Many expect the new wave of devices with digital reading capabilities to precipitate the demise of physical books, limiting them to atavists. That said, there is no dearth of people who fervidly repel these antemortem requiems for books as we know and love them. With a great deal of its business centered around the popularity of e-books, Amazon is undoubtedly of the former type.
Amazon is now selling more Kindle books than hardcover books, according to a press release. Kindle books have outsold the latter variety by 43% during the past three months, with that margin shooting up to 80% during the past month. But numbers don’t tell the entire story, especially when they are not meant to. Amazon intentionally left out paperback sales numbers from the equation.
“We've reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle-the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO of Amazon.com. “Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books-astonishing when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."
AMD has posted its second-quarter results. Though AMD merely extended its losing streak by posting another quarterly loss, this fresh loss of $330 million is a touch less depressing compared to the $1.2 billion loss it posted for the same quarter last year. The company’s revenue in the second quarter stood at $1.18 billion. The chip maker is hopeful of a better showing in Q3 2009. This optimism is also shared by market analysts as they expect the PC market to show a strong upward trend in the next half.
Even Gartner’s numbers confirmed that the PC market didn’t decline as sharply as was expected. Gartner had feared a very steep decline of 9.8%, but its crystal ball eventually turned out to be way off the mark. According to Gartner, PC shipments declined by 5%.
IDC expects the PC market to put its horror run behind by the end of 2009. "New product launches in the second half of the year combined with seasonal growth and greater economic confidence resulting from factors such as government stimulus, a more liquid housing market, relatively stable stock market and interest rates, and progress in the auto and financial industries, should support the expected return to growth by year-end,” said Loren Loverde, the program director for IDC's PC tracking unit.
AMD's stock fell by as much as 7 percent today following news the company would take a total of $948 million in charges in the second quarter. Most of the charges will come from a continuing deterioration in the goodwill value of its former ATI handheld and DTV units. For those who slept through economics class, a goodwill value is an intangible asset representing the difference between the purchase price of an asset and its fair market value based on repuation, established client base, and profitability.
Despite ATI's recent success in the graphics market, the $5.4 billion acquisition continues to cost AMD in write-downs since it was purchased in 2006. Last year, AMD took a massive $1.6 billion write-down for ATI's declining goodwill, just one of many financial and executive woes AMD has suffered since purchasing the graphics company.
A comparatively small portion ($32 million) of the total charges is going towards restructuring, mostly the result of severance payments paid in the second quarter that will continue through the rest of the year. The rest are being attributed to a declining value in other investments the company has made.