I just heard last night that Amazon sold more e-books on Christmas Day than real books. At first I was truly surprised, but after about five seconds of thought, I realized they obviously sold more because so many people received a Kindle for Christmas. And those excited recipients wanted to download several books so they could check out their new devices.
“E-Books Beat Regular Books on Xmas” at InformationWeek also says Kindle is the most gifted item ever on Amazon. While its popularity is skyrocketing, The Business Insider says Amazon hasn’t yet ironed out the economic issues associated with the Kindle. In the article, “Kindle Milestone: Amazon Sold More Kindle Books Than Physical Books On Xmas,” it says the company loses about $1 per Kindle book because it loses money on new releases and makes only a small amount on older titles.
I have no idea how much they make on the actual devices. I guess it could be enough to balance out the loss on the books.
Tech Dirt says the fact that Amazon sold more e-books than regular books on Christmas Day is meaningless, and it says that purchasing an e-book is more like renting a book because Amazon can make the e-book disappear from your Kindle. (Although the company has promised not to do this again, it is possible.)
I can vouch for the increased popularity of electronic reading devices. Although I don’t have one myself, I’ve seen it go from an expensive novelty to a “must-have” device in my circle of friends. When it came out in 2007, I knew one person who owned one, but now I’d guess that 1/4 of my book club friends have one or they enjoy the iPhone app.
I’m not totally convinced I need one yet, but I am intrigued. I have only heard rave reviews from my Kindle-owning friends, so it’s probably just a matter of time. I also snubbed facebook in the beginning and promised myself I would never tweet before finally caving to the cultural pressure. I even remember thinking, ‘Will I really use this BlackBerry?’
I guess there’s no use in making promises I can’t keep about the Kindle.