Kindle shipments trail as Amazon prepares for next big push

Amazon’s Kindle e-reader has been lagging behind the competition in terms of shipments, according to Digitimes Research. Overall shipments from manufacturers to vendors in April-May 2010 reached 740,000 units with the Barnes & Noble effort leading the way, accounting for 37 percent – the Kindle managing just 16 percent.

However, signs have been pointing to a Kindle update and E-Ink manufacturer PVI has announced that it definitely won’t be releasing a competing product so all may not be dead in the water for Amazon just yet. 

It’s not time to panic: Digitimes Research reckons that Amazon isn’t struggling, it’s just reducing inventory as it gears up for its next big Kindle release. The updated Kindle will still use E-Ink but will be cheaper to make and cheaper to buy for the man on the street. 

As competition heats up, Barnes & Noble has just announced it is slashing the price of its Nook 3g e-reader from $259 to $199, while also releasing a new WiFi-only model which costs $149, according to the Wall Street Journal.

Total e-reader shipments for the first quarter of 2010 reached 1.43 million units. With more on the way, from manufacturers both Big and Small, it seems the real winner here will be PVI which flogs its E-Ink technology to a range of manufacturing clients, rather than the hardware makers themselves, competing in a new-ish but relatively crowded market.