Should Amazon stop making high end devices?
This is a time of year when people are typically more willing to buy luxury items…to give a gifts.
In addition to managing a brick-and-mortar bookstore, I managed a game store. We carried $500 chess sets…and we figured we were very unlikely to sell one, except during the holidays at the end of the year.
Based on that, it would be reasonable to expect that Amazon’s top of the line EBR (E-Book Reader), the
would be doing relatively well right now.
To be clear, it doesn’t mean that it should be the bestselling Kindle EBR. If Amazon’s profit on the Voyage is twice what it is on the least expensive
and it sells half as many, they are equal.
Note that the Voyage costs more than twice as much the least expensive Kindle…but there are also certain costs which will be constant between the two (they both have delivery expenses, customer service expenses, that sort of thing).
I decided to take a look at the
to see what was selling best.
I was also curious about other Amazon devices.
When Amazon got into the device business in 2007, it was with a Kindle EBR. Many people thought (and said) that Amazon shouldn’t get into hardware…that it wasn’t their area of expertise.
They said the same thing when Amazon was expanding into tablets.
When they released the Fire Phone…well, okay, that one wasn’t a success. 😉 I do use one every day as my SmartPhone, though.
tech writers had learned more caution, I think…they didn’t simply reject its market possibilities because it was from Amazon.
Here are some of the rankings for Amazon devices right now (and it can change every hour):
#1 Fire TV Stick (the least expensive Amazon TV option)
#2 Fire 7″ tablet (the least expensive Amazon tablet option)
#3 The Kindle Paperwhite (interestingly, this is the middle priced option) with Special Offers
#4 Fire 7 tablet without Special Offers (ad-supported devices, which are less expensive to purchase in exchange for viewing ads, are generally more popular than their full-priced, ad-free counterparts)
#5 Amazon Echo
#7 Fire 6″ HD tablet with Special Offers
#8 The least expensive Kindle with Special Offers
#9 Kids Fire Edition
#10 Fire TV Stick with Voice Remote
#13 Fire 8″ HD with Special Offers
#14 Another Kids Fire Edition
#15 Fire 10″ with Special Offers (the most expensive Fire tablet model)
#16 Amazon Fire TV
I’m going to skip a lot of other configurations of these devices, to get down to the Kindle Voyage at…#79.
That does show it trending upward to get to 79, by the way.
My guess on what this means?
People don’t think of Amazon as a luxury brand. When an Amazon device is relatively expensive, compared to competitors, it just doesn’t do as well.
That would include the Kindle Voyage and (when it was introduced), the Fire Phone.
Does that mean Amazon should just give up on high end devices?
I don’t think so.
While there are considerable costs involved (development, manufacture, marketing, support), there are probably public image benefits which aren’t directly reflected in the sales.
Also, having an expensive model like the Voyage will increase the sales of the middle model, in this case, the Paperwhite. People can justify buying the middle model rather than the lowest price model because off the money they “saved” compared to buying the most expensive model.
I don’t think there is an imminent danger that Amazon will discontinue the Voyage the way they did the Fire Phone…although, unlike diamonds, device models aren’t forever. 😉
What do you think? Surprised the Echo its doing so well? Did you think the Voyage would be doing better? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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* I am linking to the same thing at the regular Amazon site, and at AmazonSmile. When you shop at AmazonSmile, half a percent of your purchase price on eligible items goes to a non-profit you choose. It will feel just like shopping at Amazon: you’ll be using your same account. The one thing for you that is different is that you pick a non-profit the first time you go (which you can change whenever you want)…and the good feeling you’ll get. Shop ’til you help! By the way, it’s been interesting lately to see Amazon remind me to “start at AmazonSmile” if I check a link on the original Amazon site. I do buy from AmazonSmile, but I have a lot of stored links I use to check for things.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.