NEW YORK (TheStreet) –– As shoppers turned increasingly to Amazon (AMZN) for their Black Friday shopping needs, the company's hardware strategy appears to be paying off with Kindle e-reader and Fire tablet sales up significantly year over year.
Amazon announced that sales of its Fire tablets were up three times year over year on Black Friday, and Kindle e-readers did even better, growing four times from last year.
"This holiday there are going to be a lot of customers opening up new Amazon devices," said Dave Limp, senior vice president of Amazon Devices, in a press release. "We're energized by the year-over-year growth of tablet and e-reader Black Friday sales on Amazon.com, plus the success of the new product categories we've launched this year."
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The announcement comes at a time when the tablet market, particularly for Apple (AAPL) , is experiencing a slowdown. Research firm IDC noted that the tablet market is expected to grow just 7.2% in 2014, down from 52.5% in 2013. IDC attributed the slowdown largely due to a decline in iPad sales, noting that the life cycle on tablets has continued to lengthen "increasingly resembling those of PCs more than smartphones. IDC noted that the life span for tablets is at least three years, and in some cases, more than four years.
Amazon has come under significant pressure for spending on hardware, most notably its Fire Phone, after having taken a $170 million write-down on unsold inventory in its third quarter. The company also has received criticism for trying to do too much all at once, leading to heavy losses. For the fourth quarter, Amazon said it expects to report results of between an operating loss of $570 million to an operating profit of $430 million on revenue of between $27.3 billion and $30.3 billion.