John Paczkowski

Recent Posts by John Paczkowski

If Your Analyst Gig Doesn’t Work Out, There’s Probably a Job for You in Amazon PR

amzn-stories.jpg Amazon’s Kindle e-book reader may not be the iPod of the book world yet. But it will be some day if Citigroup research analyst Mark Mahaney has anything to say about it. In a report to clients Monday, Mahaney, who in May predicted the device would generate $750 million for Amazon by 2010, said the company could be on track to sell as many as 380,000 Kindles this year.

380,000 Kindles sold. That’s double Mahaney’s May prediction. And it’s an important number historically. “In its first year, that’s exactly how many iPods were sold,” Mahaney wrote. “Turns out the Kindle is becoming the iPod of the book world.”

But is it really? And on what sort of data is that pronouncement based? Amazon (AMZN) itself has disclosed no actual sales data for the Kindle. The company said only that the selection of titles available for the device has jumped 67 percent since its launch. Surely it’s impossible to extrapolate sales of 380,000 from that figure alone. So on what other data is Mahaney relying here? Just this, apparently:

  1. An anonymous source recently told TechCrunch that Amazon has shipped 240,000 Kindles. That’s shipped, not sold.
  2. Kindle tops Amazon’s Bestsellers in Electronics list
  3. Kindle has more than 4,000 customer reviews, quite a few of them positive.

Not exactly an abundance of hard data, is it? Which is not to say that the Kindle isn’t well on its way to becoming the iPod of the book world, just that we won’t know for certain until Amazon tells us with hard sales figures.

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Another gadget you don’t really need. Will not work once you get it home. New model out in 4 weeks. Battery life is too short to be of any use.

— From the fact sheet for a fake product entitled Useless Plasticbox 1.2 (an actual empty plastic box) placed in L.A.-area Best Buy stores by an artist called Plastic Jesus