Hailed a massive success by inventor, marketer and exclusive seller Amazon.
I have a number of suspicions when a company which makes, markets and exclusively sells a device also declares its a runaway success, so is it…?
Well, the cold hard facts are that the device everyone knew was coming before it officially arrived sold out on day one and will reportedly not come back into stock until 3 December. It is also listed as the ‘Electronics Bestseller’ on the site ahead of the TomTom ONE and Toshiba HD-A3 HD DVD player.
Do I believe Amazon on these details? Yes I do, but it certainly isn’t an entirely rosy picture for a device which looks like it was made by Apple in the 1980s. For a start, based on 547 customer reviews, the Kindle gets the very definition of mediocre feedback with an average rating of just 2.5 stars out of five on Amazon’s own site. More worryingly, Amazon has been accused in the past of ‘tinkering’ with customer reviews so if it hasn’t done here bravo, but if it has and still ends up with this rating then it should be very worried indeed.
Secondly, doesn’t ”everything” sell out on its launch day (apart from PS3s, naturally) and thirdly, just how many Kindles did Amazon actually build in the first place if it will take nearly two weeks to get more stock? No figures were released.
Ultimately then, its hats off to Amazon for having a go at a notoriously difficult market but I remain to be convinced that the Kindle is anything like the definitive ‘iPod for eBooks’ device that Bezos proclaims. Besides, the world likes ‘pretty’ and the Kindle, well… just isn’t.