November, 2007. That’s when Amazon introduced their e-reader. Since then, reliable sources say, 240,000 units have been sold. That means $6,000,000 in revenue for every $25 worth of reading material purchased. The e-readers alone, sold between $360 and $400, have generated somewhere between $86 million and $96 million. As more and more Kindles are sold, more and more reading materials go along with the shipped units. It seems Amazon has tapped into a real and viable business.
Consider the financial impact when the college market is more fully explores. Students are used to paying outrageous prices for textbooks. Even though the excuse “it’s the high cost of paper” wears thin rather quickly, students will always need texts. I’m sure future generations will hear “it’s the high cost of production” as the excuse for overpriced e-texts, but the fact remains students and texts go hand in hand. Just the simple luxury of not lugging around a heavy library should spark the market.
The surge in e-readership may outpace expectations. While analysts agree that sales will grow, estimates vary wildly. Ultimately, with a solid base of almost a quarter million Kindles sold already, it might be time for a second look. Especially if we’ll be seeing a new Kindle soon.