Online retailer Amazon.com announced that 2011 was the best holiday ever for the Kindle family as customers purchased millions of Kindle Fire tablets and millions of Kindle e-readers. The company also noted the #1 and #4 best-selling Kindle books released in 2011 were both published independently by their authors using Kindle Direct Publishing (KDP). Throughout December, customers purchased well over 1 million Kindle devices per week, and the Kindle family held the top three spots on the Amazon.com best seller charts, headed by the Kindle Fire and followed by the Kindle Touch and base Kindle.
The Kindle Fire was also the top selling, most gifted, and most wished for product across the millions of items available on Amazon.com since its introduction 13 weeks ago. Gifting of Kindle books was up 175 percent between this Black Friday and Christmas Day compared to the same period in 2010, and Christmas Day was the biggest day ever for Kindle book downloads. In addition, Kindle Fire is the best-selling product on Amazon.com's mobile website and across all of Amazon.com's mobile applications.
"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 Kindle Fire offers a heavily modified Android interface, which facilitates the purchasing of streaming content and e-books from Amazon's online storefront. That tight integration, along with a "virtual bookshelf" user interface that deviates from other tablets' grid-like screens of individual applications, makes the Kindle Fire an altogether different animal from the PlayBook or Apple's iPad. The $199 Kindle Fire sells at a significantly lower price point than the iPad or many other tablets on the market.
The year was also a record-breaking holiday season for businesses that sell on Amazon. Third-party sellers experienced record holiday growth: the number of sellers who exceeded $5,000 in sales during the holiday season increased 44 percent year-over-year. For the year, businesses on Amazon sold hundreds of millions of units worth billions of dollars worldwide.
Scharf Industries, an office supplies and electronics provider, increased its sales on Amazon by over 500 percent this holiday season compared with last holiday season. "We greatly value the cooperation that we have developed with Amazon," said Andrew Scharf, chief marketing officer of Scharf Industries. "They have provided us with the tools necessary to grow our business in a rapid and efficient manner."
Amazon also released a list of "Holiday Fun Facts" highlighting some of the company's more impressive holiday sales achievements. Amazon customers purchased enough copies of Walter Isaacson's "Steve Jobs" book to create a stack taller than Mt. Everest, and if you unfolded and stacked each pair of jeans purchased by Amazon customers this holiday, the height would be 2,500 times taller than the Statue of Liberty.