Sorry!! The article you are trying to read is not available now.

Apple Couldn't Crush the Kindle in 2010

Print comment Post Comments
Shiny. Dynamic. Versatile. Those descriptors could easily describe most Apple products, but for the one that mattered most in 2010, they buoyed sales into the stratosphere. Since launching this spring, the iPad has become the tablet computer for folks to own. Competitors ranging from Google to Microsoft, Dell to HP, can only hope to reach a fraction of the market share Apple has claimed with its sleek product and household name.

But as popular as Steve Jobs' baby has become for Web browsing, video watching, and e-reading, many users still prefer a focused, single-use device. If all they need is an e-reader then why pay for the extra frills?

Such is the mindset behind Amazon Kindle's estimated eight million sales in 2010 alone.

According to Bloomberg's inside sources, the iPad hadn't crushed Kindle sales like many assume it would. Since Amazon won't divulge actual numbers, analysts at Citigroup, Barclays Capital, BGC Partners LP, and ThinkEquity LLC had expected sales to top five million this year -- up from 2.4 million from last year. Although respectable, at five million units, the Kindle would be far behind iPad's total sales for the year -- if you consider Apple's 4.19 million sales strictly from last quarter and a year-end holiday rush.

However, new information could put those analysts' numbers off by as much as 60%.

The Kindle's success could be attributed to a number of factors. Amazon is no less a household name than Apple, the ease and straightforward interface played well with the tech-averse, the e-ink continues to be much easier on the eyes than a back-lit screen, and updates like a longer battery life and sharper screen improved what had already been deemed sufficient.

Also, scarce development on the Sony Reader and misguided development on Barnes and Noble's Nook left a more open playing field for Amazon -- essentially making it the only e-reader name in town.

Other than making it a reliable presence on the subway, the Kindle's success has helped push Amazon's stock up 37% this year -- which is now hovering around $185 -- and shift much of its focus to expanding its e-book market.

But the day the Kindle effectively kills the ol' paperback is a date that's likely -- and hopefully -- far, far into the future.
POSITION:  No positions in stocks mentioned.