Exactly one week before Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN) is expected to unveil a new Kindle line, the company announced that its Kindle Fire tablet was sold out. The company is scheduled to hold a press event on September 6, where it is widely expected to release a new version of the Fire.
“Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead,” chief executive Jeff Bezos said in a news release on Thursday. “We will continue to offer our customers the best hardware, the best prices, the best customer service, the best cross-platform interoperability, and the best content ecosystem.”
Amazon added that the $199 tablet was the top-seller on Amazon.com and that the top 10 best-selling items on its website since the launch of the Kindle Fire last November were “Kindle devices and content.” It also said that the tablet now held 22 percent of the U.S. market.
According to estimates based on iPad sales reported by Apple (NASDAQ:AAPL), unit sales of the Fire have been predicted to be somewhere between 5 million and 10 million. Amazon does not release sales figures of its devices.
Apple is also expected to launch a smaller iPad in the coming months, putting it in more direct competition with the Kindle Fire as well as Google’s (NASDAQ:GOOG) new Nexus 7 tablet. According to data from iSuppli, Apple took more than two-thirds of the tablet market in the second quarter, with Samsung capturing 9 percent and Amazon coming in at the No. 3 spot with a 4 percent share.
“What they’re really announcing is that there’s another Kindle Fire on the way,” Atlantic Equities Service analyst James Cordwell said to Bloomberg about Amazon’s announcement. “There’s no other reason they’d say it’s sold out.”