Amazon.com said Monday that it has sold more of the new Kindle since its release June 29 than it sold of the older Kindle during the fourth quarter of last year, which included the holiday shopping season, perennially the biggest shopping period of the year.
Holding to its policy on the Kindle, Amazon.com did not say how many of the e-readers it has sold. The retailer made the announcement the day before Barnes & Noble is scheduled to make what the bookseller is promoting as a major announcement. Industry observers speculate that Barnes & Noble will unveil a Nook e-reader with a color screen.
Indeed, bloggers reported Monday that a picture of the "Nook Color" appeared on Barnes & Noble's website for a short time before it was taken down. If Barnes & Noble releases a color version of the Nook, then it will be taking the device into closer competition with tablet-style computers, such as the Apple iPad or Samsung Galaxy.
How close will depend on the features added to the device, which today is based primarily on the E Ink digital paper display, which is better for reading than an LCD display used on laptops and tablets, but lacks color and touchscreen capabilities. The current Nook has a small color touchscreen under the E Ink display that's used primarily for navigation.
In announcing the latest Kindle update, Amazon.com also said that unit sales of digital books over the last 30 days surpassed that of hardcover and paperback books combined for the top 1,000 bestselling books on Amazon.com. Among the top 10 books, the electronic editions have been outpacing the physical versions more than 2 to 1, according the retailer.
The Association of American Publishers reported that e-book sales grew 193% during the first eight months of the year. Amazon.com says e-book sales on the site have exceeded that rate.
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