Gadget Round-Up: Kindle's 2010 Estimates; BlackBerry Gets Touchy; Palm Downgraded To Sell

Tricia Duryee
Friday, May 16, 2008; 3:00 AM

-- Amazon's (NSDQ: AMZN) Kindle: There's some big expectations for Amazon's Kindle, which allows people to buy books and access other content over Sprint's (NYSE: S) wireless broadband network. Citi Analyst Mark Mahaney said the gadget has an iPod/iTunes-like model that could end up contributing as much as 3 percent, or $750 million, to Amazon's overall revenue in two years, reports Silicon Alley Insider. At the low end, it could be 1 percent, contributing $400 million, according to TechCrunch. The argument: it's selling swiftly, and in all likelihood, the product will only get sexier, cheaper and better with time. Mahaney estimates that 10,000 to 30,000 Kindles have been sold so far. Other reports suggesting that Amazon may sell up to 120,000 a month by the end of the year. At that volume, it would total 360,000 a quarter (compare that to the iPod ,which sold 129,000 in its first quarter).

-- Apple (NSDQ: AAPL) and Research In Motion: Here's more on the raging battle between Apple and Research In Motion. Just a couple of days ago RIM (NSDQ: RIMM) stock hit an all-time high after announcing the Bold, a 3G device that will launch on AT&T's (NYSE: T) network soon. Today, there's Thunder, the first BlackBerry device with a touchscreen. The WSJ quote people close to the matter as saying the device will be sold exclusively through Verizon Wireless (NYSE: VZ) and Vodafone (NYSE: VOD). BlackBerry has about 46 percent of the U.S. and Canadian multimedia smartphone marketshare last year, compared to Apple, which grabbed about 16 percent, according to the research firm Strategy Analytics.

-- Palm: The company hardly talked about anymore in the smartphone market is Treo-marker Palm (NSDQ: PALM). A UBS Investment Research analyst Maynard J. Um downgraded the company's shares today to "Sell" from "Neutral," and maintained his $5 price target, noting a challenging competitive landscape. He said recent launches of the low-end Centro phone appear to be on track, but expected launches from RIM and Apple "are likely to create a near-term overhang," AP reported. The company's stock increased 8 cents today to close at $5.90 a share.

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