Amazon has a hugely successful Black Friday on their entire Kindle line of e-readers. For the past five weeks, the Kindle, Kindle Paperwhite, Kindle Oasis and Kindle Kids Edition has been totally unavailable for purchase in the United States. It was tremendously difficult to buy one for a Christmas gift, since not only was Amazon sold out, but many of their retailers too. There is no date in which these models will be back in stock, which is worrying.
Will Amazon restock the Kindles anytime soon? This might not occur for another month. Chinese New Years is a 16 day festival, in which all of the workers from all of the factories in China take an extended holiday and visit with family and celebrate. Amazon does business with Foxconn and it will be completely shut down. So this means that Kindles won’t be replenished until the end of February at the soonest. It could even be longer. This would be the first time Amazon has never had any Kindle model in stock.
Could Amazon be refreshing the entire Kindle product line? Could this be the reason there has been a shortage of them? I think it is more likely that COVID has disrupted the supply chain, Foxconn might be assembling the e-readers, but the various components are sourced from other companies, such as RAM, storage, logic board, CPU etc. If one part is out of stock, it disrupts everything.
Amazon has ample market share of the e-reader business in the US. A couple of years ago it was 75%, but due to the fall of the Nook and the lack of Kobo, in a retail setting, this figure is likely closer to 85%. If you need a Kindle right now and live in the States, you are out of luck. There is still a robust supply in other countries, such as Canada and the United Kingdom.
Michael Kozlowski is the Editor in Chief of Good e-Reader. He has been writing about audiobooks and e-readers for the past ten years. His articles have been picked up by major and local news sources and websites such as the CBC, CNET, Engadget, Huffington Post and the New York Times.