With exactly one week to go before Amazon is expected to reveal a brand spankin’ new Kindle Fire, the company announced Thursday that the Kindle Fire as we know it has sold out—with surgically precise timing.
The low-priced tablet was introduced nine months ago and Amazon has made no secret of the fact that it has become the top selling item and the most successful product launch in Amazon’s history. While Amazon has long eschewed giving out hard numbers when it comes to Kindle sales, the company has maintained for the last couple of years that the Kindle family of e-readers and tablets, as well as Kindle products and accessories, remain Amazon’s top selling products. The Kindle Fire takes the top spot, with digital items in general filling out the top ten best selling items on Amazon.com.
Reports have also shown that the Kindle Fire now accounts for 22% of all U.S. tablet sales, taking the number two slot behind Apple’s iPad. But you get what you pay for, and while many are attracted to the Kindle Fire’s low price point, Kindle Fire owners are less satisfied with the tablet than iPad owners. One ChangeWave survey found that only 54% of Kindle Fire owners reported being “very satisfied” with their tablet, compared to 74% of iPad owners.
And the Kindle Fire is expected to get more competition from Google’s Nexus 7, which comes with the swagger of a low price point and glowing reviews that have pegged it as the clear winner when compared with the Kindle Fire.
Will the next Kindle Fire clear out the bugs that consumers have complained of? A better quality tablet would be nice, but either way, Amazon is nailing the hype like nobody’s business. Awfully convenient to sell out of your top item a week before you announce your new product—right before the holiday shopping season is set to kick off.
“We’re grateful to the millions of customers who have made Kindle Fire the most successful product launch in the history of Amazon,” said CEO Jeff Bezos in a statement. “This has been a big year for digital products on Amazon—all of the top 10 sellers on Amazon.com since Kindle Fire launched just less than a year ago are digital products. Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead—we will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”
There have also been rumors of an Amazon smartphone to be unveiled at the end of the year.