Kindle sales figures leak; beats analyst estimates by 60%

kindle_new_oldBloomberg has a report from anonymous sources close to Amazon who are shedding some light on how well the Kindle devices have been selling. If the figures can be trusted, Amazon sold 2.4 million Kindles in 2009, and expects to have sold more than 8 million in 2010. That’s 3 million units or 60% higher than the 5 million sales analysts estimated.

Of course, as the article points out, the millions of devices Amazon is selling are only part of the story. Amazon has also been coming out with software for just about every other hand-held device operating system in use today, including an upcoming version for Microsoft’s Windows Phone 7 operating system.

It’s a pity that the only way to get sales figures for Amazon is for an insider to leak them. Still, it’s interesting to learn how well Amazon’s devices have (supposedly) been selling. Just imagine how many they’ll move next year.

2 Comments on Kindle sales figures leak; beats analyst estimates by 60%

  1. Some eight millions sales is much more than I suspected, but it isn’t surprising. The Kindle 3 is like the original iPhone. It’s an ebook reader done right: compact, inexpensive and a joy to read on. For busy book readers, it’s ideal. That’s why I meet a lot of people in Seattle who rave about it. I’d buy one myself to replace my clumsy Kindle 1, but I’m holding out a less dinky keyboard and better support for Instapaper.

    This leak, if it is true, answers an important question: Why has Amazon been so tight-lipped about Kindle sales? Is it being like dictator Saddam, who tried to give the impression of concealing weapons of mass destruction to conceal the fact that he had few or none? Were Kindle sales really poorer than Amazon was hinting? Or are they much better and Amazon is trying to grab a huge market share before competitors wake up and make charges that Amazon is acquiring a monopoly over digital book sales? The latter now seems almost certain. Between its now well-designed hardware and apps than run on almost every platform, Amazon is set up to dominate the ebook market.

    That’s why I’m eager to see how my single Smashwords title does when Amazon begins to sell it. Right now, it is selling better on B&N in the US than it is on Apple globally, which suggests that the idevice-only iBookstore has yet to become a major player. It’ll be interesting to see how sales on B&N and Amazon compare. My hunch is that sales on Amazon will be at least four times greater and that’ll be a key measure of just how popular the Kindle is.

  2. Well, lets go back to the old Google Trends; do these numbers work?

    http://www.google.com/trends?q=nook,+kindle&sa=N

    Since launch, through today, Kindle has generated 2.4x the amount of buzz worldwide that the nook has, according to Google trends.

    The closest we have for a real number for Kindle is 8 million sales, The closest we have for a real number for Nook is somewhere north of two million (“more than a million” original nooks had been sold as of nook color launch + 1 million nook color projected sales before the end of the year + original nooks sold in the last two months) If we assume 3 million nooks have been sold that gives a Kindle/nook ratio of 2.6. Google trends looks to be pretty dead on in this case!

    Incidentally, via similar analysis,
    the Ipad has now sold 36 million units (true in the fanboi’s minds),
    Kobo has sold 800,000 (seems about right- and not too shabby, IMHO),
    Sony reader has sold 2.4 million (but probably more if I knew the Japanese figure!).
    Pocketbook has sold 400,000 (but is more than twice as popular as Kindle in the Ukraine)
    Hanvon barely registers, because noone uses Google in China

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