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Kindle成功之道解密:简单制胜

Dan Mitchell 2011年06月10日

杰夫•贝佐斯提出,要为消费者提供最优秀的电子书阅读器和电子书商店,这一战略正在为亚马逊带来回报;不过,详细情况尚未透露。

    花旗集团(Citigroup)分析师马克·马哈尼表示,亚马逊(Amazon)的Kindle阅读器以及电子书销售异常火爆,并且增长迅速,正逐渐成为推动公司总体增长的动力。

    亚马逊到底卖出了多少台Kindle,我们不得而知,因为公司拒绝公布具体数据。但在电子书阅读器市场,Kindle独占鳌头,这一点却毋庸置疑。对于一款推出时间仅三年半的产品来说,这已经是非常不错的成绩了。更何况,自面世以来,它便一直面临着激烈的竞争,而且竞争愈演愈烈。

    在昨天公布的报告中,马哈尼在给出相关数据点后,多次使用了“哇”这个词以表惊叹。比如:到2012年,Kindle和电子书的销售额预计将占亚马逊总销售额的10%。马哈尼表示,到时候,Kindle与电子书将在亚马逊占有举足轻重的地位,也就是说,这两项业务的收入,将成为推动亚马逊发展的主要动力。

    另外一处“哇”:亚马逊电子书的销量已经超过了纸质出版物。未来两三年内,这一趋势将蔓延到整个行业。

    花旗集团的分析显示,今年,亚马逊将卖出约1,750万台Kindle设备,带来的收入约为20亿美元。而电子书的销量将达到3.1亿本,收入约为17亿美元。马哈尼估计,截至目前,Kindle今年的销售量已经是去年同期的三倍。

    销量的增长主要得益于零售价格的下降。目前,最便宜的Kindle仅售114美元。这意味着,如果人们愿意购入iPad或者其他平板电脑的话,他们同样不会介意购买一台Kindle。毫无疑问,平板电脑价格下降之后将与Kindle展开更激烈的竞争。不过,到目前为止,它们还无力阻挡Kindle的发展。而同行业的竞争对手,比如邦诺(Barnes & Noble)的Nook设备,也无法对它构成威胁。

    马哈尼认为,Kindle大获成功的部分原因在于:实惠的零售价格,“更出色的实用性”,亚马逊推出的“简单、浪漫,却让人难忘”的电视广告,更好的零售分销,以及亚马逊提供的海量电子书资源。目前,亚马逊提供的电子书约有一百万本,而且数量还在不断增加。

    而对于Kindle的成功秘诀,亚马逊首席执行官杰夫·贝佐斯的解释更为简洁。据报道,在刚刚结束的亚马逊股东大会上,他说亚马逊的Kindle策略其实“非常直接”。亚马逊提供“最优秀的专业电子书阅读器,最出色的电子书店,和最完美的人性化设计,我们让阅读随心所欲。

    他说:“对于Kindle,我们的想法非常简单:顾客所需即是我们所想。”

    Sales of the Kindle and of e-books are so good, and growing so fast, that they are now becoming a driver of Amazon's overall growth, says Citigroup analyst Mark Mahaney.

    We can't know for sure how many Kindles Amazon (AMZN) is selling, because the company refuses to release figures. But there's no doubt that the Kindle is a juggernaut. Not bad for a product that was introduced only three and a half years ago, and which has faced stiff and growing competition ever since.

    In the note (pdf) he released yesterday, Mahaney repeated the word "wow" several times after giving up a datapoint. Such as: sales of the Kindle and eBooks will comprise 10% of Amazon's sales by 2012. That's when "critical mass" is achieved, Mahaney says, meaning that Kindle and e-book sales will have become a major driver of Amazon's growth.

    Another "wow": e-books have already surpassed printed books in terms of volume at Amazon. In another two or three years, that will be true industrywide.

    According to Citigroup's analysis, the company will sell 17.5 million of the devices this year, generating about $2 billion in revenue. And it will sell 310 million e-books, for about $1.7 billion in revenue. So far this year, Mahaney estimates, sales of the Kindle are running three times ahead of the same period last year.

    That's thanks largely to falling price points. The cheapest Kindle now sells for $114. That probably means that at least some people are happy to buy an iPad or other tablet computer as well as a Kindle. Tablets will doubtless present ever-growing competition as prices for them fall as well. But for now, they don't seem to be holding the Kindle back. Nor, so far, do competitors such as Barnes & Noble's Nook device.

    Some of the reasons for Kindle's success, according to Mahaney, are the low price points, "improved functionality," the "simple, sweet and memorable" TV spots Amazon has been running, better retail distribution, and ever-increasing numbers of titles Amazon makes available as e-books. They now number about 1 million.

    Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos has a shorter explanation. At Amazon's shareholder meeting today, he reportedly called Amazon's Kindle strategy "very straightforward." Amazon has "the best purpose-built e-reader, the best e-bookstore, and the best ecosystem so you can read where you want to.

    "We're very simple-minded about this," he said. "It seems like what our customers would want."

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