November was the best sales month ever for the Kindle e-reader, even before traditionally heavy sales on Cyber Monday, Amazon.com Inc. said early today.
Notably, the online bookseller didn't say how many Kindles it sold in November. Manufacturers of e-readers have been closed-mouthed about sales figures, and even analysts widely disagree on how many have sold. For all of 2009, the analysts' sales tallies range from 2 million to about 5 million.
"Kindle is a great gift for anyone who loves to read and it's flying off the shelves faster than any other product Amazon sells," said Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon's Kindle division.
The latest Kindle generation, released in October, sells for $259 and is available for immediate shipment, Amazon.com said.
The fact that the Kindle device is shipping immediately may be Amazon.com's main reason for making today's announcement, drawing attention to Kindles remaining in stock compared to e-readers from other device makers that are sold out.
For example, the $259 Nook from Barnes & Noble Inc., was due to hit bookstores today after several weeks of pre-sales, but was recently reported out of stock, with deliveries starting after Jan. 4. Sony also said on Nov. 18 that its Daily Edition e-reader might not make it to buyers before the end of the year.
Forrester Research in early October said sales of e-readers from all makers will be about 900,000 in November and December, bringing the total number of units sold in 2009 to 3 million units, up from 2 million in an earlier projection.
Analyst firm iSuppli Corp. predicted 5 million e-readers will be sold in 2009, an estimate recently confirmed by iSupply analyst Vinita Jakhanwal.
Analyst Nick Hampshire at MediaIdeas, however, said recently that far fewer than 5 million e-readers will sell in 2009, and said 5 million is the amount he is estimating for all of 2010, when iSuppli is predicting 13 million will be sold.