Amazon has revealed that sales of its Kindle e-book reader are increasing every month, in spite of renewed competition from the Apple iPad and other rival products.
In fact, the firm said that the Kindle had been the best selling item on its US site for the past two years.
As well as being a must-have, the Kindle is also something of a 'want', and Amazon said that it is the "most wished-for, most gifted, and has the most five-star reviews of any product on Amazon.com".
The firm added that lower prices for its entry model had contributed to monthly sales gains, and that its e-book format had leapfrogged hard copy books in terms of sales, a fact that surprised Amazon at the highest levels.
"We've reached a tipping point with the new price of Kindle. The growth rate of Kindle device unit sales has tripled since we lowered the price from $259 to $189 [£170 to £124]," said Jeff Bezos, founder and chief executive at Amazon.
"In addition, even while our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books, astonishing when you consider that we've been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months."
In the US, for every 100 hardcover books sold in the past quarter Amazon moved 143 Kindle books, while in the past 30 days this increases to 180 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books.
Over the year, the firm increased e-book sales by 300 per cent, and some authors are really reaping the benefits of sales. Authors Charlaine Harris, Stieg Larsson, Stephenie Meyer, James Patterson and Nora Roberts have all sold more than 500,000 books in the Kindle format.
Amazon’s success in the e-book market comes in the face of stiff competition from established brands such as the Sony Reader and Barnes & Noble Nook, and upcoming products from tech vendors such as Samsung.
Many thought that the launch of the iPad would dent sales of other e-book readers. However, Amazon’s decision to drop the price of the Kindle and launch an e-book app for the Apple tablet appears to have paid off.
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