Amazon: How many Kindles have you sold exactly?

Run Windows on Mac OS X with no reboot!Crickets chirp in response to that headline. And until an answer is provided, as far as we’re concerned, we’re not falling for carefully worded press releases devoid of hard information. As far as we’re concerned, Amazon’s Kindle has no clothes.

As Phil Wahba reports for Reuters, “Online retailer Inc. is testing Wall Street’s patience by repeatedly touting the success of its Kindle electronic reader without providing specific sales figures.”

“In one press release after another in recent months, Amazon has talked up the Kindle’s best-seller status across all product categories,” Wahba reports. “On the day after Christmas, the retailer said the Kindle was the most-purchased gift in its history and sales of its electronic books surpassed physical book sales on the holiday itself. Previously, Amazon said the device had its best monthly sales ever in December, with only half of the month gone by at that point.”

Wahba reports, “In neither of these most recent examples did Amazon say how many Kindles or e-books were sold, nor by how much sales rose.”

Wahba reports, “Forrester estimates that the Kindle, which was launched in 2007, has a U.S. market share of about 55 percent, ahead of devices from Sony Corp and Barnes & Noble Inc’s recently launched Nook. It says 2.5 million Kindles have been sold to date, based on consumer surveys. Investment firm Cowen & Co. expects Amazon to sell 500,000 of the devices in its holiday quarter alone.”

MacDailyNews Note: Forrester’s figures measure single-function eReaders. They do not include iPhone and iPod touch. That’s the only way Kindle can get 55%. And the Kindle app for iPhone and iPod touch is the only logical way Amazon’s sales of electronic books could’ve surpassed their physical book sales.

Wahba continues, “In 2010, Forrester anticipates consumers to buy another 6 million e-readers and the field to become more crowded. Apple Inc. is expected to unveil a tablet in 2010 that would have e-reader functions.”

MacDailyNews Take: Apple has already unveiled devices that have e-reader functions, including Amazon’s Kindle app itself. And Apple hasn’t sold just a meager 2.5 million devices with grand hopes of adding another paltry 500,000 during the holiday quarter. Apple will sell upwards of 20 million iPhone and iPod touch devices in the holiday quarter alone; 40 times the Kindle sales estimated by analysts. 40 times. To date, adding in the holiday quarter estimates, Apple has sold roughly 75 million iPhones and iPod touches combined, all of which, providing they are running at least iPhone OS 2.0, are capable of using Amazon’s Kindle app, not to mention a huge selection of other e-reader apps. 3 million Kindles vs. 75 million iPhones and iPod touches. Let’s face facts, folks, the far and away #1 electronic reading device in the world is from Apple, not Amazon.

Forget the rumored Apple tablet, Apple already has two Kindle (hardware) killers, iPhone and iPod touch, and they’re doing quite the job on their own. When and if Apple’s tablet appears… well, let’s just say that Amazon should focus all of their attention on their Kindle software for Apple hardware than on Kindle hardware going forward.

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: The jig is up, Amazon.


  1. selling more ebooks on dec 25th than physical books would be easy. even a small number of people getting kindles means a huge influx of “try the new toy” on that day at that second. how many people went to their computers to buy new paperbacks and text books on christmas? they don’t need the ipod or iphone to do that, they only need a few thousand xmas sales. that is just silly. that tells us nothing at all about the sales, true, but Apple isn’t needed to make that happen either.

    I would like to see some sales figures. I think it is overall an impressive device, even if we need a format standard and better pdf handling. The ebook prices are outrageous though. It can’t cost that much to produce the ebooks, and they should look at this as a chance to reinvigorate reading and book sales. seems book publishers could learn from the movie and music industries…

  2. I find iPhone brightly illuminated display infinitely easier to read from than Kindle’s. The only time Kindle is easy to read is in brightly lit room, or on the beach. In practically EVERY other reading situation, light is inadequate, Kindle’s e-Paper looks gray and becomes strain on the eyes. I can read iPhone/iPod touch in complete darkness, as well as on the beach, and everywhere in between.

    If the tablet ends up getting the screen brightness of the iPhone, I can’t imagine under what conditions could Kindle’s display possibly be easier on the eyes or more legible than the tablet’s. Since the size is no longer going to be a limiting factor as it seems to be now for some for the iPhone, about the only differentiator will be the price, which is pretty much the only reason Kindle may remain on the market.

  3. If Apple does release an iSlate in 2010, as rumored, then I’ll wager a lot of money that Apple will sell more than 500,000 in the first weekend and more than 2.5 million in the first quarter it becomes available.

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