Kindle DX sold out for now, in stock June 17

Retailer may be keeping inventory low to create a little 'buzz,' analyst says

The Kindle DX, which started shipping only yesterday, is now listed by Amazon.com Inc. as out of stock until June 17.

Apparently, the pre-orders and first-day orders of the 9.7-inch wireless reading device, priced at US$489, exhausted Amazon's supply. Amazon officials were unavailable to comment immediately.

Analyst Van Baker of Gartner Inc., said Amazon is probably intentionally keeping the DX supply low to attract more interest.

"I think it's just Amazon being Amazon, and wanting to create a little buzz around it and give the impression that it's so popular they can't keep it in stock, which keeps prices high," he said in an interview. "All that's positive if they don't overdo it." The DX is only sold direct through the Amazon.com Web site.

Amazon's site included some owner reviews of the DX, with some concerned about the US$489 price, but many were ecstatic about the larger screen.

One reviewer, N. Jenkins, "Mommy of Many Interests," said she could display many of her music books on the DX and place the device on her music stand while she played the cello.

Baker said despite the glowing reviews by new owners, the market for e-readers is still relatively small. The previous two Kindle devices have sold between 500,000 and 750,000, "not exactly a barn burner," he said. He counts the total available U.S. market of customers who might buy a Kindle at 12 million, well below the possible market of 200 million for electronic games.

"Can that change? Sure, if they get every major textbook maker to provide textbooks for the DX and can get universities to subsidize the device," Baker said. "The same goes for if they get magazine and newspaper publishers on the DX."

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