updated 01:35 pm EST, Thu December 30, 2010
Barnes & Noble Nook Color, e-book sales hit highs
Barnes & Noble today made sure it wasn't excluded from the round of high profile e-book news from Amazon and Kobo by claiming some of its own successes. The Nook line is now Barnes & Noble's bestselling single item in company history, and the Nook Color was its top-selling item for the holiday this year. It wouldn't give out device numbers but said it had sold "millions" of all Nooks and that demand for the Color was still beyond its expectations.
Along with the Android-based hardware sales, the company reached a symbolic level and noted that its e-book sales are now past those of paper books sold through its website, though not yet at its retail stores. It again wouldn't mention total sales but said it faced a massive sales spike on Christmas Day, when over a million e-books were sold. Many of those would have come from Nook device owners but could include those using mobile apps, such as for Android and iOS.
The bookseller has long been outwardly confident of a large footprint in digital reading and has planned to go 'well beyond' its claimed fifth of the market. Privately, however, it has faced pressure to keep up with Amazon, fend off inroads by Apple and grow the Nook before losses in physical books become too much of a problem. SEC filings have shown it receptive to a takeover from Borders that would help them consolidate against digital threats.
Amazon is still considered the unambiguous leader in pure e-readers and may have shipped eight million Kindles this year. Apple will ship more iPads, but only some of these are used for reading.