Welcome to The CITE -- a blog on Course materials, Innovation, and Technology in Education, created by Mark Nelson and now part of the Publications Department of the National Association of College Stores. CITE is a pun with multiple meanings - referring to cite as in citation, something people reference; site as in location, website, or place people go to; and sight as in foresight or looking ahead to what is coming. Comments, discussion, feedback and ideas are welcome.

Saturday, August 16, 2008

Kindle is the new ipod???

Not a week seems to go by without more news on the Kindle. With so many Kindle blogs out there, I am trying to make sure this does not become yet another. However, as it relates to this blog, there was one article in particular that caught my eye this week -- a blog posting by Andrea James of the Seattlepi.com. She quotes some interesting numbers that have been publicized lately...

  • The Kindle could sell 380,000 units in 2008, more than double what was originally predicted by analysts.
  • In the first year, that is exactly how many iPods were sold.
  • Revenue projections for the Kindle were increased from US$750M to US$1B by 2010

An article in TIME magazine from about a month ago reported another interesting statistic. Jeff Bezos reported in May that the Kindle e-book sales counted for 6% of sales for those titles available in a Kindle format. The TIME piece however notes that according to a source at Amazon, the number is actually double that. The quote:

According to a source at Amazon, "on a title-by-title basis, of the 130,000 titles available on Kindle and in physical form, Kindle sales now make up over 12% of sales for those titles."

The TIME article provides some speculation as to why the number shot up so quickly. However, with new models due out this fall and next year, and other potential projects in the offing, one thing is probably sure: the Kindle is the name to beat in the e-reader business. As an example of this point, in another recent article from the Financial Times John Gapper notes that SONY has lost the e-book battle, in large part due to a lack of wireless capability in the device. I own one of the first Sony readers, and travel with it regularly. Today I received an ad from Sony asking me to upgrade my device for $100 off the 505. The 505 model has some improvements, but it is still not wireless. If Sony makes it wireless and then builds in an application so that I can download all of my e-mail distributed news lists and RSS feeds to read while traveling -- then I will GLADLY pay for the upgrade. Gapper's article goes on to draw interesting contrasts between the Sony Reader and the Amazon Kindle from a competitive perspective. The article is an interesting read.

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