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Amazon says Kindle Fire has sold 'millions,' but won't get specific

post #1 of 38
Thread Starter 
Amazon issued a press release on Thursday to reveal that its newly launched Kindle Fire tablet has sold "millions of units," but declined to give any specific sales figures.

The press release declared that customers have purchased more than a million devices from the Kindle family per week for the third straight week. The Kindle Fire is joined by the standard Kindle, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Keyboard.

Amazon did state that the Kindle Fire remains the company's No. 1 bestselling product sold by the online retailer. The company said as much in late November, but still declined to release specific sales figures for the Kindle Fire.

"Kindle Fire is the most successful product weve ever launched its the bestselling product across all of Amazon for 11 straight weeks, weve already sold millions of units, and were building millions more to meet the high demand," said Amazon Kindle Vice President Dave Limp. "In fact, demand is accelerating -- Kindle Fire sales increased week over week for each of the past three weeks.

People are buying Kindle Fire because it's a simple, fully-integrated service that makes it easy to do the things they love -- watch movies, read books and magazines, listen to music, download apps, play games, and surf the web. Our family of Kindle e-ink readers are close behind Kindle Fire on the Amazon.com bestseller list. Customers continue to report preferring their Kindle e-reader for long-form reading, and in fact weve seen many customers buy two Kindles -- both a Kindle Fire and a Kindle or Kindle Touch -- this holiday season."

One estimate issued earlier this month forecast Amazon will ship 3.9 million Kindle Fire units during the holiday shopping season, securing the retailer the No. 2 tablet spot behind Apple's market dominating iPad. Amazon's entrance into the tablet market edges out Samsung, Barnes & Noble and HTC.



Some reports have suggested that the Kindle Fire has had a negative effect on iPad sales for Apple, prompting some Wall Street analysts to slightly reduce their sales projections for the fourth quarter of calendar 2011. Still, Apple is expected to set a new record for iPad sales this quarter, handily beating the 11.2 million tablets the company sold in its last quarter.

Even with indications of a strong debut for the Kindle Fire, one usability study found that Amazon's first touchscreen tablet has a "disappointingly poor user experience," particularly for Web browsing and magazine reading. In particular, usability guru Jakob Nielsen found that Amazon's proprietary Silk browser is "clunky and error-prone."

The online retailer revealed this week that Amazon is readying a software update to address criticisms that some users have shared since the Kindle Fire became available in November. While the software update will aim to fix some performance issues, it will not be able to address hardware issues related to a lack of external volume controls and poor placement of the off-switch.
post #2 of 38
"Yeah… 'millions'… that's it…"

And what of the reports of the Fire being stolen off of people's doorsteps because the box it's in screams, "HEY, THIS IS AN AMAZON KINDLE FIRE," and since it comes preloaded with your Amazon account, the thieves are using it to buy crap with your information?

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post #3 of 38
"a number of" millions ...
post #4 of 38
2,000,001 units sold.
210,000 units returned.
1,432,873 units under Christmas trees, waiting to be returned.
post #5 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

210,000 units returned.

Oh? Do we know the return numbers so far, or are you just guessing that 210,000 figure?

I realize the rest is satire.

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post #6 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

2,000,001 units sold.
210,000 units returned.
1,432,873 units under Christmas trees, waiting to be returned.

As much as this is based on humor, a part of me does believe there is some truth to this.
post #7 of 38
It is truly pathetic how every company except Apple simply dances around their sales (not shipments, not gross sales, not just volume but also dollar sales) numbers.

They must assume that the people they're speaking to are a bunch of fools.

Oh, wait.....
post #8 of 38
Millions of returns.
Millions of repairs.
Millions of disappointed people.
Millions of Kindle Fires on ebay in January. Price point: 99$.
=> Millions of new iPad3 buyers in spring 2012.

It's working out perfectly: Amazon introducing Millions of people to the iPad market.
post #9 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by sflocal View Post

As much as this is based on humor, a part of me does believe there is some truth to this.

Well, I tried a Kindle Fire... hated it, everything about it. Specially, because of the three things I tried to do I couldn't: couldn't launch an app (crash), couldn't browse the web (nothing would load), couldn't even open a freaking book.

One might say that the "demo" unit I tried was defective, and I still hope it was. However, I'm yet to try a defective "demo" iPad...
post #10 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh? Do we know the return numbers so far, or are you just guessing that 210,000 figure?

I realize the rest is satire.

All just guesses, since Amazon isn't releasing numbers, all we can do is guess. All satirical, though I'm "guessing", not too far off.

Yes, the "already returned" and "waiting to be returned" number's are inflated/exaggerated guesses. But, I'm also adding to those numbers a fourth category... "units that people would like to return but it just isn't worth the hassle so this brick is going on the top of their obsolete and crap tech gear in the closet or sit unused on their coffee table as a $200 coaster".
post #11 of 38
I'd like to know why analysts don't try to delve into Amazon's supply channels to "guesstimate" how many Kindles are being sold. In fact, since Wall Street is always asking for transparency, why don't they press Amazon to report sales of every model Kindle made. I'd say it was rather unfair that some companies are given a free pass. Shouldn't Amazon be under the same scrutiny of Wall Street that Apple is? Why should Jeff Bezos be able to tell investors something like "We sold an awful lot of Kindles." and everyone is satisfied. There really doesn't seem to be equal treatment of companies as far as sales are concerned. The media is going around claiming that the Kindle Fire is stealing sales of millions of iPads from Apple but they never say how many millions. It's just left up to investors' imaginations to imagine the worst case scenario.
post #12 of 38
Not sure why all the Kindle Fire hate. I own both a first gen ipad and a Fire and I can say with no doubt that the ipad is a better device. But the fire isn't terrible like most people who have never used one will have you believe(especially if you already have a lot of amazon content and are a prime member). But the main thing its left me thinking is that there is most definetly a market for a 7 in tablet. It really is easier to stow(fits in my jacket pocket) so I carry it around more conveniently. The hardware is bland as could be but the screen itself is nice. I imagine the 2nd gen fire will be a much better concieved device(not a rush job). So my main question is, will Apple release a 7inch ipad before then. My guess is still no, but I would love to see it.
post #13 of 38
I`m not getting all the hate either.

I`m an iOS/Mac user own an iPad 1 and am waiting for my new iPad 2 to be delivered but I`ve been playing with the Kindle Fire at numerous stores while out Christmas shopping and think it`s a great product at the price point.
Especially if you`re already invested in Amazons environment.

I`d imagine there will be a lot of happy new Fire owners this Christmas.

The competition makes it better for the consumer.
post #14 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by kingsmuse View Post

The competition makes it better for the consumer.

Not necessarily, but even if one could make such a generalization, I'd hardly call the Fire competition for the iPad.

Therein lies my beef with the Fire. It's a cheap imposter, riding on the coat-tails of iPad frenzy, duping people into thinking they're getting something almost as good for a lot less money.

Does BMW make better BMWs because Ford sells millions of Focuses? No. But they probably try a little harder to make better BMWs because of Mercedes. That's what I'd like to see held up as competition to the iPad that might make Apple up its game... Someone to Apple what BMW is to Mercedes.

Yet, so far, not a single product hailed as an iPad "competitor" that I've held and played with has made me think for a millisecond, "wow, this thing is special, and Apple's going to have to innovate further or lower their price."
post #15 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Baka-Dubbs View Post

So my main question is, will Apple release a 7inch ipad before then. My guess is still no, but I would love to see it.

I think it's a good question. My guess is it won't be branded as an iPad but as an expanded iPod Touch.
post #16 of 38
'Millions' on Amazon's tricycle, before they move to the two-wheeler, the iPad.
post #17 of 38
It never fails, talk about a "competing" product and inevitably someone has to say "well the competition is good for us consumers".

Can anyone in these threads come up with at least one or two actual & verifiable examples of where competition resulted in better products. I've seen competition produce CHEAPER products. I've seen competition result in poorer products (netbooks anyone?).

Anyone? Bueller?
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post #18 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Sacto Joe View Post

I think it's a good question. My guess is it won't be branded as an iPad but as an expanded iPod Touch.

I agree. Apple made no changes to the iPod touch this year. They should come up with something "magical" for next year. A 7" iPod touch with retina display and 16GB at $299 would definitely take sales away from the Kindle Fire. Even if it is a $100 more.
post #19 of 38
This is precisely what I claimed in a Kindle thread here a while ago.

The vague Amazon who calls their dual touch tablet for multitouch will also be extremely vague when it comes to revealing their sales numbers, and I wrote that even if they only sold two million, they will say "millions".

post #20 of 38
I'm not sure why Amazon needs the attention of a second AI article on this topic in a week or so, is the one week old article lambasting Bezo's coyness already out of date?
post #21 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Tallest Skil View Post

Oh? Do we know the return numbers so far, or are you just guessing that 210,000 figure?

I realize the rest is satire.

Consumer electronics basic statistics is a ~10% return rate during the Xmas shopping season. Although I read and article in this mornings paper that reported an ~15% spot return rate this shopping season based on current flow thrus to a couple refurbishment companies that do business with WalMart and Best Buy. I think they called it the Black Friday Hangover.
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post #22 of 38
Ya' know... this Apple-Wang rivalry goes back decades...

In the 1970s-1980s there was a specialty Word Processor computer named Wang (there were several models).

I can remember a talk by Guy Kawasaki where he described the typical business computer user...

Guy said that this user sits around with his Apple in one hand and his Wang in the other...

True story!

Edit: Oops... posted to wrong thread
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"...The calm is on the water and part of us would linger by the shore, For ships are safe in harbor, but that's not what ships are for."
- Michael Lille -
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post #23 of 38
If they're selling so many and the sales are accelerating, then how come the unit was only back-ordered for a brief 1-2 days immediately after release? It has been "in stock" ever since. They're either producing massive numbers of these things or there's something not quite right with what they're claiming. I've only run into one Kindle Fire user so far.
post #24 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

I'd like to know why analysts don't try to delve into Amazon's supply channels to "guesstimate" how many Kindles are being sold. In fact, since Wall Street is always asking for transparency, why don't they press Amazon to report sales of every model Kindle made. I'd say it was rather unfair that some companies are given a free pass. Shouldn't Amazon be under the same scrutiny of Wall Street that Apple is? Why should Jeff Bezos be able to tell investors something like "We sold an awful lot of Kindles." and everyone is satisfied. There really doesn't seem to be equal treatment of companies as far as sales are concerned. The media is going around claiming that the Kindle Fire is stealing sales of millions of iPads from Apple but they never say how many millions. It's just left up to investors' imaginations to imagine the worst case scenario.


They treat Apple different from everyone else. Its not FAIR!
post #25 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Rob55 View Post

If they're selling so many and the sales are accelerating, then how come the unit was only back-ordered for a brief 1-2 days immediately after release? It has been "in stock" ever since. They're either producing massive numbers of these things or there's something not quite right with what they're claiming. I've only run into one Kindle Fire user so far.

HP should've went with the Amazon strategy..buy market share first then raise the price. Oh wait they don't have any content for WebOS. They need to pay developers to develop for it.
post #26 of 38
For every Kindle Fire sold at $199, Amazon LOSES $50...they are following Sony's PS3 model in hopes of making the actual profit on content sales.....so, If Amazon sold 3 million units, they have lost 150 MILLION Dollars!!!!!! (GENIUS)....Not to mention, they have already predicted a loss for next year because of this model....whats even more disastrous is that all the reviewers basically said the Kindle Fire sucks as far as user experience and performance.

post #27 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

It never fails, talk about a "competing" product and inevitably someone has to say "well the competition is good for us consumers".

Can anyone in these threads come up with at least one or two actual & verifiable examples of where competition resulted in better products. I've seen competition produce CHEAPER products. I've seen competition result in poorer products (netbooks anyone?).

Anyone? Bueller?

I'm assuming this is just trolling, but I'll take the bait.

Processors: Desktop PC processors were dominated by the CISC based Motorolla 68K family and the Intel/AMD x86 family (which pretty much dominated the space). IBM, Apple, and Motorola got together and formed the AIM alliance which took an ISA from IBM's POWER series, combined it with some IP (memory controller I think) from Moto's line, and created the PowerPC processors, which were very nice and much lower power than x86. Apple then switched to PPC. Intel reacted by changing their core architecture and focusing more on power and reducing complexity than before, eventually making the x86 line competitive and Apple then switched over again. Consumers benefited from having the additional choices.

Processors again: AMDs Opteron chip was a very nice architecture and had a great memory system because it moved the memory controller on-die. It allowed it to jump ahead of Intel for a few months, and pushed Intel to do the same (move the MC). AMD also pushed Intel by offering its own 64-bit extensions to the 32-bit x86 ISA at a time when Intel wanted everyone to move to the horribly blighted IA-64 architecture. In both cases consumers benefited from the additional options.

OSes: At a time when Microsoft Windows dominated desktop computing, Apple offered MacOS, which allowed consumers a very nice alternative. As a consumer, I still find this particular additional option (MacOS) very beneficial.

Maybe a better question would be: are there cases where a single company, without any viable competition for a long period, continues to relentlessly innovate and invest in new products?
post #28 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by afrodri View Post

I'm assuming this is just trolling, but I'll take the bait.

Processors: Desktop PC processors were dominated by the CISC based Motorolla 68K family and the Intel/AMD x86 family (which pretty much dominated the space). IBM, Apple, and Motorola got together and formed the AIM alliance which took an ISA from IBM's POWER series, combined it with some IP (memory controller I think) from Moto's line, and created the PowerPC processors, which were very nice and much lower power than x86. Apple then switched to PPC. Intel reacted by changing their core architecture and focusing more on power and reducing complexity than before, eventually making the x86 line competitive and Apple then switched over again. Consumers benefited from having the additional choices.

Processors again: AMDs Opteron chip was a very nice architecture and had a great memory system because it moved the memory controller on-die. It allowed it to jump ahead of Intel for a few months, and pushed Intel to do the same (move the MC). AMD also pushed Intel by offering its own 64-bit extensions to the 32-bit x86 ISA at a time when Intel wanted everyone to move to the horribly blighted IA-64 architecture. In both cases consumers benefited from the additional options.

OSes: At a time when Microsoft Windows dominated desktop computing, Apple offered MacOS, which allowed consumers a very nice alternative. As a consumer, I still find this particular additional option (MacOS) very beneficial.

Maybe a better question would be: are there cases where a single company, without any viable competition for a long period, continues to relentlessly innovate and invest in new products?

Nicely written. You should post more.
post #29 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by KazKam View Post

Does BMW make better BMWs because Ford sells millions of Focuses? No. But they probably try a little harder to make better BMWs because of Mercedes. That's what I'd like to see held up as competition to the iPad that might make Apple up its game... Someone to Apple what BMW is to Mercedes.

"

BMW and Mercedes were a stagnating duopoly until Lexus rang the bell.
post #30 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

For every Kindle Fire sold at $199, Amazon LOSES $50...they are following Sony's PS3 model in hopes of making the actual profit on content sales.....so, If Amazon sold 3 million units, they have lost 150 MILLION Dollars!!!!!! (GENIUS)....Not to mention, they have already predicted a loss for next year because of this model....whats even more disastrous is that all the reviewers basically said the Kindle Fire sucks as far as user experience and performance.


That $250 manufacturing cost was the highest end estimate. It has since been debunked. the fact that you still quote that bad number shows where you are coming from.

Very likely, the Fire costs somewhere around $210 to manufacturer. Since so many around this website find the Fire has cheap build, bad screen, generally horrible hardware, etc etc etc, why would anyone believe it costs $250 to manufacturer? Fanboys are so inconsistent with their bias.
post #31 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

It never fails, talk about a "competing" product and inevitably someone has to say "well the competition is good for us consumers".

Can anyone in these threads come up with at least one or two actual & verifiable examples of where competition resulted in better products. I've seen competition produce CHEAPER products. I've seen competition result in poorer products (netbooks anyone?).

Anyone? Bueller?

If it was up to you, we would still be driving a black model T from Ford. Take your head out of the sand and see the light. Pick up a good college level marketing book and you will see what good competition brings. Or you can just continue to cling to ignorance.
post #32 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Consumer electronics basic statistics is a ~10% return rate during the Xmas shopping season. Although I read and article in this mornings paper that reported an ~15% spot return rate this shopping season based on current flow thrus to a couple refurbishment companies that do business with WalMart and Best Buy. I think they called it the Black Friday Hangover.

If your statistics are true, then they must also be true for other consumer electronics like those from Apple. It would be awful strange if those statistics only apply to the Fire.
post #33 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Constable Odo View Post

. Shounldn't Amazon be under the same scrutiny of Wall Street that Apple is? Why should Jeff Bezos be able to tell investors something like "We sold an awful lot of Kindles." and everyone is satisfied. There really doesn't seem to be equal treatment of companies as far as sales are concerned. The media is going around claiming that the Kindle Fire is stealing sales of millions of iPads from Apple but they never say how many millions. It's just left up to investors' imaginations to imagine the worst case scenario.

Amazon should be under a 1000% higher scrutiny than Apple: Amazon is barely profitable while Apple delivers a wild and wildly growing bottom line. Also, AMZN is priced 96 times it's earnings, while AAPL gets a piss-poor 13 P/E. That's just MORONIC. In a reasonable world I wouldn't invest a single cent in AMZN.
And then people wonder why we have cyclic market collapses like in 2008...
post #34 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by easy288 View Post

If your statistics are true, then they must also be true for other consumer electronics like those from Apple. It would be awful strange if those statistics only apply to the Fire.

The 10% traditional, and 15% 2011 return rate applies to bog standard consumer electronics from retailers such as Wal Mart, and Best Buy. The story said other retailers were clients to the refurbisher but didn't name them. Since Apple does not contract out it's device refurbishment this would totally exclude Apple hardware. Kindle (not specific to Fire) was mentioned as significant recognizable item in the refurb firm along with off-brand 42" LCD TVs. They also said almost all the pre Xmas returns were simple test and repackages, not returns for repair needed.

I'm sure there is some buyers remorse returns of Apple hardware, but since Apple reports returns of a percent or two year-in and year-out it is pretty safe to extrapolate that the folks that buy Apple are less likely to over-buy and then need to return in order to pay the December bills. Like 5 to 10 times less likely to return items than other retail electronics during the Xmas season.
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post #35 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

The 10% traditional, and 15% 2011 return rate applies to bog standard consumer electronics from retailers such as Wal Mart, and Best Buy. The story said other retailers were clients to the refurbisher but didn't name them. Since Apple does not contract out it's device refurbishment this would totally exclude Apple hardware.

The newspaper article on this story included a picture of a woman inspecting an iPod for refurbishment.

Also, not trying to be picky but do you have some links to claims of 1-2% return rates being reported by Apple "year-in and year-out"? I know of the single report comparing the Galaxy Tab and the iPad from several months ago which only took into account Verizon iPad returns, along with the 1.7% that Jobs reported on the iPhone in 2010. I have apparently missed the others from other years covering Apple's product line. I wouldn't consider just one real mention of one specific product at a point in time to extrapolate to the entire model lineup as of today. If so I have no doubt that Apple would announce it loudly and proudly.

EDIT: This link would be evidence that you're perhaps mistaken. The image linked here is of a Liquidity Services employee inspecting a plainly marked Apple product before it's released back into the market.
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/14/take...ays/singleton/
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post #36 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Gatorguy View Post

The newspaper article on this story included a picture of a woman inspecting an iPod for refurbishment.

Also, not trying to be picky but do you have some links to claims of 1-2% return rates being reported by Apple "year-in and year-out"? I know of the single report comparing the Galaxy Tab and the iPad from several months ago which only took into account Verizon iPad returns, along with the 1.7% that Jobs reported on the iPhone in 2010. I have apparently missed the others from other years covering Apple's product line. I wouldn't consider just one real mention of one specific product at a point in time to extrapolate to the entire model lineup as of today. If so I have no doubt that Apple would announce it loudly and proudly.

EDIT: This link would be evidence that you're perhaps mistaken. The image linked here is of a Liquidity Services employee inspecting a plainly marked Apple product before it's released back into the market.
http://www.salon.com/2011/12/14/take...ays/singleton/

Interesting, that's the same story, but my paper didn't run that picture. I guess third party folks use their own return processors even for the Apple stuff, I thought they all went back to Apple.

The Apple 1-2% return rates have been cited in quarterly results teleconferences. They got the biggest press during the iPhone4 antenna brouhaha, and didn't even go up much then. Apple compared the spot rate on iPhone 4 to the approximately same established iPhone return rate previously. I don't know how often the rates get cited directly, but the analysts dug into Apples numbers last year because they didn't believe them and the issue completely died.

I am making the mild assumption that that is because the analysts that couldn't believe iPhone returns didn't skyrocket over previous return rates because of the death grip suddenly found they were incorrect and didn't want to advertise their own incorrectness. Is it hard fact, no. But is is reasonable extrapolation given the stakes of the involved players? I think so.
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post #37 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by Hiro View Post

Interesting, that's the same story, but my paper didn't run that picture. I guess third party folks use their own return processors even for the Apple stuff, I thought they all went back to Apple.

The Apple 1-2% return rates have been cited in quarterly results teleconferences. They got the biggest press during the iPhone4 antenna brouhaha, and didn't even go up much then. Apple compared the spot rate on iPhone 4 to the approximately same established iPhone return rate previously. I don't know how often the rates get cited directly, but the analysts dug into Apples numbers last year because they didn't believe them and the issue completely died.

I am making the mild assumption that that is because the analysts that couldn't believe iPhone returns didn't skyrocket over previous return rates because of the death grip suddenly found they were incorrect and didn't want to advertise their own incorrectness. Is it hard fact, no. But is is reasonable extrapolation given the stakes of the involved players? I think so.

Thanks for the acknowledgement. Some others here disappear from the conversation in light of a correction or challenge.

I do think it's more likely that return rates on Apple products overall are somewhat higher than 1-2% for the same reason I mentioned earlier. If they were that low consistently and across the board Apple would proudly announce it, often and loudly.
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post #38 of 38
Quote:
Originally Posted by fecklesstechguy View Post

It never fails, talk about a "competing" product and inevitably someone has to say "well the competition is good for us consumers".

Can anyone in these threads come up with at least one or two actual & verifiable examples of where competition resulted in better products. I've seen competition produce CHEAPER products. I've seen competition result in poorer products (netbooks anyone?).

Anyone? Bueller?

It's more lack of competition results in stagnant products, and competition does not always result in cheaper products or services. Equivalent mobile device plans for example have gone up in price over the past decade with significant competition there. This applies all the way down to the cheapest most basic phones. Look at a company like Adobe. On products where there aren't any fully viable alternatives, they've slowed development for years. I should reiterate slightly here. Competition forces companies to differentiate themselves. Either they find a way to improve on an existing product, or they minimize costs and cut prices. Note how intel has been adjusting their strategy as they're concerned about ARM.

Quote:
Originally Posted by bongo View Post

BMW and Mercedes were a stagnating duopoly until Lexus rang the bell.

That's a better example than my own, but yeah they basically just paced against each other.

Quote:
Originally Posted by tundraBuggy View Post

For every Kindle Fire sold at $199, Amazon LOSES $50...they are following Sony's PS3 model in hopes of making the actual profit on content sales.....so, If Amazon sold 3 million units, they have lost 150 MILLION Dollars!!!!!! (GENIUS)....Not to mention, they have already predicted a loss for next year because of this model....whats even more disastrous is that all the reviewers basically said the Kindle Fire sucks as far as user experience and performance.


You're beyond troll here. If the analyst said something bad about Apple you'd dismiss it. Since they're talking about Amazon you aren't just accepting his statement, but using it to extrapolate data without any basis. I can think of many words worse than troll and analyst to describe this post.
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