The Kindle Fire is clearly already a hot item—being the cheapest tablet from a major vendor by far at $199 probably has something to do with that. In any case, the device is proving so popular that Amazon has boosted production ahead of the November 15 release.
Jeff Bezos, Amazon’s CEO, stated the following in the company’s latest financial results announcement:
In the three weeks since launch, orders for electronic ink Kindles are double the previous launch. And based on what we’re seeing with Kindle Fire pre-orders, we’re increasing capacity and building millions more than we’d already planned.
"Millions more" isn’t exactly a hard number, but it puts things in perspective. Apple sold just over 11 million iPads last quarter. Amazon may not outship Apple’s star device, but the "millions more" figure suggests it’s already a sizable competitor even before any consumers have gotten the product in their hands.
For reference, a DigiTimes story posted in June said Asus’ Eee Pad Transformer was the second-most-popular tablet after the iPad with only 400,000 shipments in the first half of the year. Word was that Asus expected to ship two million Eee Pad tablets in 2011 overall.