I noticed something funny this morning when I went to Amazon to buy a Kindle Paperwhite. I couldn’t do it! Amazon isn’t able to ship the new Kindle Paperwhite any time this week, and is warning customers that if they purchase one, Amazon’s warehouse will actually ship it out “in 7 to 10 days”.
What’s really interesting is the new Kindle Paperwhite has only been available for nine days. But Amazon had been taking pre-orders since September 3rd, when they first announced the next-generation of their popular high-contrast (and glowing) screen. (“World’s best-selling e-reader now even better,” read the headline on Amazon’s press release…) And what’s even stranger is the 10-day delays may actually be an improvement. Friday one technology blog reported that Amazon was warning customers that the new Paperwhites would be shipping from their warehouses “in four to six weeks!”
Amazon prefixed Friday’s warning about a shipping delay with the words “Due to popular demand”, according to the technology blog — a nice way to acknowledge that their newest Kindle has been very popular. But Amazon also put a new restriction on Kindle purchases: “Limited to two per customer.” I no longer see that restriction on the Kindle Paperwhite page today — which is almost even more disturbing. Does this mean that Amazon has suddenly caught up with the initial onslaught of orders, and now has enough Paperwhites to last through a delay that they thought would last three weeks? Or did one of their suppliers suddenly resolve a problem getting the components to build the devices — so they can now start producing them at a faster rate. This is good news for Amazon’s customers — since their “countdown to Kindles” is now much shorter.
Still, you might want to get your order in early if you’re thinking about buying one of Amazon’s newest Kindle Paperwhites. There’s no guarantee that the shipping delay will remain at 7 to 10 days — and the delays could be even longer when more people start purchasing Kindles as a gift for Christmas. Maybe the new Kindle Paperwhite will be this year’s “Cabbage Patch Kid” — a gift so popular that it’s impossible to get, which makes more people want to buy them just so they can re-sell them at a profit. If that actually happened, then the delays get longer and longer — and you’d have a much harder time getting your own Kindle Paperwhite any time before January!
I wondered if Amazon might sell the previous generation of Kindle Paperwhites, but they obviously want to make sure their customers are only getting the very latest technology But what’s more interesting is that even before the new Kindle Paperwhite was released, Amazon was already sold out of the previous model. In fact, I have to applaud the technology site Geek.com, which reported in August that Amazon was already sold out of the WiFi-only Paperwhites. Because they correctly recognized that this was a sign that Amazon was about to release a new model of the Paperwhite — and that prediction was spot-on, because Amazon did just that, just six days later. (“Get your wallets ready,” Geek.com had urged their readers….)
And that’s still good advice — especially since supplies may be running out, at least temporarily, for the new Kindle Paperwhite.