Kindle 2 – FAIL!
Amazon’s Kindle 2
Over the years many products have claimed to be the wave of the future. We’ve been taking a look at how the Kindle (whose company has claimed it was just that) is faring in the Chinese markets, and what its outlook is for the future.
Amazons Kindle 2 e-reader has attracted a massive numbers of fans throughout the global market since it was released in the US on February 23rd of last year. Unfortunately for Amazon, the Kindle hasn’t caught on so far with Chinese consumers nearly as much as they’d hoped.
The Kindle has been sold in Chinese grey markets for well over a year even though its official release in China was only in October of last year. But since its unofficial release in China prices and sales of the e-reader have steadily declined.
“The Kindle 2 has never been our main seller,” says Wei Wei, a Kindle vendor in Zhongguancun (one of the largest grey markets in China). “Prices started at over RMB 3,000 (about US$ 450) to begin with and have since dropped to RMB 1,500 (about US$ 225). Even with this drop in price we still have very few buyers.”
One of the main reasons for the decline in sales of the Kindle is the intense competition by Chinese e-readers. Wei says that his Kindle sales are between 20 and 30 units per month. In comparison his sales of one of Kindles competitors, the Hanwang e-book (which sells for less than RMB 1,000 in the grey markets), tops 300 or so per month.
The Kindle 2 was a FAIL(ure) in the Chinese markets for reasons beyond the fact that it was more expensive than its locally designed counterparts. Because the Kindle was unable to win support from Chinese application publishers, it had less features and the appeal to Chinese consumers has been limited.
The Kindle has also had stiff competition from the introduction of the Tablet PC into the market within the last year. Both the iPad and its many Chinese clones have found traction amongst Chinese consumers and have been selling like candy on a fat farm.
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