Blonde woman in new $79 Kindle ad buys one for herself

There’s a strange statistic making the rounds. British newspapers are reporting the results of study about all the people who received a new Kindle this Christmas. It claims 22% of them aren’t even using their new Kindle, if you believe the coverage in the Telegraph or the Metro newspapers. But another site filed an entirely different report on the same study, suggesting the Kindle may actually have been much more popular as a gift.

PC Advisor notes that the study first focussed only on people who were dissatisfied with something they’d received as a gift. Only then did the researchers ask the follow-up question: okay, well then, which gift was it which you weren’t satisfied with? Even then, 78% of them identified a different gift, but the Kindle was named by 22% of the people who were dissatisfied with a gift. And more than half of those people even admitted that they hadn’t even used their Kindles yet. They had yet to download a single ebook. (No wonder they were dissatisfied!)

In fact, this year the Kindle was one of the most popular Christmas gifts in England. Even The Telegraph notes a separate survey which discovered that this year, a whopping one in 40 British adults received a Kindle for Christmas. So obviously, among all those new Kindle owners will be a handful of recipients who are still techno-phobic, or who simply haven’t gotten around to using their Kindles yet. It’ll seem like there’s a lot of more of them when you calculate only what their percentage would be of those grumpy people who didn’t like their Christmas presents.

In fact, 9% of that group reported that the gift they weren’t using was…an iPad! And another 14% said they weren’t using the mp3 players they’d received for Christmas. Interestingly, an even higher percentage of this group said it was because they hadn’t gotten around to downloading anything yet to listen to — 67% of them. “It is surprising to see how many people have not used gifts they received almost one month ago,” noted the Chairman of the web site which released the study. But he added, “I think we are all guilty of putting gifts to one side now and again.”

And no matter how cynical the headlines are, the chairman actually reached a very positive conclusion. “It is likely that these gifts will be used eventually, perhaps when the owners get a chance to download books or music…” The site which conducted the study is MyVoucherCodes.co.uk — a British web site offering shopping coupons for discounts. It wasn’t a research firm filled with professional market analysts, or even an academic study from a university. (I wonder if they simply asked random people visiting their web site to make their selection from a small list of choices.)

Unfortunately, I can’t find any information online about how they conducted their study, which makes me feel a little guilty about even reporting these numbers. (At this point I’m writing an article about an article about a study — and it’s not even clear how that study was conducted!) But there’s one fact I’m absolutely sure of, and I think a lot of Kindle owners would almost certainly agree.

If we a new Kindle as a Christmas gift — we’d definitely be using it.

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