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Despite of skeptical expectations around the industry, Amazon Kindle device that enables people to read electronic books and texts faces unexpected demand that Amazon cannot meet. As a result of such unprecedented demand, chief executive of the company had to apologize on the front page of the world’s largest online store.

“We had high hopes for Kindle before its launch, but we didn’t expect the demand that actually materialized. We sold out in the first 5.5 hours and have been scrambling to increase our manufacturing capacity ever since. We’ve been shipping on a first-come, first-served basis, but many customers have to wait as long as six weeks after ordering. We hope to be able to announce to you within the next few weeks that we’re back in stock and that when you order a Kindle, we’ll ship it to you that very same day,” Jeff Bezos, the founder and chief executive officer of Amazon said in his open letter to customers.

Many industry observers as well as high-ranking executives said that Amazon Kindle electronic book reader will not become successful due to various limitations. Moreover, Steve Jobs, chief executive of Apple, the company most known for its portable digital players that playback music and videos as well as for iTunes media store, said that people do not read anymore at all.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore. 40% of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore,” said Steve Jobs in and an interview without revealing the sources of his information regarding people’s unwillingness to read.

However, both observers and Mr. Jobs appeared to be wrong: Amazon Kindle is in demand, which means that numerous customers are still interested in reading.

Amazon Kindle is a portable device that measures by 7.5” x 5.3” x 0.7” (19.05cm x 13.4cm x 1.77; height x width x thickness), weighs 10.3 ounces (292 grams) and features black and white 6” screen with 600x800 resolution. The device features EV-DO connectivity to download the content everywhere in the USA, however, it is unclear whether users in Europe will get GPRS/EDGE/HSDPA technologies. The amount of memory inside Kindle is unknown, but the device also supports secure digital (SD) cards, which will allow to store considerable amount of content. Battery time is unknown, but considering usage of flash memory and electronic paper screen, it is highly likely that the device can work for a long time.

Kindle customers can wirelessly shop the Kindle Store, download or receive new content – all without a PC, Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing. However, it is impossible to browse the Internet using the device. More than 90 000 books are now available in the Kindle Store, including best sellers and new releases, which are $9.99, unless marked otherwise. Kindle is available for $399 at Amazon.com.

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