Oct 252010

Today’s Amazon press release contains a number of Kindle milestones and sales figures, although Amazon does get a bit cute with the wording:

  • Sales of the “new generation Kindle devices” since their introduction surpassed “total Kindle device sales” for Q4 2009. This has a bit of tricky wording: are they talking just about the Kindle 3, introduced July 28, or the Kindle DX 2 (introduced July 1) as well? Removing the DX from both sides of the equation, this would mean the Kindle 3 sold more in its first 2 months and 28 days (July 28 through today, Oct 25) than the Kindle 2 over the last three months of 2009. True, holiday sales are Amazon’s busiest time of the year, but this one isn’t as impressive as it first sounds, since we’re comparing almost equal time periods and I’d expect a sales bump when a new model is introduced.
  • Over the past 30 days, Amazon sold twice as many Kindle editions of books in the Top 10 on Amazon.com as it did of print books (paperback and hardcover combined). They also sold more e-books than print books for the Top 25, 100, and 1,000 Amazon bestsellers. This statement is also a little clever, and notable because they DON’T just say they sold more e-books than print books over the past month. Clearly, their e-book sales are stronger on their bestselling titles, while print books have a more robust “long tail.” Still, it’s an impressive statistic that for the Top 1,000 bestselling titles on Amazon, more were sold in electronic form than printed form in the past 30 days.
  • Amazon also notes that they sold more than 3 times as many Kindle e-books in the first 9 months of 2010 than they did for the first 9 months of 2009. An impressive growth rate that pretty much equals (or slightly exceeds) the growth of e-books in general.
  • On a similar note, those same industry e-book sales figures claim that e-book sales increased 193% from January of this year to August of this year, and Amazon says their Kindle e-book sales surpassed that figure (although they don’t say by how much).

Overall, solid stats and figures, although I wish Amazon (and Apple, to name another culprit) would be a little more direct with their statistics, instead of couching things in intentionally-confusing language that requires decoding and sounds better than it really is.

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