Amazon has sold 'millions' of Kindles, overall sales increase 42%

Posted:
in Current Mac Hardware edited January 2014
After Apple unveiled its iPad and iBookstore, Amazon announced its fourth quarter earnings this week, with sales increasing 42 percent and Kindle e-book sales accounting for more than a third of total book sales.



Amazon had $9.5 billion in sales in its fourth financial quarter, ending Dec. 31 2009, well up from the $6.7 billion the online retailer saw in the fourth quarter of 2008. A big driver for Amazon was its Kindle e-book reader, which CEO Jeff Bezos has sold "millions" since it debuted just over two years ago. No exact figures on hardware sales were provided.



"Millions of people now own Kindles," Bezos said. "And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books -- free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It's been an exciting 27 months."



The Kindle and large-screen Kindle DX are available in over 100 countries, and the Kindle iPhone application is available in Apple's App Store in over 60 countries. E-books can be synced between the Kindle reader, PC software, and Apple's iPhone and iPod touch. Kindle software is forthcoming for the Mac and iPad, Amazon said.



There are more than 410,000 books in the U.S. Kindle Store, including 100 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers. The service also offers 8,000 blogs and 130 domestic and international newspapers and magazines.



Apple hopes to counter Amazon with its recently announced iPad. Sporting a 9.7-inch screen and with a starting price of $499, Apple's multimedia, multi-touch device was partially pitched as an e-book and newspaper reader with a vibrant, color screen, compared to the Kindle's black-and-white e-ink display. Some have viewed the iPad as a "Kindle killer."



The iBookstore is a part of Apple's new iBooks app for iPad. The software features a 3D virtual bookshelf displaying a user's personal collection, and allows the purchase of new content from major publishers. Like the Kindle, it will offer content from the New York Times Bestsellers list.



Apple co-founder Steve Jobs indicated that books in the iBookstore will be sold at prices that are "the same" as are currently seen on the Kindle. At the moment, new hardcover books in an electronic format sell for $9.99 from Amazon.



Amazon recently announced that it was modifying its revenue sharing model for the Kindle bookstore to a 70-30 split in favor of content providers -- identical to Apple's App Store business model. Those who opt for Amazon's new model must price their books between $2.99 and $9.99.
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Comments

  • Reply 1 of 128
    Millions? So really, how much is "millions"? Are we ever going to see some actual numbers for this one-trick pony?



    These Kindles are about to got the way of the Dodo come April.
  • Reply 2 of 128
    asciiascii Posts: 5,619member
    They have a decent head-start on Apple with books. I don't want to buy an actual unit, but when Kindle for Mac app comes out I will buy 1 or 2 books to see what it's like. I travel a lot and I have like 3 boxes of treasured paperbacks I cart around with me. Digital versions sure would be nice but I don't want to end up with a defunct file format.
  • Reply 3 of 128
    motleemotlee Posts: 122member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Millions? So really, how much is "millions"? Are we ever going to see some actual numbers for this one-trick pony?



    These Kindles are about to got the way of the Dodo come April.



    Apparently this is par for the course for Amazon.



    http://macdailynews.com/index.php/we...omments/23857/
  • Reply 4 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Millions? So really, how much is "millions"? Are we ever going to see some actual numbers for this one-trick pony?



    These Kindles are about to got the way of the Dodo come April.



    I think legally that means more than 2Mm but we're talking over two years so I don't think it's that impressive with the size of the potential market of readers. It seems obvious the iPad will outpace that number quickly, but we'll have to see how many eBooks it sells to be able to make an honest 1:1 comparison as an eReader.



    I think the Kindle's market is still pretty solid. eReader enthusiasts may simply not want a device that does other things and eInk is still top dog for reading in direct sunlight.
  • Reply 5 of 128
    motleemotlee Posts: 122member
    Maybe a couple reasons Amazon refuses to give a number.



    a) Sales aren't that good for a product that has had the market for eReaders perceivably to itself for quite some time.



    b) Maybe the notion that the Kindle is selling "millions" is enough to convince someone that it is the default eReader that everyone else owns "so I should too". Which was a fine strategy until the iPad showed up.
  • Reply 6 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Motlee View Post


    Maybe a couple reasons Amazon refuses to give a number.



    a) Sales aren't that good for a product that has had the market for eReaders perceivably to itself for quite some time.



    b) Maybe the notion that the Kindle is selling "millions" is enough to convince someone that it is the default eReader that everyone else owns "so I should too". Which was a fine strategy until the iPad showed up.



    I think you're right.
  • Reply 7 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Motlee View Post


    Maybe a couple reasons Amazon refuses to give a number.



    a) Sales aren't that good for a product that has had the market for eReaders perceivably to itself for quite some time.



    b) Maybe the notion that the Kindle is selling "millions" is enough to convince someone that it is the default eReader that everyone else owns "so I should too". Which was a fine strategy until the iPad showed up.



    saying that a company sells "millions" can only be due to the ceo having a panic attack over the ipad showing up in the market...otherwise, it's not a decent explanation of how well a product sold and is not very professional
  • Reply 8 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleInsider View Post


    "Millions of people now own Kindles," Bezos said. "And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books -- free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It's been an exciting 27 months."



    Aside from the sales of Kindle, I'm most impressed with the 6 to 10 ratio for Kindle book sales. I'd never have imagined it would be that high.
  • Reply 9 of 128
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Aside from the sales of Kindle, I'm most impressed with the 6 to 10 ratio for Kindle book sales. I'd never have imagined it would be that high.



    That is a good point. I would have been impressed by a 2:10 ratio.
  • Reply 10 of 128
    al_bundyal_bundy Posts: 1,525member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by PaulMJohnson View Post


    Aside from the sales of Kindle, I'm most impressed with the 6 to 10 ratio for Kindle book sales. I'd never have imagined it would be that high.



    most Kindle book "sales" are for free books. there are hundreds of them in the Kindle store and i grabbed close to 100 of them for my iphone
  • Reply 11 of 128
    the operative phrase is "has sold" -- future sales of kindle will go the way of the buggy whip
  • Reply 12 of 128
    Currently, Amazon is practically giving them away, for free. Are they counting these as "sold" too?





    http://www.techcrunch.com/2010/01/20...n-kindle-free/



    http://www.neowin.net/news/amazon-is...ndles-for-free



    Amazon is basically giving away Kindles, for free

    By Benjamin Rubenstein



    TechCrunch has confirmed with Amazon that they are, in fact, giving select Amazon users the ability to get a Kindle with no risk involved. If you are offered the promotion and decide, within thirty days of purchasing a Kindle, that you don't like it, Amazon will give you a full refund and let you keep the Kindle (and its snazzy cover).



    It seems that the special offer is being extended to Amazon users who are regular book purchasers on the site. Amazon's offer says that "Because you've been an unusually active book customer, we're confident you will love Kindle." It's unclear what they mean by "active," but many users who have recieved the offer are those who purchase at least a book a month (some exceptions have been reported as well).
  • Reply 13 of 128
    I could go both ways. I don't think the Kindle will die, but it will fade. As a reader, it excels, 7 days of battery life and it is much easier to read for extended periods. However, the allure of a multi-function device will definitely rob it of its ranks. I use Kindle on the iPhone and it is fine for me. If I were to buy a ipad, I'd continue to use Kindle app because I already have a digital library that I'd loose moving to iBook. I'd buy an iPad before a Kindle device.



    There are still issues with digital books that need to be overcome. Most paperbacks can be had for 8 bucks, merely 3 dollars more than the digital variety. The paper book can be shared with my wife, kids, etc. They don't need to be charged, sent in for a month to have their batteries replaced when they finally give out. While I read digital books, I only do so when I don't have time to hit the library or book store. Which is rare because I do most of my reading while traveling (which I do alot) so I can usually find something in the airport bookstore....
  • Reply 14 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Currently, Amazon is practically giving them away, for free. Are they counting these as "sold" too?



    Could be. I believe Sony counts the free Blu Ray players given away with new TV's as sold.
  • Reply 15 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by al_bundy View Post


    most Kindle book "sales" are for free books. there are hundreds of them in the Kindle store and i grabbed close to 100 of them for my iphone



    It actually says in the article that it excludes the free books, and it's only a comparison of the ratio when they have both the Kindle and print version.



    However, I think the free downloads have become one of the drawbacks of Kindle. Because they dominate the downloads, it has made the "top 10" type lists on the Kindle pretty much worthless. I find navigating for purchases on Kindle not that good, and that makes it worse.
  • Reply 16 of 128
    Considering that there is a Kindle app for the iPhone, you can bet that Amazon will beef up a version for the iPad to keep those book sales. Kindles go bye-bye. $50 on eBay by mid-year.
  • Reply 17 of 128
    palegolaspalegolas Posts: 1,250member
    It was really humble of Steve Jobs to give creds to the Kindle. I think anything that Steve gives creds to will sell.
  • Reply 18 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Quadra 610 View Post


    Millions? So really, how much is "millions"? Are we ever going to see some actual numbers for this one-trick pony?



    These Kindles are about to got the way of the Dodo come April.



    The Kindle does one thing and it does is really well. Its not a multi function device like the iPad. The Kindle screen is far better for ereading compared to the iPad.



    You act as if everytime Apple comes out with a product someone is going to be put out of business and that simply has never been the case, including the iPhone.



    The Kindle and the iPad are not even in the same catagory you are comparing a single purpose ereader with a multi function Tablet.
  • Reply 19 of 128
    pmzpmz Posts: 3,433member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    Considering that there is a Kindle app for the iPhone, you can bet that Amazon will beef up a version for the iPad to keep those book sales. Kindles go bye-bye. $50 on eBay by mid-year.



    I thought about this. Would Apple now reject it from the App Store because it "duplicates the function of the iPad"...?



    I hope not, considering it would be isanely anti competitive.
  • Reply 20 of 128
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by AppleZilla View Post


    Considering that there is a Kindle app for the iPhone, you can bet that Amazon will beef up a version for the iPad to keep those book sales. Kindles go bye-bye. $50 on eBay by mid-year.



    The Kindle isn't going anywhere because it makes for a far better ereader then the iPad. Try reading an entire ebook on an LED screen without killing your eyes
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