Amazon: Kindle Is Not Profitable Yet

| About:, Inc. (AMZN)

There’s plenty of buzz about the (NASDAQ:AMZN) Kindle e-book reader. But so far, no profits.

As the Seattle Times notes Friday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos told holders at the company’s annual meeting Thursday that the company’s digital media business remains in “investment mode.” Bezos noted that the Kindle took three years to develop - and that “if something is successful, it seems to take five to seven years or more before it’s a positive contributor to the economics.” The Amazon now comes in two sizes, a smaller model for $359, and a large version for $489. He said that a color version is years away.

Bezos also said the company might not ever release sales figures for the Kindle, asserting that there is competitive advantage in keeping the numbers to itself. He did mention that there are more than 285,000 book titles available for the device - and that where electronic versions are available, they are a little over a third of sales.

The Times notes that Bezos also said that sales of products priced at $500 and up are growing more slowly than before the recession.

He also said the company has continued hiring through the recession. The company at the end of March had 20,600 employees, up from 17,800 a year ago.

AMZN Friday is off 61 cents, or 0.8%, to $77.04.

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