Bloomberg reports that Amazon may very well sell as many as 8 million Kindles this year, an exceptional figures that easily dwarfs analyst estimates by upwards of 60%.
Analysts surveyed by Bloomberg estimated, on average, that the company would sell 5 million Kindles in 2010. Last year, Amazon sold about 2.4 million Kindles, said one of the people, who asked to remain anonymous because the company doesn’t disclose Kindle sales figures.
Originally introduced in 2007, the Kindle always seemed somewhat popular, but seems to have picked up significant steam over the past few months. While the iPad is undeniably a money making machine for Apple, the continuing success of the Kindle indicates that the market for standalone e-book readers is a lot more vibrant than what many would have assumed.
Helping matters, of course, is that Amazon’s Kindle lineup has expanded over the years to now include 3 separate devices.You’ve got the base model Kindle for $139 which can download digital content exclusively via Wi-FI. Then you’ve got the $189 model which works via Wi-FI and 3G. And, of course, there’s the larger Kindle DX which will set you back $379.
While Amazon hasn’t done much to significantly change the functionality or even appearance of the Kindle since its debut, the company has made a few purchases which suggest that the company is at the very least contemplating a serious upgrade. Back in January of this year, Amazon announced plans to open up the Kindle to developers to create something akin to the iTunes App Store for their beloved e-book reader. And somewhat intriguingly, Amazon has made a few interesting acquisitions over the course of the last year. In early Februrary, for example, Amazon acquired Touchco, a company specializing in touchscreen technology.