 figure was developed based on Sprints reports on how much whispernet usage there was. It is not a number that I really trust, although the method of getting it was kind of interesting.
 

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That would be an interesting thing to see, professor.

Got a link?  That sort of derivative number sounds like something Charlie would do on Numb3ers.
 

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http://mediamemo.allthingsd.com/20090203/citi-says-amazon-sold-500000-kindles-last-year-12-billion-business-next-year/?reflink=ATD_yahoo_ticker

Watching Mahaney get to his numbers makes for interesting reading, if you enjoy reading analyst reports: He derives the 500,000 number via a filing by Amazon partner Sprint (S), which handles the wireless service for the e-books. And he gets to the $1.2 billion number by assuming that Kindle adoption will be similar to that of Apple's (AAPL) music player several years ago, and that Kindle owners will buy a digital book each month. (Click chart to enlarge)
 

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ProfCrash said:
Kindle owners will buy a digital book each month? Apparently, he's never visited kindleboards.

Even WN usage is pretty iffy. Some of you have purchased books pre-delivery and download them all at once. I'll wait until I have two or three in queue before downloading. Then I transfer books back and forth between Little Gertie and Amazon. There is no way that can be an accurate estimate.
 

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Agreed, I don't think the estimation is accurate but I did find the methodology interesting. It was a different way of trying to figure out what they number of Kindles sold is. It is a flawed measure but it is interesting. (shrugs)
 

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It is interesting.  Of course, according to the graph (if I'm reading it correctly), the revenue for FY2008 on half a million kindles was $87,500?  I had to have read that wrong.  That comes out to a profit of seventeen cents per unit.

And, some people have better whispernet coverage than others, so aren't there a segment of users who mainly get their kindle books through USB download?

It's an interesting set of assumptions.  I wonder if anyone doing this research actually owns a kindle, or a sony.  It just seems to me like a one book/month/reader download rate is a little on the low side.  I mean, generally books are priced the same as a full album on iTunes.  So I wonder if the one download/month/user was also used for the ipod (b/c they seem to be making some comparisons between the ipod and the kindle here, which is somewhat on the order of an apples to apples comparison.)
 

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robin.goodfellow said:
It is interesting. Of course, according to the graph (if I'm reading it correctly), the revenue for FY2008 on half a million kindles was $87,500? I had to have read that wrong. That comes out to a profit of seventeen cents per unit.
You missed the first line of the graph, where it says (in thousands), so that's actually $87.5M. Then you also have to note that they amortize that revenue over two years (listed in the line above), so you double it to $177M (the line above the two-year note). That comes out to $350 per unit.
 

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I think you guys are missing the real news here.

Apparently Amazon was able to keep the Kindle in stock long enough to sell 500,000. Now that's amazing!
 
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