Reuters spoke to Amazon.com’s Jeff Bezos at the launch of the Kindle 2.
He talked about device’s price, Amazon’s big picture for Kindle, international plans and cannabilization.
Reuters: Has Kindle been a big hit since its debut late in 2007?
Jeff Bezos: We had way more demand than we ever expected or even hoped for.
which meant that we were sold out during 2 holiday seasons. which is not a good idea – not the plan. we made more than we though we would need and we still sold out. so its a high quality problem in the sense that demand has been very very good.
Reuters: Popular yes, but aren’t digital book sales still a fraction of physical book sales?
Bezos: In 14 months, for the 230,000 titles that we have Kindle additions, Kindle unit sales already represent more than 10 percent of Amazon’s total sales in those 230,000 titles. We spent 14 years building our physical books business. And in just 14 months, this is already 10 percent. So we are all very surprised that it is being adopted so quickly.
Reuters: How many Kindle 1′s were sold?
Bezos: We are going to stick to our policy of not sharing that.
Reuters: What is the long term goal? Is Kindle going be strictly for text or some kind of wonder gadget that competes with iPods and other multimedia devices?
Bezos: We are really focused on making the best purpose-built reading device…for books, magazines and newspapers, blogs. It does have a web browser, so you can surf the web wirelessly. (It has) A basic browser — it doesn’t do flash, for example. So that’s not the focus of the device. That’s not the emphasis of the device. The real focus is reading. Its a device for reading.