Kindle e-books outsells print titles for first time ever.
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The e-reader’s digital titles is now outselling both print and hardcover books combined in the US, and this is the first time this has happened since the Kindle was first launched in November 2007, Amazon said last week.
By July last year, e-book sales had surpassed hardcover titles – although paper and hard copies combined still had the edge, but now it seems digital titles have won out – on Amazon.com at least.
“Less than four years after introducing Kindle books, Amazon.com customers are now purchasing more Kindle books than all print books – hardcover and paperback – combined,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com.
“Customers are now choosing Kindle books more often than print books.
We had high hopes that this would happen eventually, but we never imagined it would happen this quickly – we’ve been selling print books for 15 years and Kindle books for less than four years.”
Its newly released Kindle, which retails for US$114, is the best seller of all time in the US, it said today. The device was introduced just 5 weeks ago. Last year, the online giant said it accounts for 70-80 percent of all ebook sales.
For every 100 print book bought, 105 digital editions were purchased. This includes sales of hardcover and paperback books by Amazon where there is no Kindle edition.
Amazon sold more than three times as many Kindle books so far in 2011 as it did during the same period in 2010. Free Kindle books, if included, would have pushed sales numbers even higher, it also said.
Outside of the US, the conversion to digital titles is a bit behind, although Amazon UK reports customers are purchasing twice as many Kindle books as hardcovers, but overall print still holds the edge with Britons.
The US Kindle Store now has more than 950,000 books, many selling at under $10 and start for as little as $0.99.
Although this is a massive feat, some within the book industry have raised doubts over the financial feasibility of digital sales when prices are so low.
Amazon’s “buy once, read everywhere” e-book format is compatible with all Apple and Adroid devices and are set to be HP TouchPads and BlackBerry PlayBooks “soon.”