Wow! That's a lot of e-book reader hardware units. I mean, everyone knew these things were popular after selling out so quickly straight off the bat. But 240,000 units? Who would have thought there would be such a huge demand for this kind of technology. Especially since every e-book reader I have tried, including those which incorporate the admittedly really quite gob-smackingly good e-ink display technology, has been let down by one crucial factor: content.
Sure, it is great to have a few hundred books in one paperback-sized device. But only if they are a few hundred books that you want to read. Most devices seem to either just let you read those out of copyright texts that can be found online for nothing, or tie you into some proprietary format.
Now I have nothing against the classics, indeed I have read many of them. But when I am relaxing on the beach during my vacation, or whiling away the hours on the plane getting there, I don't want to get lost in Dickens or Shakespeare thanks very much. I want to see what Michio Koku is predicting for the quantum physics future, or maybe grab a little bit of Darkly Dreaming Dexter to calm my nerves.
If I did want to read a freely available e-book, I might download the PDF to an Apple iPhone or iTouch which is much smaller and does much more than the Kindle ever could.
Still, some 240,000 people would appear to disagree if the figures obtained by TechCrunch from "a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the numbers" are in the right ball park.
The TechCrunch article estimates that Amazon has seen revenue of around $100 million from Kindle and related sales since it went on sale in November.
Even more amazingly, one analyst reckons that the Kindle could be a billion dollar business for Amazon over the coming years...