Trying to figure out how many Kindles Amazon has sold is like reading tea leaves. No one’s quite sure, though Amazon likes to give vague hints during their earnings calls and make boastful announcements without any actual numbers beyond “double last year!” But several financial analysts have debated and studied, and it seems like a few rumors are pointing to upwards of 8 MILLION KINDLES sold in 2010 alone!
It’s not a shocker that the Kindle has had a great year. Between iOS, Android and Blackberry apps, plus the popularity of the Kindle 3 wifi and 3G, it’s been a banner year for Amazon. Not to mention the Kindle broke free of its online-only roots and started appearing in Target, Staples and Best Buy, making it even easier for consumers to buy the devices. But still, 8 million is a lot of ebook readers!
Now, not everyone agrees on the 8 million figure. From Businessweek:
Dec. 21 (Bloomberg) — Amazon.com Inc. is likely to sell more than 8 million Kindle electronic-book readers this year, at least 60 percent more than analysts have predicted, according to two people who are aware of the company’s sales projections.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated, on average, that the company would sell 5 million Kindles in 2010. Last year, Amazon sold about 2.4 million Kindles, said one of the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the company doesn’t disclose Kindle sales figures.
Chief Executive Officer Jeff Bezos is using the Kindle, unveiled in 2007, to expand into hardware and fuel digital book demand. The projections show Amazon is adding share in the e- reader market, where it vies with Sony Corp. and Barnes & Noble Inc., faster than predicted by analysts at Citigroup Inc. and at least five other securities or research firms.
“Kindle is gaining an unstoppable traction,” Sandeep Aggarwal, a San Francisco-based analyst at Caris & Co., wrote in a research note today. He has a “buy” rating on Amazon and doesn’t own the shares.
Whether the number is 5 million, 8 million, or something in between, there’s no denying that the Kindle is on a major roll. It’s going to be interesting to see what Amazon has to say after this holiday season and whether they release any information on ebook sales and Kindle hardware. I’m also very curious what B&N’s holiday season will look like since they’re likely to benefit from the same uptick in ebook interest (and that’s without considering the NOOKcolor’s impact in the last month or so).
Speaking from personal experience, I’ve had quite a few inquiries from friends and family about ebook readers, and it seems like everyone I know either wants an ebook reader or bought one for a loved one. Will you be giving (or possibly receiving) a Kindle (or NOOK) this holiday season?