Amazon's Kindle has its best quarter ever

Posted by Mike Luttrell

You might think that with the Nook, iPad, and Kobo biting at its heels, sales of the Kindle would have gone way down compared to when it was the only player in the market. But that's not the case.

In fact, Amazon has sold more of its new Kindles in the period from June 29 to now than it did during the entire holiday shopping season of last year.

Amazon has become legendary about not disclosing specific sales numbers for the Kindle, but it's widely believed to be the runaway leader in the e-reader market. It surely sold a whole ton of Kindles over the 2009 holidays so to have ignited the consumer base so readily during an off-season for shopping, is a very good sign.

Of course, the sales are largely fueled by the lower price Kindle models that are now available. They're now an impulse buy instead of a luxury item. However, the increased awareness and presence of e-readers in general has given Amazon an unmistakable boost, even if it does mean the company has high-profile competitors now.

It is, of course, also a win for consumers. The Kindle used to be priced at margins so high, Amazon was getting about double from customers what it actually paid to make a Kindle. Now, the margin is rumored to be only around 10% - 20%. Hardware sales become less important, though, as volume goes up and the amount of e-book content rises.

The Nook is the Kindle's closest competitor, and it has really managed to keep Amazon on its toes, inciting a price war and also digging for a wider range of model availability options. It's speculated that a color-screen version of the Nook will be announced soon.