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Half a million Kindles are expected to be sold this year, JP Morgan estimates
Amazon's Kindle 2 started shipping this week and expectations are high. Amazon should sell about 500,000 this year, of which $45 goes to the online retailer, resulting in $63 million in sales in 2009, according to Imran Khan, Internet analyst at JP Morgan. But, said the analyst, "based on current trends, we think there could be upside to this estimate."
The Kindle is available at Amazon for $359, weighs 10 ounces, has 2 GB of memory and can store 1,500 books of the 230,000 books available in the Kindle 2 Store.
"Amazaon could be to eBooks what Apple is to MP3s," wrote Khan. "A market presence combined with a popular device has proved a successful combination for Apple's iTunes, which has maintained growth even as others (including Amazon) have tried to get into the MP3 game. If Amazon succeeds in building a large Kindle user base, we believe it could (1) raise barriers to entry in the eBook market, (2) lower per-book marketing cost, (3) reduce fulfillment cost, and (4) increase revenue visibility. In the longer term, this would produce higher margins for Amazon."
Now, this is an endorsement.
Here's more from Khan's report.
Kindle book sales KEY to higher profitability. Our F’09 model assumes 12M eBook sales, or ~5% of domestic Amazon book sales by unit. Amazon has been aggressively adding to its Kindle book catalog, and has reported the Kindle accounts for ~10% of units sold where both a Kindle and a physical book version are available. Therefore, we believe that device sales and the lower price point of Kindle books could lead to as much as 50% to our modeled unit sales numbers. We estimate every 2M incremental eBook sales would generate an extra $0.01 in annual EPS for Amazon.
Better margins on digital sales. Even if gross margins are similar to physical sales, digital sales would not incur as high a fulfillment cost, which was 8.3% of overall revenue in F’08; we estimate fulfillment cost on Kindle books is in the 2-3% range. As such, a higher proportion of digital content sales would help drive operating profit growth.
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