As the title suggests, Amazon has today released it’s annual sales figures, and perhaps it leads way to revisiting where it all began. Back in 1995, the relative dark ages of the technology world, Jeff Bezos founded Cadabra, inc. The name was changed to Amazon.com soon after for various marketing related reasons and in the beginning, all that was sold was books. Just books.
When you look now, it is hard to believe such humble beginnings are not a fairytale concocted by the very best PR guru’s, but no word of a lie, the gargantuan online department store, which annually records sales of over three times the second biggest seller, Staples, in the United States, was once a diffident online book retailer.
Since then, we have witnessed the rising of certain fads which have snatched sales records. SuBo, for example, was the fastest selling item on the site here in the UK, and Harry Potter blasted its way to stardom setting the precedent for sales figures on the site.
However, this year, the 3rd generation Kindle has brought Amazon back to where it all began: the book. It’s actually a momentous occasion, where we put aside tv, movies and music, clothes and even groceries, and return to the original aim of Cadabra: to sell books.
The Kindle has been a fantastic product, and the third iteration with its all new features, which you can read about in our full Amazon Kindle 3 review, has taken it to new heights this holiday season. In a generation where digital media has overtaken literature, the market required something new, and the Kindle delivers books electronically in a modern and innovative way; put simply, however clichéd it may be, it really has dragged the old fashioned paperback into the 21st century.
The fact that the Kindle 3 has outsold the iPod Touch, the Apple iPad, the iPhone and any other smartphone, tablet or PMP, any CD’s and even the latest Call of Duty, is testament to how much we as human beings love to read, love to imagine our own characters, settings and fantasies, take great pleasure hoarding information by reading the best of non-fiction and just adore to revel in a metaphor.
What’s more, I love my Kindle, and despite being a tech writer owning a multitude of pricey gadgets and gizmos, it would probably be top priority on a proverbial desert island, and since receiving it as a gift back in October, I’ve hardly put it down. The sales of eBooks are also increasing and even outnumbered hardbacks sales in 2010 for the first time!
Does the fact that the Kindle is raking in the revenue for Amazon mean it’s just a result of exclusive retailing? Or is it really just something quite special? I would bet on the latter, in fact I would swear by it, and I am extremely grateful that a company once so effacing, has brought about such a massive change to the world of books, and that classic stories from classic authors have been thrown a lifeline in a prominently digital age. The Amazon Kindle is a retailing phenomenon, and long may it continue.