After what has shaped up as a pretty promising Christmas holiday season, Amazon says that its third-generation Kindle is now the bestselling product in its 16-year history. Despite the milestone, Amazon still won’t release specific sales figures for its Kindle line. About the only detail it offered in relation to Kindle 3 sales was that it only took its latest reader five months to surpass sales of Harry Potter and the Deathly Hallows, the previous top-seller of any product on Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN). The seventh and last book in the series by J.K Rowling, Deathly Hollows was released in the summer of 2007.
Just before Christmas, Bloomberg reported that Amazon was on target to sell more than 8 million Kindles in 2010. That report was based on two sources Bloomberg identified as having intimate knowledge of the company’s sales projections. If that sales projection is accurate, it would be 60 percent more than analysts’ forecasts, which had generally expected sales of around 5 million Kindles. In 2009, Amazon sold roughly 2.4 million Kindles, one Bloomberg source said.
While Amazon didn’t comment on the speculation, it did offer a few small insights into what’s driving Kindle sales. Citing customer satisfaction surveys, Amazon said consumers note the Kindle 3′s relative lightness, its month-long battery life, and a screen that’s easy on the eyes and can be read in direct sunlight. The company also noted that the WiFi-only Kindle’s $139 price point was a key factor in sales. the 3G version is $189.
Overall, Amazon’s peak sales day was Nov. 29, when customers ordered more than 13.7 million items worldwide across all product categories — which translates to 158 items per second, which Amazon also claimed was a record-breaker for the company.
As more people turned on new Kindles for the first time on Christmas Day than on any other day since Amazon began selling the device three years ago, The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo” was the most purchased and most gifted e-book within that 24-hour time period. Release