Everyone knows that Amazon has been selling a ton of e-books. We just don’t know how well Amazon is doing as the company has not disclosed those all important numbers. That has not stopped the company from making claims and talking up its success. In a recent interview with CNET, Ian Freed, Amazon vice president in charge of the Kindle, disclosed a few interesting numbers:
80 percent of Kindle books we sell are sold to Kindle owners. They may have a Kindle app on a phone or an iPad or Mac or PC, but they at least have a Kindle. So 20 percent do not.
That explains why Amazon is committed to its hardware business for now. Mr. Freed is still putting a spin on this, but it’s an impressive statistic. He also talked about how consumers are paying with their pocket-books (since most top-sellers are priced $9.99 or less). Mr. Freed did take his time to take a swipe at iPad:
it’s a totally different product. I mean, the product is a general-purpose tablet. We love that product because people use their iPads to buy a lot of products on Amazon… But for book reading it’s substantially heavier than a Kindle; the battery life is 10 hours versus 4 weeks on the new Kindle, and you can’t read it outside in the sun.
In response to whether Apple and B&N could be commanding up to 40% of the e-book market, Mr. Freed explained that Amazon is sure about having 70-80 percent market-share. So those companies much be doing something wrong.
There is no question that Amazon is selling more e-books than anyone else at this point. The company has realized that focusing on just one device could be limiting to its business. That’s why it has released apps for Android, iPhone, iPad, and personal computers. The attack on iPad was based on Amazon’s official line on iPad, so it was not that surprising to hear. I do find it hard to believe that 80% of Kindle e-book purchases are made by Kindle owners. There is a difference between owning a Kindle in your household and actually using it to buy and read things.
Apple may have made life difficult for Google, but it does not seem the company is eager to do the same with Amazon. Apple will sell its share of e-books and is focused on keeping the iPad the top tablet in the world. This does feel like the calm before the storm though