Amazon's e-book reader, the Kindle, has been out of stock on the e-commerce site since it launched, leading to speculation that the company were holding back stock to artificially hype up demand for the $399 gadget.

Making these mutterings worse is the fact that Amazon has chosen not to reveal sales figures for the Kindle, keeping mum on how many orders were waiting in the system, yet has showcased the device on the homepage of the US site since its launch.

Confirming the tales from disgruntled Kindlers that they've had to wait 6 weeks for their device to arrive, Amazon boss Jeff Bezos has gone on record in an open letter on the site's home page to apologise for the shortages. The letter states:

"We had high hopes for the Kindle before its launch, but we didn't expect the demand that actually materialzed. We sold out in the first 5 1/2 hours and have been scrambling to increase our manufacturing capacity ever since."

Bezos goes on to say that within the next few weeks he hopes to be able to announce that all Kindle orders will be fulfilled the same day.