Amazon Says Kindle Fire Sold Out Before Expected Upgrade

Amazon.com Inc. (AMZN) said its Kindle Fire tablet has sold out, a week before the company is expected to unveil an updated version of the device.

“What they’re really announcing is that there’s another Kindle Fire on the way,” said James Cordwell, an analyst at Atlantic Equities Service in London. “There’s no other reason they’d say it’s sold out.”

The Kindle Fire has captured 22 percent of the U.S. tablet market since it went on sale in November, Seattle-based Amazon said today in a statement, without disclosing the number of devices sold. Researcher IDC pegged Amazon’s share of the worldwide tablet market at 4 percent in the first quarter, compared with 17 percent in the period that ended in December.

Amazon, the world’s biggest online retailer, will hold a press conference on Sept. 6 in Santa Monica, California. The company may announce upgrades to its Kindle e-reader devices or the Kindle Fire, said Kerry Rice, an analyst at Needham & Co.

“Kindle Fire is sold out, but we have an exciting roadmap ahead,” Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos said in the statement.

Seattle-based Amazon fell 0.4 percent to $246.22 at the close in New York. The stock has gained 42 percent this year. Drew Herdener, a spokesman for the company, didn’t respond to a request for comment.

To contact the reporter on this story: Sarah Frier in New York at sfrier1@bloomberg.net

To contact the editor responsible for this story: Tom Giles at tgiles5@bloomberg.net

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