Amazon has just announced in a press release that the Kindle Fire, which it states is the best-selling product on Amazon since its launch, is “now sold out.” In its nine-month market availability, Amazon says, it captured “22% of U.S. tablet sales” and that “10 of the top 10 best-selling items on Amazon since Kindle Fire launched are Kindle devices and content.”
A few things are going on here. One of them is that Amazon wants the world to focus on its next bunch of Kindle tablets, due for a reveal in an event on September 6.
But the press announcement is confusing.
According to recent stats, the Fire only achieved 54% of Android tablet sales in the U.S. in February of this year, and even if Android tablets as a market segment secured a 50% U.S. market share for the months before and after that, then grabbing 22% of the entire market would seem tricky for Amazon. Particularly since other research suggests Fire sales have tumbled in recent months, and that iPad sales have surged.
Amazon also says it’s “sold out,” which sounds very positive–until you wonder how many tablets it’s actually sold. By point of comparison: If Apple “sold out” of the iPad, it would very likely have a greater than 70% share of the global market, but that would also reflect poor supply-chain management, and investors would worry it hadn’t planned well enough for the market.
So is this clever PR, or bad PR, or simply a sign that Amazon is grabbing at whatever limelight it can before Apple reveals what many suspect will be its own cheap small-format tablet?
We’ve asked Amazon to comment–and will update this post as soon as we hear from the company.