updated 04:25 pm EST, Tue December 21, 2010
Amazon said shipping 8m Kindles by end of 2010
Amazon could go well past expectations and ship eight million Kindles this year, two tipsters with access said this afternoon. Analysts on average have estimated five million, but the new figure would be about 60 percent higher. About 2.4 million Kindles shipped in 2009, the Bloomberg contacts said.
The claims weren't verified but were supported by Amazon's own public results. It shipped "millions" of Kindles in 73 days this fall and eclipsed all of its 2009 sales in that one period. Amazon also briefly sold out of Wi-Fi Kindles today, although it came back into stock hours later.
Exact sales figures for the Kindle have always been deliberately kept vague by Amazon. It has long argued that the figures were a competitive secret, but in recent months the decision to hide the information has been interpreted as attempts to avoid giving any evidence of competitors possibly taking market share.
The data if accurate would confirmed that Apple shipped more iPads in its first six months of availability than Amazon's total yearly results, although not all iPad owners read. Amazon is also even more US-centric where Apple's sales are distributed over a wider area. Barnes & Noble's numbers aren't as specific, but it should be shipping 540,000-plus Nook Colors a month and should be shipping a larger number again for the grayscale Nook.