The Uselessness Of Amazon's Announcement That Kindle Is Its Best Selling Product

from the details,-details dept

A few folks have sent over some version of the story that the Kindle is outselling every other product on Amazon. Of course, that's somewhat meaningless, as the folks at Gizmodo smartly point out. Because you can only get the Kindle via Amazon, and that makes the number completely different than other products:
When Amazon tells you that the Kindle is the highest-selling product on Amazon, you're supposed to think of it as you'd think of anything else: as a strong, reliable metric in gauging how well a product is doing in general. The thing is, there is no "in general" for the Kindle. There is only Amazon. Anyone who wants a Kindle and doesn't normally shop at Amazon has to make an exception. Anyone who wants a Kindle and doesn't normally shop online has to make an exception. The Kindle didn't outsell the iPod Touch--not even close.

Filed Under: kindle
Companies: amazon


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  • icon
    fogbugzd (profile), 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:15pm

    Also the #1 crippled product at Amazon

    It is still very proprietary and DRM'd. Lately the have made some tiny holes in the walls surrounding the Kindle and its books, but I am not about to buy into a system that is designed to make it as difficult as possible to read the books I have paid for in the manner that I want to. There are a lot of other systems available, although I am still waiting for someone to get it right.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:26pm

    things might change once Barnes and Noble releases its reader (maybe)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:28pm

    Is anyone really surprised that the announcement is as useless as the product?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    bob, 30 Nov 2009 @ 9:35pm

    DRM and Revocation

    When I own a book I can give it to someone else to read.
    When I own a book I can sell it.
    When I own a book the publisher can not stop me from re-reading it.
    Until I can do that with a kindle, it holds no value to me.
    With very few exceptions I buy old books that were on the best seller list last year.
    On trips when I want to read a book I go and buy a used one.
    The Gutenberg project has many books I have yet to read also.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Nov 2009 @ 10:20pm

    dude!!!!!!!!

    dude! this is their product and obviously they are trying to promote it. why r u bitching abt it?

    PS:Nope. I dont own a kindle nor planning to own one. + I dont care abt amazon

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Yosi, 1 Dec 2009 @ 12:39am

    Yes, Kindle is crap

    The point Amazon trying to make is "many people buying it, so you should be too"; in other words, network effect.

    Unfortunately, to many people don't understand "features" of DRM until it bites them right in the ass.
    People are stupid, people will pay.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Brooks (profile), 1 Dec 2009 @ 1:21am

    Yeah!

    And there's a local ice cream place whose number one selling ice cream is this salted-caramel-chocolate blend. But, because other ice cream places also carry vanilla and chocolate but don't carry this unique flavor, clearly this unique flavor isn't all that popular.

    Is it just me, or does this article boil down to "Breaking news: sales of premium products at exclusive outlets not representative of global commodities"?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    El pookie, 1 Dec 2009 @ 3:39am

    Kindle

    Unprecedented sales, I am sure. Brilliant. Good to see puffery alive. Next annoucement: Amazon will now be known as Amazon.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2009 @ 5:21am

    and you can get one with only one click - Wow

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 1 Dec 2009 @ 8:16am

    I find Amazon.com so troubling.

    On one hand, they have so many products I need, and I don't have to dish out my credit card number to everyone on earth.

    On the other hand, each product page comes with an ENORMOUS WALL OF TEXT AND IMAGES, uncustomizable, unavoidable, and generally featuring stuff I do not want - Kindle versions of books. MP3 downloads of music.

    I wonder if current web browsers still allow you to merge your own style sheets in -- a lot of display: nones; clean up Amazon's display.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Derek Kerton (profile), 1 Dec 2009 @ 2:32pm

    I Love Amazon, but...

    As a shopper, I buy stuff at Amazon maybe 4 times a week.

    And I love the Kindle from a geek perspective. But I hate it from a DRM perspective. I think it's too expensive, and it has too limited functionality, though that's a matter of taste.

    But with respect to the Kindle's sales figures, they have always kept the actual sales numbers secret. This is normally the trick of companies that are selling unimpressive volumes. Amazon has claimed great success, without backing it up. See this story, and my comment from July 2009: http://www.fiercewireless.com/europe/story/t-mobile-and-vodafone-stall-kindle-launch-germany/2009-07 -01

    What is MOST interesting about that link is if you read the reply to me from the article author, Paul Rasmussen. It indicates that as early as July, Amazon had claimed that the Kindle is its best selling electronics product. Is the recent Announcement from Amazon actually news, or just a re-hash of the same old top-seller stat?

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Hans, 3 Dec 2009 @ 8:24am

    It's probably still impressive

    Don't pretend to be so naive. Of course it's overhype, it's a press release, which is advertising, not journalism.

    But think for a minute how much stuff Amazon must sell, and consider what it means for Kindle to be the "#1 bestselling product across all product categories". Even for just for November.

    I don't and won't own a Kindle because when I pay for information or entertainment, I own it, not license it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Derek Kerton (profile), 10 Dec 2009 @ 4:19pm

      Re: It's probably still impressive

      Yeah, but it's a store selling their own product. Isn't that a little like Sears saying they sell more Craftsman tools than any other brand?

      My take is this: If you want the market to be impressed with how many Kindles you've sold, don't play games by massaging some statistics. Just tell us the @#$%#$% number.

      Otherwise, with all due respect to a great webstore, STFU.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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