Douglas Anmuth, an analyst for Barclays Capital, came forward today and estimated that Amazon would sell upwards of 5 million Kindle eReaders this year. He pointed out that not only will Amazon see success thanks to the redesign of the popular eBook reader, but also due to the lower, $139 price tag for the WiFi only model. Furthermore, Anmuth claims that those high numbers could more than double in the next two years, reaching an estimated 11.5 million by the year 2012.
Anmuth says that the Kindle creates a "bifurcated" market, in which the lower-cost, niche products manage to co-exist within the high-end, multi-purpose market. So while other analysts clamor to suggest that consumers buy only one product or the other, that's not stopping the Kindle from showing up everywhere, even in markets where tablets like the iPad reign. However, Anmuth is quick to point out that, even if the Kindle hardware wasn't doing as well as he believes it is, Amazon is still in a great position to make money off the sales of the iPad, as the Kindle software available on Apple's tablet is still one of the most popular applications on the device. In addition, the Kindle software is launching for RIM's BlackBerry PlayBook, and is available on plenty of other platforms.
On the other side of the coin, Piper Jaffray analyst Gene Munsher believes that, while the Kindle may do well, the iPad is still positioned to do better. He predicts that the iPad will sell somewhere in the ball park of 10.7 million in 2010, and an estimated 21 million in 2011. Certainly, if those rumors about a smaller, hardware re-designed iPad turn out to be true, the iPad will probably see even more sales numbers come next year.