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Summary:

Amazon is feeling good about the latest Kindle, with sales in the first four weeks topping all products sold by the retailer. The new Kindle has outsold every past model in the first four weeks of sales, and continues the 2-year streak as Amazon’s top product.

Kindle with Newspaper featured
photo: Courtesy of Amazon

Amazon is feeling good about the latest Kindle e-reader, with sales in the U.S. and UK in the first four weeks after launch topping all products sold by the retailer. The company does not disclose actual sales figures, but states the new Kindle has outsold every past model in the first four weeks of sales. Most impressively, this continues a two-year streak with the Kindle as the top-selling product for Amazon.

The lower price of the new Kindle is obviously agreeing with consumers, as the e-reader can be obtained for as little as $139. Consumers needing more than the Wi-Fi alone in that model can pick up the Kindle 3G for $189. The 3G model does not incur monthly data charges, and can be used anywhere 3G coverage exists. The current Kindle is smaller and lighter than previous models, which is always popular with users.

Amazon is not depending on Kindle device sales alone to spur e-book sales; it has created a solid ecosystem outside the e-reader device that enables consumers to buy and read Kindle books. The company may not detail how many e-books or Kindles are being sold, but extending the potential customer base to owners of the iPhone, Android phones and the iPad has created a huge market for Amazon to tap. The Kindle reader app for these platforms extends potential customers into the tens of millions, a position the company’s e-reader competitors can’t touch. It’s not surprising that Barnes & Noble is up for sale as Om recently pointed out. Yes, Amazon may have already won the e-book war.

Related GigaOM Pro Research (sub req’d): The Week e-books Won the War

  1. I like the form factor of the 3rd gen Kindle but it is still a single function B&W blinking page turner that is useless in cozy indoor lighting.
    I still think the iBook/iPad has a good chance to win the true future of eBooks with highly interactive color editions that make you think and learn and not a plain gray text kindle that will put you to sleep and into the Amazon induced Alzheimer zone. In a few years we will know if Steve made the better eReader when more books take advantage of its more advanced capabilities. The Kindle may well be more at home in a museum do tell.

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    1. If you like those things – you can use the Kindle platform on your ipad, iphone, android phone or your laptop which do allow videos, colour etc.

      Of course, if you like those things, a book is probably not that useful a paradigm – at least in the context of education. Plenty of online (often open source) platforms offer great opportunities that don’t involve tying all your content to one manufacturer, one delivery service or any one set of devices.

      The hardware device is one piece in the puzzle. One piece that’s well placed because it’s not designed to compete with Apple. Which is a smart move, Apple has a solid product and plenty of cash to spend on efforts like marketing.

      But, if you’re really into reading – then e-ink really is fantastic. I’d love a colour screen for graphic novels but for all my journal articles, papers, uni notes and all the fiction I enjoy – the Kindle is great. It’s also the absolute best screen if you like to be outdoors.

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    2. I own a 1st gen Kindle as well as an iPad. My 3rd gen Kindle (Wi-Fi only)is expected to be delivered tomorrow.

      I tried reading books on the iPad, but quickly moved back to the Kindle. In my opinion the iPad just isn’t as comfortable to hold for long periods of time. I usually read single handed, something I just couldn’t do comfortably with the iPad. Also, when reading at night the backlit screen of the iPad was too harsh on my eyes, though I did find a comfortable setting eventually. Finally, the e-ink screen is fantastic and I can read for hours without any eye strain – I cannot say that for any backlit device.

      I find the Kindle a more comfortable and more natural feeling experience in pretty much every condition – indoors and outdoors. Yes – At night I do need to use a booklight. I use the same booklight I have used for years and it works just as well as it did with real books.

      The Kindle is my preferred reading device and I own and have tried many other devices. I’m looking forward to the Kindle 3

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