That’s not a prediction; I’m already seeing evidence that Amazon might be running out of Kindles to sell.
I came across a blog post this morning by a librarian. Her library lends out Kindles, and they’ve been buying them 5 at a time (Amazon have an order limit due to demand). She tried to place an order Friday, and this is what happened:
On Friday afternoon, I went into our library Kindle/Amazon account to order five more Kindles; however, when I went to process the order with our corporate account, I received a message that I had exceeded my quota and that the Kindles had been removed from my shopping cart. Now while I knew you could only order 5 at a time because of the demand on the Kindles, I truly thought this message was a technical blip, and wanting to leave work before 6PM on a Friday night, I left and decided to try again on Monday.
Today I attempted to place the order and received the exact same message.
The short story is that Amazon reduced the limit from 5 Kindles to 3 Kindles becuase demand is so high that they’re worried about running out.
That’s not my only piece of evidence.
I’ve checked with my local Staples store, and they could tell me when they’d have the Kindle back in stock. Actually, the Staples clerk said that they’d be getting a truck in today, and it might have Kindles on it. But it might not; they don’t get Kindle deliveries every week and when they do it’s usually only 1 or 2 Kindles.
I also checked with one of my local Target stores, and I was told that they got a delivery last night and that I should come soon becuase they run out fairly fast. About half the time they don’t have any K3 in stock.
BTW, I noticed a curious detail while researching this story. The K3 is carried by Target, Staples, and Best Buy, but you can’t find it on their website. Seriously. I’ve seen the ereader in these stores, but it’s not on their website. My guess is that Amazon won’t allow it becuase Amazon are a web only presence and they don’t want the competition.
Amazon could by shorting their retail partners, but why did they reduce the order limit? Only reason that makes sense to me is that they might be reaching the limits of their supplier.
Update: Andrys Basten over at KindleWorld discovered that Amazon have put a 2 to 3 month shipping delay on all Kindles order from outside the USA and UK. If that’s not a sign that demand exceeds supply, I don’t know whatis.