Amazon: Kindle sales accelerating; Demand tipping point?

Summary:Amazon says Kindle sales continue to accelerate and boasts that the new price point has helped it reach a tipping point - but still won't release actual sales figures.

Amazon said Monday that it is selling more e-books than hardcover books and talked up Kindle sales without providing details.

Simply put, Amazon is getting all rah-rah again about sales of its Kindle e-reader, throwing around loaded phrases like "millions of people," "bestselling," and "unit sales accelerated." Forgive me, though, if I don't start jumping around with excitement. The one data point - actual units sold - is the one data point that Amazon continues to refuse to cough u

p.

Amazon reports quarterly earnings later this week and, as has become the norm, surely will be asked about specifics on Kindle sales. So today's headline, while certainly intended to highlight Amazon's perceived success of the Kindle, feels like a pre-emptive strike so it can tell analysts later: "Didn't you get the memo on Monday?"

Today's headline: Kindle device unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter—both on a sequential month-over-month basis and on a year-over-year basis. The other big headline: Amazon customers are now buying more e-books than hardcover books. In a press release, CEO Jeff Bezos said:

We’ve reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle—the growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189. In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books—astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.

The company also noted that, in the past month, the sales of Kindle books is nearly 2:1 over hardcovers, with 180 Kindle books selling for every 100 hardcovers. Further, the company said it sold more than 3 times as many Kindle books in the first half 2010 than it did in the first half of 2009.

The company reports quarterly earnings after the close of U.S. markets on Thursday.

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Topics: Enterprise Software, Amazon

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