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Amazon sees records sales of its new Kindle

The Kindle ships out two days early, after record sales four weeks after its introduction

Technology trends and news by Faith Merino
August 25, 2010
Short URL: http://vator.tv/n/115f

Kindle 3

Who said Apple's iPad would kill the Kindle?

Amazon announced Wednesday that more next-generation Kindles have been ordered in four weeks of its release, than any other previous Kindle, making the new Kindle the fastest-selling yet. 

While Amazon does not release Kindle sales data, the company has stated that since the introduction of the newest Kindle and the Kindle 3G four weeks ago, more customers have ordered Kindles on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined than any other product. This may not come as a surprise, considering the fact that the Kindle has been the top-selling product on Amazon.com for the past two years.

The Kindles began shipping today, two days ahead of schedule. The newest Kindle is said to have 50 percent better contrast than any other e-reader, a 21-percent smaller body while keeping the same 6-inch reading area, and will weigh 15-percent lighter, at only 8.5 ounces.  In addition to the new Kindle look, it also offers new features, such as 20-percent faster page-turns, a one-month battery life, doubled storage capable of holding 3,500 books, built-in WiFi, and no glare in sunlight. 

The new Kindle is priced at $139, and the new Kindle 3G, which offers the same features with the added bonus of free 3G wireless, is priced at $189.

Not only is the new Kindle the most ordered product on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk, it is also the most wished for and the most gifted item across both Web sites.  Thus far, orders for the revamped Kindle have been placed by customers in 125 countries, spanning 6 continents.

E-books outselling hardcovers, but what about Apple?

In July, Amazon made the announcement that spelled doom for traditional book publishing: e-books are now outselling hardcover books.  For every 100 hardcover books sold on Amazon.com, another 143 Kindle books are sold.  Kindle book sales reportedly tripled in the first quarter of 2010, in conjunction with Amazon’s slashing of the Kindle price from $259 to $189.  

Currently, the U.S. store offers over 670,000 books, over 510,000 of which are priced at just $9.99 and under, putting the Kindle at an immediate advantage over Apple’s more expensive iBookstore.  Several authors have already sold over 500,000 Kindle books, including Charlaine Harris, Stephenie Meyer, Stieg Larsson, James Patterson, and Nora Roberts.  In addition to cheap books, Amazon also offers a plethora (1.8 million, to be exact) of free pre-1923 out-of-copyright books for the Kindle.

While the Kindle appears to be dominating the tablet market for now, it faces increasing competition from Apple, which announced in July that it sold 3.27 million iPads in its fiscal third quarter.  May and June surveys conducted by the market research firm Forrester also yielded interesting results concerning the rising popularity of iPad, compared to other tablets. 

In May, 83 percent of the survey’s 4,000 respondents reported having heard of the iPad.  This number jumped to 95 percent in June.  Remarkably, the same survey found that a whopping 25 percent of respondents had never heard of Amazon’s Kindle, which has been on the market for three years now.

An unlikely contender, Barnes & Noble’s eReader, the Nook, has also experienced marked growth in sales rates, which the company has called “nothing short of spectacular and consistently above-plan.”  Like the Kindle, sales rates spiked when Barnes & Noble slashed the Nook’s price from $259 to $199, and Barnes & Noble’s ebook sales have been accelerating week over week, according to a company press release. Neither Amazon nor Barnes & Noble responded to email inquiries.

Perhaps the e-reader market is big enough for all three giants, or perhaps they'll go in different directions with Apple's iPad used more often to view video rather than read books. Whatever the future may hold, it doesn't look like the Kindle isn't feeling much of a pinch from the iPad. At least not now.

(Image source: media2.abcactionnews)


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