I've seen some desperate bone-headed, PR moves before, but Amazon's newest is one to long remember. When Apple announces a press event, the InterWebs erupt with speculation about what it can be. When product inventory is low in stores on some fruit-logo product, rumors explode about something new in the pipeline. Amazon has to work harder, issuing today a press release that Kindle Fire has sold out, ahead of next week's press event. Could the retailer be any less subtle, while revealing sales data that is absolutely nothing but meant to be something.
BetaNews founder Nate Mook nails exactly what's wrong with Amazon's gambit to drum up excitement ahead of the September 6 event. Earlier today he forwarded the Kindle-Fire sell-out email, writing: "It's SOOOO successful. So we're not making any more". That sums it up.
From the press release: "Today, Amazon announced that Kindle Fire is sold out, and that in just nine months, Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of tablet sales in the US". Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos drops the big hint -- just so you won't miss what's coming next week: "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".
Cough, cough, I must wipe a tear for Amazon's tablet, taken away from us after just 48 weeks of sales. Kindle Fire extinguished before its time.
Is the Fire out? Is that what Amazon really means, ahead of the new tablet we surely know must come next week. Kindle Fire flamed out in the Wilcox home. I gave my wife the tablet for Christmas 2011, and she loved it. Nothing could be better. That is until she spent seconds with the Nexus 7 I brought back from Google I/O in June. I ordered hers the next day. She loves Nexus 7 more. I was supposed to Craigslist her Kindle Fire weeks ago. Now that Amazon is sold out, perhaps this weekend will prove worth waiting to post.
Amazon announced Kindle Fire in September 2011 (well, there's another "hint, hint" about what's coming on the 6th) and started selling (beyond preorders) in early November. Amazon claims that Kindle Fire is the top-selling item on the retail site, but doesn't say how many. Then there's the 22 percent tablet sales figure, for which there is no cited source. I wouldn't let one of our writers throw out that kind of data without sourcing it. Says whom?
The sales figures are typical Amazon. Top-selling this or percentage-more that without any hard data by which to measure it. If Bezos goes to the doctor complaining about bladder problems and says he peed five times more today than yesterday or more today than any day this year, the practitioner will want to know how many times previously to make a diagnosis. There needs to be a frame of reference, and Amazon provides nothing.
I like Amazon and frequently shop there. But, geez Louise, today's press release stinks of desperation to drum up something -- even a hint of excitement -- before the big day.