Unsurprisingly, the fourth quarter is usually the best sales period for the Kindle (and most retail products), but it looks like this year will be especially strong as more consumers flock to e-books. After announcing a new e-book loan feature last week, Amazon is revealing a number of new Kindle stats today in time for the holiday shopping rush.
According to the company, sales of the new generation Kindle devices have already surpassed total Kindle device sales from the holiday season of last year (October through December 2009).
Sales of individual Kindle titles are flying off the digital bookshelves. Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books in the first nine months of 2010 as in the first nine months of 2009. Amazon also said that Kindle book sales continue to overtake print on Amazon.com. This data is consistent with Q2 and Q1 Kindle numbers Amazon revealed during its earnings call in July. And in the past 30 days, Amazon.com customers purchased more Kindle books than print books, which includes both hardcover and paperback combined, for the top 10, 25, 100, and 1,000 bestselling books on Amazon.com.
In the three months since Amazon debuted the new Kindle, 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. Of course, this dramatic growth is buoyed by the fact that e-book sales are rapidly growing (Amazon says sales are up 193 percent between January and August 2010). Kindle book sales growth during the same period exceeded this rate.
All of this growth sounds pretty great, but it’s really hard to accept these stats and data without the actual numbers of Kindles sold or e-books sold. Clearly, Kindles are big-sellers for the e-commerce giant (perhaps because the company slashed prices of the device to $139 for WiFi-only and $189 for the full-featured model). Amazon is notorious for sending out releases or news touting Kindle sales while never releasing the actual numbers (data which Apple reveals all the time).
For now, Kindle sales will continue to be one of the best-kept secrets in device land.
Also related: B&N will be releasing a color version of its Kindle competitor, the Nook, this week.