WHILE THE ONLINE RETAILER Amazon is not saying how many Kindle e-readers it has flogged this year, analysts have been adding up some numbers and dividing by their shoe size to come up with a figure of eight million.
It is anyone's guess if the figure is accurate. It is at least 60 per cent more than the same daft analysts had predicted when they went through a similar exercise earlier this year.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg had previously estimated that, on average, the company would sell 5 million Kindles in 2010. Last year, Amazon flogged about 2.4 million Kindles,
The 8 million figure is based upon information leaked to the press by people who claimed to be in the know.
Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is using the Kindle to push into hardware and fuel digital book demand.
Amazon's sales demonstrate that the market for standalone e-readers is growing even as tablets should be killing their market. The tame Apple press insists that Apple's Ipad is building more demand because it lets users read books, watch videos and carry out computing tasks.
Of course reading a book on a glossy LED screen and reading it on e-paper are two different experiences, which might account for the fact that people might want to use a Kindle and not an Ipad to read a book.
Apple sold 7.46 million Ipads from their April debut through September.
The eight million Kindle figure does not include the software that Amazon flogs for use on other hardware. So the number of those using and downloading Kindle books might be even higher. µ