E-reader sales estimate pared by 25%
- Last Updated: 12:50 PM, June 27, 2012
- Posted: 12:57 AM, June 27, 2012
Although Amazon’s tablet sales are on Fire, sales of its Kindle e-readers appear to be cooling off.
Amazon is expected to sell only 9.3 million Kindle e-readers this year, down 25 percent from a forecast of 12.3 million, according to analyst Chad Bartley of PacificCrest.
By comparison, the company is expected to sell between 12 million and 15 million Kindle Fire tablets this year.
“We’ve been concerned for several months on e-readers,” Bartley said yesterday. “This is the second time we cut estimates for them this year. The trend is weak.”
Bartley was not calling this the end of the basic e-reader, and said Amazon is still preparing a new line of the devices to be unveiled in the third quarter, when it is expected to also launch a new Fire tablet.
When Amazon launched its first Kindle Fire — a multimedia tablet — last year for $199, it also showed off a series of Kindle e-readers. Bartley expects a similar strategy with an upgraded Fire this quarter.
The soft market also struck Amazon rival Barnes & Noble, which blamed lower sales last quarter on returns of its Nook e-reader.
In some cases, consumers prefer the full functionality of tablets to the basic capabilities of e-readers.
“But informed consumers realize the Fire and iPad are not ideal reading devices,” Bartley said.
Still, those consumers likely already have their e-readers, with more than 30 million Kindles “in the wild,” Bartley said.
The e-reader market may be slowing, but the tablet market continues to draw intense competition. Today at its developers conference, Google will show off its next-generation Android software, called Jelly Bean, for tablets.
Google watchers also expect the company to introduce a Nexus tablet as soon as today that would compete at the same price level as Amazon’s Fire.