A week after rival Barnes & Noble reported strong sales of its Nookcolor e-reader, Amazon.com is saying that it has sold "millions" of units of its latest Kindle in the first 73 days of the holiday quarter.
Amazon.com provided its latest hint of Kindle sales figures Monday in a thank-you note posted on the Kindle Community discussion forum. Amazon.com won't release exact sales numbers for the Kindle, but the online retailer is quick to hint that sales are good whenever a competitor says it's doing well with its e-reader.
"Thanks to you, in just the first 73 days of this holiday quarter, we've already sold millions of our all-new Kindles with the latest E Ink Pearl display," Amazon.com says. "In fact, in the last 73 days, readers have purchased more Kindles than we sold during all of 2009."
Amazon.com's latest disclosure came a week after Len Riggio, chairman of B&N, told Publishers Weekly that the bookseller is manufacturing Nookcolors at a rate of 18,000 units per day, and is just able to meet demand. Nookcolor, introduced in October, is B&N's first e-reader with a full-size, color LCD screen. Amazon.com's Kindle is only available with E Ink's black-and-white digital paper display.
Unlike B&N's E Ink-based Nook, the Kindle uses E Ink's latest display technology, Pearl. The Nook uses the previous Vizplex technology. Rather than match Amazon.com's new display, B&N chose to go after sales during the holiday shopping season with a color version of the Nook.
Amazon.com has tried to steer attention away from its competitor before. The day before B&N introduced the Nookcolor in October, Amazon reported that its Pearl-based Kindle, released in June 29, was the fastest selling Kindle to date. Again, no exact numbers were released.
All this vague one-upmanship, doesn't answer the question on most analysts' minds, which is how well the Kindle is selling compared to the Apple iPad. While the latter tablet computer is considered an entertainment device, it is also an e-reader that's capable of cutting into sales of pure-play e-readers, such as the Kindle. The Amazon device is believed to be the market leader among e-readers.
Market researcher iSuppli predicts Apple will ship 12.9 million iPads this year. The device accounts for more than 90% of the tablet market today, but that's expected to go down as competitors, such as Hewlett-Packard, Acer, Samsung, and others, release competing devices.