Is this the best Amazon could do?

Tomorrow B&N are expected to announce a new Nook. Mike Cane and I expected Amazon to preempt B&N by making some kind of announcement about the Kindle. This press release was it. Well, at least they tried. From the press release:

The new generation Kindle devices are the fastest-selling Kindles of all time and the bestselling products on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk. Today, Amazon.com announced that sales of the new generation Kindle devices since their introduction have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from October through December 2009.

"It's still October and we've already sold more Kindle devices since launch than we did during the entire fourth quarter of last year--astonishing because the fourth quarter is the busiest time of year on Amazon," said Steve Kessel, Senior Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "Readers continue to choose Kindle for its all-new electronic ink screen with 50 percent higher contrast, readability in bright sunlight, long battery life of up to one month, light 8.5 ounce form, flexibility to read their books across all major LCD devices and platforms, and low $139 price. It's clear that this is going to be the biggest holiday for Kindle yet--by far."

In addition, Kindle book unit sales continue to overtake print on Amazon.com, even while print book sales continue to grow. During the past 30 days, Amazon.com customers purchased more Kindle books than print books--hardcover and paperback combined--for the top 10, 25, 100, and 1,000 bestselling books on Amazon.com.

"For the top 10 bestselling books on Amazon.com, customers are choosing Kindle books over hardcover and paperback books combined at a rate of greater than 2 to 1. Kindle books are also outselling print books for the top 25, 100, and 1,000 bestsellers--it's across the board," said Kessel. "This is remarkable when you consider that we've been selling hardcover and paperback books for 15 years, and Kindle books for just 36 months."

Other recent milestones for Kindle include:

  • In the 12 weeks following the introduction of the new generation Kindles, Kindle devices or Kindle-related items such as Kindle books and covers represented 15 of the top 15 bestselling items on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined.
  • Amazon sold more than 3 times as many Kindle books in the first nine months of 2010 as in the first nine months of 2009.
  • The Association of American Publishers' latest data reports that e-book sales grew 193 percent between January and August 2010. Kindle book sales growth during the same period exceeded this rate.

Learn more about Kindle at http://www.amazon.com/kindle.

About Nate Hoffelder (11371 Articles)
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader: "I've been into reading ebooks since forever, but I only got my first ereader in July 2007. Everything quickly spiraled out of control from there. Before I started this blog in January 2010 I covered ebooks, ebook readers, and digital publishing for about 2 years as a part of MobileRead Forums. It's a great community, and being a member is a joy. But I thought I could make something out of how I covered the news for MobileRead, so I started this blog."

3 Comments on Is this the best Amazon could do?

  1. Ouch. Amazon needs to watch their wording better. AAP sales data do not show that e-book sales increased 193% from January through August. They show $31.9 million in January and $39.0 million in August. That’s only up 22%.

    I think what Amazon meant was for January-August 2010 vs. the same period in 2009. AAP’s figures were $89.8 million for those 8 months in 2009 and $263 million for those 8 months in 2010. That’s what’s up 193%.

  2. Amazon wrote: “Kindle book unit sales continue to overtake print on Amazon.com, even while print book sales continue to grow. During the past 30 days, Amazon.com customers purchased more Kindle books than print books–hardcover and paperback combined–for the top 10, 25, 100, and 1,000 bestselling books on Amazon.com.”

    That is a pretty amazing stat: Since shipments of Kindle 3, Amazon customers are choosing e-books over print books for the top 1,000 best-selling titles as expressed in unit sales. AND, Amazon is selling MORE print books in the same period this year than last year — the over all market is growing.

    Surely this keeps publishers happy: more print books, and now a huge new source of e-book revenue. And it surely keeps customers happy: saving money from e-books and reading more than ever.

    Not to be missed I hope: it also means Amazon must be cutting into overall market-share as bricks and mortar continues to shrink.

    Is this the best Amazon could do? Not bad, really.

  3. A press release is basically a token.
    To me it says; “Yes, they issued a press release promising great things. Well, we’ve *done* great things already. We’ll wait and see how great their announcement is before dusting off a contingency plan.”

    How the various players react is a function of who they are and where they sit in the pecking order:
    As a newcomer to the market (barely a year) Nook needs a steady stream of events/products they can hype (and they’re doing it quite well, too).
    As the market leader, by a mile, Amazon can sit back and wait and counterattack as/if needed.
    Borders has nothing to counterattack with; their Kobo partner already made its move. So they made a short-term move to remind the market it’s not a two-horse race and they’re “not dead yet”. 😉
    And, of course, there have been hints Amazon is working up an Android product of their own; they might very want to make Nook commit to a specific configuration and ship date before announcing their own product.
    Why fight vaporware when you can fight a real product instead? They can afford to wait.

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