Amazon Sold More Than 4M Kindle Devices in December — Less Than One Day for Apple

Amazon Sold More Than 4M Kindle Devices in December — Less Than One Day for Apple

Just how popular were Kindles as Christmas gifts? Amazon said today it sold at least 4 million of the devices in December, or 1 million each week. Sounds great until we check Apple numbers and find the Cupertino, Calif. tech giant demolished the Internet retailer’s sales hype in about one day.

In an announcement devoid of many specifics, the Seattle-based company said it had sold “well over 1 million Kindle devices per week.” The Kindle family of devices range all the way from the $79 Kindle e-reader to the $199 Kindle Fire tablet, which could be the iPad’s most worrisome rival to date. Amazon added that Kindle books as gifts rose 175 percent over last year. The fact that they provided no real numbers for comparison would warm the hearts of even Apple’s PR department.

How did Apple’s iOS family compare? Fortune did some figuring and estimated at least 4.2 million iOS devices — iPhones, iPads and iPod touches — were activated on Christmas Day alone.

  • dsMichaelangelo

    Obviously you cannot compare the two stats. 4.2 million activations probably occurred after 4-6 weeks worth of purchases with activations all happening on Christmas day when they were opened as gifts. So, looking from a distance it seems they are both somewhat equal – 1 million a week for 4 weeks.

  • Joshua Halverson

    This is a false comparison.  Amazon SOLD over a million per week.  Apple ACTIVATED 4.2 million on one day.  Lets divide out 4.2 million by 4 weeks in December and it is roughly the same. Activation is not the same as selling.  I’m all about Apple but lets compare apples to apples….

  • Martin Hill

    Indeed, with analysts predicting Apple to have sold 30 – 36 million iPhones, 13 million iPads and 7-10 million iPod touches this quarter for a total of between 50 – 60 million iOS devices, we’re looking at a million iOS devices sold every day and a half averaged over the last 3 months.

  • Barton Lynch

    this article is so misleading it’s ridiculous 

  • rdowns

    Every day, this site slips further and further into the muck. Report the news and stop being fucking fanboys. This article is so misleading it’s not even funny. 

  • jeff curtis

    Wrong……

    The states for which this comes states that between dec 1 and 20th activations for iOS and android averaged 1.5 Million new devices per day.  Andy Rubin tweeted that android was 700K per day.  So this leaves iOS with 800K a day per day for 20 days equaling 16 million devices.  At least 4 million more on Xmas and Xmas eve for a total of 20 Million. 
    At least think a little before you post. 

  • jeff curtis

    Wrong……

    The states for which this comes states that between dec 1 and 20th activations for iOS and android averaged 1.5 Million new devices per day.  Andy Rubin tweeted that android was 700K per day.  So this leaves iOS with 800K a day per day for 20 days equaling 16 million devices.  At least 4 million more on Xmas and Xmas eve for a total of 20 Million. 
    At least think a little before you post. 

  • DylanYounkin

    Copy/Paste much?

  • jeff curtis

    sure why not bored

  • Wayne_Luke

    Three of those activations were iPhones that I bought in October. I am sure others purchased ahead as well and they didn’t activate until they were given as gifts.

  • Wayne_Luke

    Activations are not sales though. You can’t assume that since there were 4.2 million activation that they were new sales not covered in previous days. That is what this post is doing. It is what you’re doing. Since most places that would sale iOS Devices were closed on Christmas day, there were very few purchases and same day activations. Most were bought in the weeks before hand, wrapped and placed under a tree or in a stocking. Only when they were unwrapped did they get activated.

    Had the post been written a little more objectively, it could have gotten the same information out without being sensationalist and actually bring some credibility to the author. Instead it is simply a headline grabber designed to increase page views and ad impressions without really giving real information.

  • MrMLK

    This would be true if there hadn’t been any other activation over the month of December. Then we could make the statement that the sales were about the same, because both sold about 4M in December.

    But, as it turns out, Apple has been getting several hundred thousand activation every day over the month, so the sales volumes for Apple are probably significantly higher the for Amazon.

    Which of course is meaningless anyhow, as Amazon was probably making a fair amount of money selling kindle books to people buying iPads.

    SInce Apple is in the business of selling hardware, and Amazon is in the business of selling content, this article is probably about as useless as an article comparing Amazon book sales to Apple book sales.

  • jeff curtis

    you did not even read the post.  they source of the christmas day activations also stated that up to xmas they were seeing 1.5 Million new activations per day.  There is no other way to look at it at least 20 Million IOS devices were activated in December no matter how you slice it> sold or activated doesn’t matter you can’t activate a new device twice on the stats, either it counts in the 1.5 million per day up to xmas or the 4 Million odd activations on xmas.

    Jeez no big deal. The kindle all of them combine sold around 4 million devices, all of iOS around 20+ million

  • Wayne_Luke

    Well I know at least three of the Christmas day activations were sales Apple made in October. That is when I bought the iPhones for my kids. They sat in the closet for two months, unactivated.

    My entire point is that sales cannot be equated to single day activations. The post on this site implies they are and that Apple sold 4.2 million devices on Christmas day. This is an incorrect implication. They didn’t quote the other numbers from the source because it would be less sensational. It would be nice if the source mattered but the way the post is written, the author made it negligible. In the end it comes down to the quality of writing here, not the numbers.

  • George O. Goodman

    I was unaware that there could be one and only one company successful in offering tablets and ereaders. Does that mean that at some point I’ll need to destroy either my iPad or my Kindle Fire?

  • Wayne_Luke

    Hardware numbers don’t matter much in this instance though. Amazon isn’t trying to compete with Apple based on hardware. They are trying to compete based on content. If those 4 million new Kindle owners sign up for Amazon Prime, Amazon just made 316 Million dollars over the cost of their hardware.

  • Jordan Clay

    Same story here,  We had 3 iPads in the closet that had been there for over 6 weeks

  • Singh Amardeep

    Amazon, SUCK IT!!!

  • Run26Point2Miles

    Wow. What shitty reporting. How does this even get posted?

  • AlecTheFirst

    Yeah, there can be only one. I think you have to cut the head off the other.

  • Bozster

    Yeah, cause you know comparing iPod, iPhone, iPad sales lumped together against 1 device is totally logical comparison. Face it Apple shills, iPad is going bye bye. This holiday season Android phones outsold ALL iOS devices together. This didn’t include ridiculous amounts of tablets like Nook, Kindle Fire, ASUS Transformer Prime and others. 

    I wonder how you will continue to spin the ongoing deterioration of sales of iOS devices in 2012.

  • J0130

    The amazon numbers include “all” kindles…not just the fire, thats 5 devices all together. And to say android beat 3 devices (iPod, iPad, iPhone) is just as dumb. Android is made up of far more devices than just three. They have a new android device every few months. Just saying…

About the author

Ed SutherlandEd Sutherland is a veteran technology journalist who first heard of Apple when they grew on trees, Yahoo was run out of a Stanford dorm and Google was an unknown upstart. Since then, Sutherland has covered the whole technology landscape, concentrating on tracking the trends and figuring out the finances of large (and small) technology companies.

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