Those Stateside who've not yet started their Christmas shopping and were hoping to nab a Kindle for a loved one are right out of luck. It seems for the second year running Amazon has run out of stock of the device in the crucial "holiday" period.

Last Christmas the device had just launched to what was reported as unprecedented demand so the stock deficiencies are more easily explained than this time round.

Although Amazon had appeared to struggle to keep on top of demand for the e-book reader - leading some to suggest they are doing it deliberately to hype demand - this had settled towards the end of the year.

Th US site now states: "Due to heavy customer demand, Kindle is sold out. Please ORDER KINDLE NOW to reserve your place in line. We prioritize orders on a first come, first served basis. This item will arrive after December 24".