Amazon on Thursday said 2011 was the best holiday season ever for its Kindle line of devices, with well over 1 million sold each week to date in December. The Kindle Fire, its tablet contender, launched widely in mid-November. It remains the best-selling, most gifted, and most "wished-for" product across the company’s entire product inventory. Rounding out the top three best-selling items are the Kindle Touch and entry-level Kindle.
Two weeks ago, Amazon announced that Kindles were selling at a rate of more than 1 million per week as the Fire came under criticism for having certain design flaws and sluggish performance. The online retailer has since issued a software update aimed at addressing consumer concerns.
Wall Street and industry analysts expect Amazon to sell about 5 million Kindle Fires in the fourth quarter. JP Morgan last week forecast that 20 million of the devices would be sold in 2012. Based in part on the strength of Kindle Fire sales, the investment firm also raised its outlook for the category overall, estimating worldwide shipments will climb 55% to 99.3 million next year.
The popularity of the $199 Kindle Fire and the Kindle e-reader models has also helped spur digital content sales. Amazon said Christmas Day was the biggest day ever for Kindle e-book downloads. It also noted gifting of Kindle books was up 175% between this Black Friday and Christmas Day compared to the same period in 2010.
Amazon is counting on the Kindle Fire in particular to sell a wide range of digital goods, including music, movies, TV shows, and magazines and newspapers, as well as physical merchandise. While the company did not provide much insight on sales through its tablet, it did list some of the top-selling items in various product categories on Thursday.
Here’s a sampling:
-Kindle Books: “The Hunger Games” by Suzanne Collins; “Catching Fire” by Suzanne Collins; and “The Litigators” by John Grisham
-Video Games: "Just Dance 3"; "Call of Duty: Modern Warfare 3"; and "Elder Scrolls V: Skyrim"
-Amazon MP3: “100 Classic Christmas Songs” by Various Artists; “Mylo Xyloto” by Coldplay; and “A Very She & Him Christmas” by She & Him
-Amazon Instant Video: “Super 8”; “The Help”; and “Crazy, Stupid, Love”
-AmazonWireless: Motorola DROID RAZR 4G Android Phone (Verizon Wireless); Samsung Galaxy S II Epic Touch 4G Android Phone (Sprint); and Samsung Galaxy S II 4G Android Phone (AT&T)
-Toys: Rory’s Story Cubes; Qwirkle Board Game; and Perplexus Maze Game