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Amazon Flies on Kindle Success

Assuming that everyone -- of the 3 million figure cited by the Washington Post -- who has one, actually bought the $259 Kindle, Amazon has already made more than $700 million in sales since the Kindle was launched slightly more than two years ago.

(Amazon article updated to reflect share-price and volume changes)



) --


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stock-trading volume has spiked amid news of strong Kindle sales and excellent holiday-sales-driven fourth quarter earnings.

More than 27 million Amazon shares have changed hands Friday, almost triple its roughly 9.7 million three-month average trading volume.

Amazon stock rose 2.4% at $129 Friday, before falling 1% to $124.60.

"Millions of people now own Kindles," Amazon's CEO Jeff Bezos said in a statement. "And Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell six Kindle books for every ten physical books. This is year-to-date and includes only paid books -- free Kindle books would make the number even higher. It's been an exciting 27 months."

While analysts have reportedly been expecting Kindle e-reader sales of around 2.5 million by the end of 2010, a source close to Amazon tells the

Washington Post

that the number of Kindles sold hit 3 million in December. Although Amazon faces growing competition from the

Barnes & Noble

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Nook e-book reader -- and now, the multimedia Apple iPad with e-book reading capabilities -- the Kindle's success has topped analysts expectations.

Apple stock has fallen 4% to $191.30.

Many observers says that the new iPad may carry fancier features than the Kindle, but when it comes down to the basics, the e-book reader does it better than anyone else, they believe. Fans cite the Kindle's long-lasting battery, free-wireless capabilities in connection with Amazon's online bookstore, reader-friendly monitor and cheaper starting price when compared with the iPad.

Assuming that everyone -- of the 3 million figure cited by the

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-- who has one, actually


the $259 Kindle, Amazon would have already turned more than $700 million in sales since the Kindle was launched slightly more than two years ago.

Recently there have been rumors that Barnes & Noble will work with Apple to become the built-in bookstore for its new tablet computer, but that remains to be seen. Barnes & Noble stock is currently trading down 1.8% at $17.50.

Kindle and Kindle DX are available for immediate shipment to more than 100 countries, according the Amazon. Additionally, the Kindle for iPhone App is now available from the Apple App Store in more than 60 countries. Customers around the world can now synchronize reading between their Kindle, Kindle DX, personal computer, iPhone, iPod touch and soon, Blackberry, Mac and iPad, the company said.

The U.S. Kindle store now has more than 410,000 books, including 100 of 112 New York Times Bestsellers, more than 8,000 blogs, and more than 130 U.S. and international newspapers and magazines, according to Amazon.

In December,

Forrester Research

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said "2009 has been a breakout year for eReaders and eBooks -- device sales will have more than tripled by the end of this year, and content sales are up 176% for the year -- but 2010 will be anything but boring."

Earlier Forrester Research also said that, based on a number of factors, Forrester expects sales in 2010 to double, bringing cumulative sales of eReaders to 10 million by year-end 2010.

-- Reported by Andrea Tse in New York

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