updated 10:10 am EST, Mon December 27, 2010
Amazon says Kindle bestselling unit in all stores
Amazon on Monday claimed that the third-generation Kindle was the all-time bestselling item in all of its stores and wasn't necessarily suffering due to Apple. The holiday helped push it past Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows. Both the Wi-Fi and 3G versions were the top items during the holiday, with Apple's 8GB iPod touch occupying third place in electronics.
Appropriately, Christmas represented the best ever single day for new Kindle activations, book downloads and mobile app downloads for competing platforms.
The company still refused to provide hard sales figures for the Kindle but was consciously aware of concerns that iPads might replace Kindles. Many Kindle buyers were often getting one in addition to an "LCD tablet," CEO Jeff Bezos said in a veiled allusion to the market-topping iPad. Many were using their tablets for apps, gaming and the web, but immediately switching to the Kindle for dedicated reading.
The lighter weight, the reduced eyestrain of e-paper and outdoor visibility all played a role. Bezos also speculated that the lower prices kept iPads and Kindles from being mutually exclusive. "People don't have to choose," he said.
Leaks have provided some rare insight into Amazon's results that both corroborate Amazon's claims and also give it reasons for concern. It should ship eight million Kindles this year, most of which are moving in the past few months, but will have been outsold by the iPad despite Apple's hardware having a fewer eight months on the market. Only some iPads are used for reading regardless of the app, but continued growth could lead to Apple having more overall readers even if many of those are using the Kindle app.
Android-based tablets like the Galaxy Tab may also play a small part, but they at just a small fraction of the market aren't a significant competitor to the Kindle to date.