Amazon Kindle Fire Pre-orders Head For 2.5m Units

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Leaked orders for Amazon’s Kindle Fire tablets show it is on track for 2.5 million sales at launch – if true

Amazon.com began accepting pre-orders for its Kindle Fire tablet computer in the US a week ago, and it may already be on pace to sell 2.5 million units, according to data leaked to an industry blog.

The Kindle Fire is a seven-inch tablet based on a customised version of Google’s Android operating system. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos unveiled the slate on 28 September in New York City, pledging to sell it 15 November for $199 (£129) with one month of Amazon Prime’s free two-day shipping and Instant Videos.

Shopping List Or PhotoShop?

The Cult of Android blog obtained screenshots of Amazon’s internal inventory management system, code-named Alaska (Availability Lookup And SKu Aggregator). The screenshots indicate Amazon booking pre-orders of up to 2,000 units per hour, or over 50,000 per day. By 3 October, or five days after Amazon made the Fire available for pre-order on its Website, over 250,000 tablets were pre-ordered.

Cult of Android noted that if that clip keeps up, Amazon will have to ship 2.5 million Kindle Fire tablets when the device goes on sale 15 November on Amazon.com and at retailers such as Best Buy.

By itself, that number does not mean much beyond the fact that there is keen demand for the device. But the 2.5 million unit figure is also the same number of iPad 2 gadgets Apple sold in its first full month of sales. If the numbers hold, the Kindle Fire will be keeping some heady company.

It is easy to dismiss the blog’s screenshots as a Photoshop exercise, but the alleged Amazon numbers are in keeping with figures from another source. Market researcher eDataSource said Amazon is booking over 20,000 Kindle Fire sales each day after accepting 95,000 Kindle Fire orders on the first day of pre-ordering.

Over six days, that comes to a total of about 215,000, eDataSource CEO Carter Nicholas told CNET. That would certainly put sales of the Fire well over 2 million units upon launch.

Some analysts fairly questioned whether Amazon will have enough in stock to meet demand, but the company has assured consumers it has learned from its first Kindle launch in 2007, when its e-readers sold out in a week. Bezos and other executives said the company will have millions of Kindle Fires available for shoppers this holiday season.

At $199, it is easy to see why the tablet is so desirable. It has a multi-touch display (1,024 x 600 pixel resolution at 169 ppi, with 16 million colours), a speedy new Web browser called Silk, and easy access to Amazon content, including Instant Video, MP3 music downloads and applications.

Other Android tablets, such as the HTC Flyer and Research in Motion’s BlackBerry PlayBook, have been discounted to $299 (£194), but they launched at $499 (£323).

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