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E-books outstrip paper books in Christmas sales

  • 29 December 2009
  • Written by 
  • Published in Market
Amazon has released some stats and factoids about the 2009 holiday shopping season, including the news that it sold more Kindle books than physical books on Christmas Day. It also claims that the Kindle is the "most gifted item in Amazon's history."

The company didn't release the sales figures that underlie its claims, and it's probably worth paying attention to that "on Christmas Day" qualifier. Shoppers on that day have a lot more incentive to choose a digital book over a physical one, whether because they need an instant present or because they received a gift card or a new Kindle they want to use immediately.

If the release is accurate, there must have been a lot of the latter: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said, "We are grateful to our customers for making Kindle the most gifted item ever in our history."

Other technology-related items from the announcement include:

- Customers bought so many computers that, if they were stacked on top of each other, they'd be twice as high as Mt. Everest.

- Similarly, the Blu-Ray disc players, lined up side by side, would stretch more than 27 miles.

- Amazon sold enough shoot-and-share camcorders to supply YouTube with 50 years of nonstop content, and enough 8GB iPod Touches to play 442 years of continuous music.

- The bestselling electronics items were the Kindle, the 8GB iPod Touch, the Garmin nuvi 260W GPS device, the Nokia 5800 XpressMusic unlocked phone, the Plantronics 510 Bluetooth headset, and the BlackBerry Bold 9700.

- The most popular software was Microsoft Office 2007 Home and Student, Office for Mac 2008 Home and Student, and Adobe Photoshop Elements 8.

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