Kindle becomes Amazon's best-selling item ever

Posted by Mark Raby

The latest version of Amazon's e-reading device is by all accounts a runaway success. Thanks to the holiday shopping boost it just received, it has become the online retailers highest-selling product of all time.

It knocked off Pokemon, video games, game systems, and even the latest Harry Potter book - the prior record holder - to earn that distinction. However, in announcing the milestone, Amazon still did not disclose exact sales numbers, something it has refused to do from day one.

While the Kindle started off as a niche - but very appealing - device, this year it went mass market all the way. Thanks to competition from Barnes & Noble's Nook and Apple's iPad, Kindle prices dropped dramatically this year all the way to the current models that are as cheap as $139. Amazon used to have very handsome margins on the Kindle, but now it makes just a modest profit on each one sold. Of course, now it's selling much more.

Also, Amazon has the advantage of being able to plaster the Kindle all over its online store, giving it a presence that no other product has ever had. Nevertheless, people still have to want it to buy it, and millions upon millions of people wanted it this year.

The only number we got from Amazon is that on its peak day, it shipped nine million Kindles. That's 29% more than its top day in 2009.