It seems that Amazon has been living it up, thanks in no small part to massive sales of its Kindle ebook reader over the Christmas block.
According to Cnet, Amazon has had a very fine year indeed, with revenue up to $9.52 billion, a fairly staggering increase on last year, to the tune of 42%. Indeed, reports also indicate that Amazon has seen profits rise by around the 70% mark, which is nothing to be sneezed at. Apparently, the fourth quarter of last year (which happily enough includes both Christmas and the US’s Black Friday sales) was the most profitable quarter the company has ever seen.
Moreover, Amazon was also fairly quick to point out that, over the Christmas period, its line of ebook readers, the Kindle family, had become the most “gifted” item on Amazon ever. Clearly Amazon’s Kindle has caught on in a big way, cracking the ebook market wide open. Of course, for many the real question now will be just how those sales are effected, if indeed they are at all, by the launch of Apple’s iPad.
While Apple’s device bills itself as something of an ebook reader though, it stands to reason that Amazon won’t see too much impact from it. The Kindle’s e-ink display will certainly be more comfortable for most to read for long durations, and seems a little better suited to long-term reading than Apple’s LED solution.
Still, for now it seems that Amazon will continue making money hand over fist, with the company stating that, if there is a digital version available, for every ten physical books it sells, it manages to shift six copies for the Kindle. That statistic alone is interesting stuff indeed, and would seem to indicate less of an attachment to the physicality of books than many have professed.