The Kindle Fire was announced to a fanfare of publicity a little while ago so how is it selling? Well, estimates are that Amazon has sold something like 3.9 million this quarter, so not too badly. However, reports are coming out that all is not well with the tablet device. Philip Elmer-DeWitt reports for Fortune that the device has received low ratings from many owners on Amazon’s site.
Checking for myself I can report that it has an average rating of 4 stars so that’s good, isn’t it? Well, he reports that there are a lot of 1 start ratings (513 our of when I checked). In addition there are a lot of 2 star ratings (330) and 3 star ratings (455). He makes the point that Amazon (unlike Apple) doesn’t report actual sales to investors, so its difficult to know exactly how many it has sold. As mentioned above, estimates of around 3.9 million have been made, against 18.6 million iPads in the same period. The key number is how many are returned by unhappy purchasers. Truth is only Amazon know and they aren’t saying, unsurprisingly. However, he estimates that around half a million of those 3.9 million will eventually be returned, on the basis of those 1 star ratings.