An analyst whose knowledge of the future is only curtailed by the misty damp that surrounds the ethereal plane is saying that the Kindle will make Amazon $1.6 billion in revenue with $400 million in profit. He also foresees that sales will go up 80% between 2009 and 2012 and that “subscriptions” will go up accordingly, leading to the agonizing death of newspapers and magazines. He also saw your fourth-grade hamster, Gonzo. He is doing well.
I’m dubious. Kindle isn’t the only game in town and by 2012 someone will have to have a competing or compatible ebook reader. Amazon is in the content business. It doesn’t want to sell hardware. There are an estimated 400,000 Kindles out there, give or take, and there are lots of folks who still don’t have the impetus or the need to pick up a Kindle. Unless the analyst is looking at the potential for textbook sales via Kindle, this industry will grow but not by the leaps and bounds he’s expecting.