Newsletter Issue #917: The Night Owl and His $12.88 Watch

June 26th, 2017

Let’s talk of perceptions first. The Amazon Echo is considered to be a highly successful product, although, last I heard, only 12 million have been sold since 2014. The Amazon Kindle tablets have also been regarded as successful, although they have had better years, where tens of millions were sold. An IDC survey for the first quarter of 2017 revealed flat sales compared to the previous year. So it was 2.2 million units in both quarters, compared to 8.9 million iPads sold this year. If people bought tablets on price alone, it would seem they favor more expensive gear.

As a practical matter, a Kindle is largely a media consumption device, with an emphasis on Amazon products and services. It is barely in the same league as an iPad otherwise. Forget about using one for productive work.

For those who care, Amazon doesn’t actually reveal hardware sales. That data comes from industry estimates, though I’ll accept them as in the zone for the sake of argument. Despite sales that are a fraction of those of the iPad, the Kindle is not generally regarded as unsuccessful. As loss leaders go, Amazon seems satisfied with what they deliver.

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