12 Comments

Summary:

Amazon’s new e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite, started shipping on Monday but is already sold out. Customers who order one today won’t receive it for four to six weeks.

kindle paperwhite e-reader

Amazon’s new front-lit e-reader, the Kindle Paperwhite (our review here), only started shipping on Monday to those who’d pre-ordered it, but it’s already sold out. If you order a Kindle Paperwhite today, it won’t ship for four to six weeks.

The delay appears to apply to both Wi-Fi and 3G models of the Kindle Paperwhite, and to models both with ads and without. I’ve asked Amazon for a statement and will update this post if I hear back.

A four- to six-week delay has the Kindle Paperwhite shipping in November. That should get the e-readers into shoppers’ hands by the holidays, though it’s possible that there could be further delays (or, of course, that the devices could ship sooner). Some chains like Best Buy and OfficeMax will sell the Paperwhite in stores, but the devices don’t appear to be in stock yet there.

The not-always-reliable Digitimes reported possible shipping delays last week due to shortages of “raw materials and production labor.”

via Me and My Kindle

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  1. All of the glowing reviews must be helping sales because when I checked like a week ago, shipping was only backed up until the 15th I think it was. Luckily I ordered mine when they went on sale so UPS should be delivering mine this afternoon.

  2. fluffythewondercat Wednesday, October 3, 2012

    When I read something like this I always wonder, marketing ploy or supply chain problem?

    Many a product’s desirability has been enhanced when that product is notoriously hard to get.

  3. Sudden scarcity in the face of high demand creates fantastic momentum, incites greater demand and garners terrific, invaluable publicity at this time of the year. Its the Tickle Me Elmo effect. Good move, Amazon. Any word on how many are being sold to current Kindle owners (as replacements or upgrades) versus new customers? Unless Amazon comes clean it is safe to assume that nearly 70% are replacement purchases, with the remaining 30% split somehow between new customers and gift giving.

    1. This probably isn’t a ploy. The manufacturing process for frontlighting is very low yield and buggy.

      The nook glowlight had manufacturing issues that resulted in out-of-stocks for the first month to two months after it was first launched as well, Barnes and Noble confirmed in their quarterly report that it was an unplanned shortage and hurt sales.

      Amazon and Barnes and Noble use the same Asian suppliers and factories, so there’s no reason to believe Amazon wouldn’t have the same problem.

      If they can get it fixed by Black Friday it could be good publicity, but there’s a very real danger Amazon’s flagship popular product may end up largely sitting out the Christmas season.

      1. Peter you’re probably right. I just have trouble believing that after five plus years of sales data on their signature product line the company wouldn’t be able to better predict their initial sales for 90 days out with greater accuracy. I can believe, as you suggest, that manufacturing key components such as the flattened fiber optic screen layer may have contributed to under utilizing the capacity for final assembly. Either way, its a win for Amazon unless the problem persists through the quarter.

      2. Predicting sales has nothing to do with it.

        There’s only one factory in the world that makes these things- and Amazon doesn’t control it. If E-ink can only make a couple million Kindles, Amazon can only sell a couple million Kindles.

        They could raising the price to tamp down demand. But given the business model, I think they’d rather be out-of-stock than allow Barnes and Noble to undercut them.

        I do think they’re saving up that inventory for Christmas, though. The delay notices went out to anyone who didn’t order within hours of the product announcement.

  4. I really wanted to order one but had to think on it for a bit…then today i decide to bite the bullet and see there is a 4-6 week delay! I’m pissed. I’m glad Amazon is doing well as I hold their stock but pissed i can’t even get a kindle :'( well at least i have time to think about it now.

  5. Dark Butterfly Friday, October 19, 2012

    I know this is probably out in left field, but since the new Paperwhite is out of stock currently, why don’t they allow Kindle Touches to be shipped? Some customers may not want a light, but still want all the perks of touch-screen. As it is, the only dedicated e-readers that are being sold currently by amazon are the paperwhite, kindle with buttons, and kindle keyboard. I want a touch-screen, and a light is nice, but if I can’t get the Paperwhite for another month and a half, why not at least make the option of a Kindle touch available?

  6. so disappointed i ordered late. its not coming till earliest nov 19

    1. My paperwhite 3G ordered on amazon.de will be shipped on 3rd of Jan 2013. Just be patient:)

  7. I’ve had the worst experience with amazon and FedEx. They tried to deliver my kindle at 5.20 AM at my office address, and failing to do so, returned to amazon. The greedy fellows told me they’ll sell it to the next customer on the waiting list because for some idiotic reason, they can’t ship back my kindle!!!! I hate them so much! I wish I could mobilize everyone to boycott their products!!!

  8. It’s worth the wait…Had mine since October and I absolutely love it!
    Now I have two kindles….I may givethe E-ink one to one of my daughters.

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