Customers React to Changes in Amazon’s Kindle Line

Amazon's original Kindle DX

There’s been big changes in the Kindle universe. The same day that Amazon was announcing their new devices, an Amazon Kindle executive named Jay Marine surprised one technology site with the news that Amazon is “pretty much done” with the Kindle DX. He stressed that Amazon’s not abandoning these older large-screen, black-and-white Kindles — though it wasn’t 100% clear what exactly he meant. “Marine did note that there may be a few more DX’s manufactured and it’ll continue to be sold online,” the techology site reported, “before it completely falls off of the face of the earth.”

But as one Kindle fades away, Amazon’s announced a new generation of devices that are ready to take their place. So how did shoppers react to Amazon’s newest Kindles? I’ve been studying the internet for clues, and there appears to be one very important lesson. It looks like Amazon’s customers really appreciate the lower prices – at least, judging by Amazon’s list of their best-selling electronic devices!

The first weekend after they were announced, Amazon’s #1 best-selling item was Amazon’s 7-inch Kindle Fire HD (which at $199, is also one of their cheapest color Kindles). Amazon’s also selling an upgraded version of their last year’s Kindle Fire tablets for just $159, and those were #4 on their list of the best-selling electronics. But the #2 and #3 spots went to the new black-and-white Kindle Paperwhite. And it was the cheaper “Special Offers” version (which sells for $119) which earned the #2 spot, while the ad-free version (which sells for $139) grabbed the #3 spot.

Amazingly, more than two weeks later, the top four hasn’t changed. The two cheapest Kindle Fire tablets still hold the #1 and #4 spots, while the #2 and #3 spots still went to the cheapest
Kindle Paperwhites!

But even that first weekend, the #5 spot also went to yet-another one of Amazon’s black-and-white Paperwhite Kindles — the more-expensive version with built-in 3G wireless capability (which sells for $179). There’s also an ad-free version which sells for twenty dollars more ($199), which had also risen up to #7. And the #6 spot went to the cheapest Kindle of all — Amazon’s 6-inch “Kindles”, which now costs just $69. You had to go all the way down to the #8 spot before you found one of Amazon’s more expensive 8.9-inch versions of their new Kindle Fire HD tablets. And even then, it was the cheaper WiFi-only version without the built-in 4G wireless (which sells for $299).

Two weeks later, it had dropped to the #14 spot, and the $499 and $599 versions didn’t even appear among the top-20 best-sellers. Even in that first weekend, the $499, 4G verson of the Kindle Fire had only reached the #9 spot, and the $599 version (with 64-gigabytes of storage) had come in at #10. I was surprised to see that even two days after Amazon announced their new Kindles, Apple still had the #15 best-selling electronic device — their Apple TV receiver. And it’s since risen to become the #6 best-selling electronic device on Amazon — after racking up more than 190 days in the top 100.

Of course, Amazon’s not selling Apple’s hottest new device, the iPhone 5. But if they did, I’m guessing it would also become one of Amazon’s best-sellers.

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