Amazon Now Sells More 'Stuff' than Media
Should Apple, with its iPad, succeed in luring away potential Kindle e-reader customers from Amazon, the result may not sting like it once might have.
On April 22, Amazon.com announced the financial results of its first quarter of 2010, and with it the news that, for the first time, it sold more beauty creams, lawn movers, baby toys and, essentially, everything else, than it did books, CDs and DVDs - the reduced-rate media items that made Amazon famous.
The retailer announced that its worldwide media sales grew 26 percent during the quarter, to $3.43 billion, while worldwide electronics and other general merchandise grew by 72 percent, for a total of $3.51 billion.
North American sales totaled $3.78 billion, up 47 percent from a year earlier, with international sales right behind it, growing 45 percent, for a total of $3.35 billion.
"We remain head-down focused on customers," Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement.
The company additionally used the opportunity to reiterate that its Kindle e-reader remains its number one bestselling product, and that, days before the fiscal announcement, its Kindle Store reached 500,000 titles, including 100 of the 111 New York Times Best Sellers and 175 U.S and international newspapers.
Earlier this year, Apple, in preparations for its iPad launch, was said to be in discussions with booksellers such as Simon & Schuster, HarperCollins and the Penguin Group about lowering e-book prices, as well as offering publishers a larger cut of e-book profits. The move - and the very existence of the iPad - forced Amazon's hand, and days before the iPad went on sale, the Wall Street Journal reported that Amazon, too, was in discussions with publishers, about setting price points for e-books.
In addition to the iPad, today the Kindle faces competition from the Barnes & Noble Nook, the Spring Designs Alex e-reader, the Plastic Logic Que and a lineup of e-readers from Sony, among other newly launched products.
Extending the reach of the Kindle still further, Amazon also announced April 22 that beginning April 25, the Kindle will become available at a number of Target stores.