Amazon today announced that its net sales have risen 42% to $9.52 billion in the fourth quarter, versus the $6.70 billion it reported in the fourth quarter of 2008.
For all of 2009, net sales increased 28% to $24.51 billion, versus $19.17 billion in sales in 2008.
And to top it all off, Amazon is apparently selling its e-book device, the Kindle (which is only available via Amazon.com), like crazy.
"Millions of people now own Kindles," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon. "And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books -- free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It’s been an exciting 27 months."
Some estimate that Amazon had shipped out at least 3 million units by December.
Meanwhile, Apple believes its tablet computer called the iPad, unveiled this past Wednesday, has all the right technology to dethrone the Kindle as the must-have device for e-books. To jump start reading on the device, Apple is launching an e-book store called iBooks, which will come already filled with titles from new Apple partners: Penguin, Macmillion, and Simon & Schuster, to name a few.
While the Kindle Store carries over 410,000 books, Apple certainly has the influence to match that figure, if not best it.
"Publishers are actually withholding their books from Amazon, because they're not happy with them," said Apple CEO Steve Jobs at the iPad launch.
With competition also coming from the November 2009-launched Barnes & Noble Nook, it looks like 2010 is going to be a heated year for electronic book readers.