Kindle Touch eReader: Trailing the competition has never been a trait of online retailing giant Amazon. So the consumer electronics world raised their collective eyebrows when, until last week, Barnes and Noble and Kobo had touch screen eReaders and Amazon had not yet released a touch screen model of their own.
Well, being late to the party doesn’t mean that Jeff Bezos and Kindle’s marketing team are going to change their marketing strategy any time soon. Their recipe for the amazing success of the Kindle eReaders and their digital marketplace has been to sell a hardware device at an incredibly low price that gives the buyer access to their high-margin, low cost digital content. Evidently, that recipe continues to work.
Amazon last week unveiled their new Kindle Touch Wi-Fi eReader and Kindle Touch 3G eReader at retail prices of $99 and $149 respectively. Drastically undercutting their top two competitors, Barnes and Noble and Kobo, has paid off. According to a report by respected Forbes magazine online, the new Kindle Touch Wi-Fi eReader has sold 20,249 units in its first five days of launch. And the Kindle Touch 3G eReader has moved 12,467 units. These very precise sales figures allegedly come from exclusive screen shots of Amazon’s internal inventory system, and were leaked by online Android blog site Cult of Android to the Forbes online site.
Cult of Android claims that the screen shots they received came from a “verified source” that somehow got their hands on screen shots showing sales data of the new 7 inch Kindle Fire color touchscreen tablet and the two new Kindle Touch eReaders. If the screen shots and data are to be believed, 254,074 Kindle Fire tablets were pre-ordered in that five day period as well. Amazon’s internal inventory platform is nicknamed Alaska for “Availability Lookup and SKU Aggregator”. The Cult of Android site claims that the above numbers are correct and have been verified. Efforts to contact Amazon have proven fruitless, but this is nothing new. Amazon rarely if ever comments on sales figures.
The two new Kindle Touch eReaders are basically the same device, with the only differentiation being Wi-Fi access only for the $99 model, and Wi-Fi plus 3G access for the $149 device. Both units are 8% lighter and 11% smaller without minimizing the 6 inch screen size of the previous model, and each can store up to 3000 books. The 3G model offers free 3G access, and no monthly service contracts are required with any mobile service providers. Both Kindle Touch eReading devices offer special money-saving advertisements on their home page and screen savers.