Amazon’s Kindles Fire Up The E-Reader And Tablet Markets

Amazon, the ideological parents of Indian company Flipkart, have a great thing going with their Kindle E-Reader lineup. While they have been selling Kindles since the past 4 years, it is only recently that they have become affordable to the masses, and more importantly, cheap enough to gift to friends and family on holidays.

With their latest Kindle refresh, they introduced the Kindle Touch, the Kindle (4) and the Kindle Fire. While the Kindle Touch and Kindle are pure e-reader products, with an e-ink screen and month long battery life, the Kindle Fire is the new trendsetter in the budget Android market. At only $199, it offered a lot of bang for the buck, and the balance sheet is apparently showing so.

In a Press Release by Amazon, they have announced that ‘December 2011 has been the best month ever for Kindle’. “We are grateful to our customers worldwide for making this the best holiday ever for Kindle,” said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. “And in a huge milestone for independent publishing, we’d also like to congratulate Darcie Chan, the author of ‘The Mill River Recluse,’ and Chris Culver, the author of ‘The Abbey,’ for writing two of the best-selling Kindle books of the year.”

The press release includes the following statistics:

  • Customers purchased more than 1 million Kindles per week.
  • On Amazon.com’s Best Seller Charts, the Kindle Fire, Kindle Touch and Kindle (4) take the top 3 spots. This is very impressive since Amazon sells thousands and thousands of products from hundreds of brands.
  • The Kindle Fire is the most Gifted and most Wished for Product on their website, since its introduction 13 weeks ago.
  • Amazon UK, France, Italy, Germany and Spain also list the Kindle as the best-selling product in their country. 
  • Christmas 2011 showed Record Sales of Kindle E-Books.

As you can see, Amazon’s simple, easy to use products, bundled with their industry-low pricing and comprehensive eco-system have proven to be a potent combination and the public has really taken to them. With the cheapest Kindle starting from $80 (Rs. 4200) and the Kindle Fire ($200) is much cheaper than competing tablets and does a large portion of what they do.

Even in India, the Kindle Touch and Kindle Fire have been selling well, through unofficial channels of course. The Kindle Fire is one of the most common products asked as gifts by Indians, from relatives coming home to India for the holidays.

The steady sale of e-readers is good for the EBook industry, as it gains more and more credibility as a mainstream alternative to paper books. As more and more people switch over to EBooks, it will be interesting to see the effect on Publication Houses in India.

What do you think? Has the time of the e-reader come for India? With Amazon rumored to open shop here next year, will the Kindle penetrate our market too? Do let us know in the comments below.

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