Amazon has announced today that more “next generation Kindles were ordered in the first four weeks of availability than in the same timeframe following any other Kindle launch, making the new Kindles the fastest-selling ever.” While the company didn’t reveal how many Kindles have been sold, it said that in the four weeks since the introduction of the new Kindle and Kindle 3G, customers ordered more Kindles on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined than any other product.
The new version of the Kindle started shipping to customers today, which Amazon says is two days earlier than previously announced. The fast growth of the new version of the Kindle isn’t surprising considering Amazon’s recent assertion that it sold three times as many Kindle books in the first half of 2010 as it did in the first half of 2009, with the Kindle continuing to be the number one product sold on Amazon. Amazon says the U.S. Kindle store now over 670,000 books. And the Kindle has reportedly been sold out until the fall.
Amazon announced the new, more affordable Kindle at the end of July. The updated version has a sleeker design with a 21 percent smaller body 15 percent lighter weight, 20 percent faster page turns, up to one month of battery life with wireless off, double the storage to 3,500 books, built-in Wi-Fi for the lower price of $139. The new Kindle 3G with all of these new features plus with free 3G wireless is $189.
Amazon also said today that the Kindle and Kindle 3G are the most gifted and most wished for products on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined. The company recently launched a UK Kindle store with more than 400,000 titles, looking to boost growth internationally. So far, customers in 125 countries on six continents have placed orders for the new e-book device.
Of course, while Amazon is touting the massive traction of the device, the company still faces competition from the iPad and even the NOOK. Of course, Amazon founder Jeff Bezos doesn’t seem too worried about the iPad. Bezos explained recently to Charlie Rose that with the Kindle, Amazon isn’t looking to “create an experience” — they want the author to create the experience. Bezos believes that this differentiates the Kindle from the iPad and and other devices. And there are those reports that the Kindle is outselling the iBooks store 60 to one.