How Long Will Amazon’s Silence On Kindle Sales Last?

Kindle DX $100 Bill

As has now become typical, Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) executives provided no specifics on Kindle sales during the company’s earnings call. But asked about his company’s continued silence on the topic, CFO Tom Szkutak acknowledged that could ultimately change. “In terms of breaking out Kindle, certainly as you get to a certain size, as we’ve done in the past — we’ve broken out various countries, we would follow whatever is required,” he said. That statement seems to contrast with CEO Jeff Bezos’ remark in late May that the company might never release Kindle sales figures due to competitive reasons.

While the Kindle hasn’t reached that “certain size” for Amazon yet — its presence in the company’s earnings release was notable. The only quote from CEO Jeff Bezos, along with the first three “highlights” on the release, had to do with the device.

Szkutak provided some additional color on Amazon’s plans for its e-reader. Asked about getting rights to foreign language titles, he said the company’s “long-term vision is to have every title ever printed in every language available on the Kindle in less than 60 seconds” — and said it was something “the team is working towards.”

What he wouldn’t talk about: Whether Amazon might open the Kindle up to other formats — or whether the company was planning to release any additional devices.

As for traditional book sales, Szkutak repeatedly dismissed questions about the impact of recent book price drops by Wal-Mart (NYSE: WMT) and Target, saying that Amazon had operated in a “competitive environment … since the day we launched.”

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