Amazon Lauds Record Kindle Sales

Amazon reassures investors that its Kindle is coping with the threat posed by Apple's iPad.
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SEATTLE (

TheStreet

) --

Amazon

(AMZN) - Get Report

clearly wants to reassure investors that its

Kindle e-book reader

is coping with the threat posed by

Apple's

(AAPL) - Get Report

iPad, but actual Kindle sales numbers are still hard to come by.

In a statement released on Wednesday, Amazon said that the latest versions of the Kindle, launched in late July, are the fastest-selling Kindles ever. The Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk Web sites have sold more of the new Kindle and Kindle 3G than any other products during the last four weeks, according to the online retail giant.

Amazon's true

Kindle

performance, however, remains clouded in secrecy. Despite plenty of hype over the last few years, the retailer has not released any actual sales figures for its e-book, although a company spokeswoman told

TheStreet

that Amazon has sold "millions of Kindles overall" in an email on Wednesday.

Last month, when Amazon released its second-quarter numbers, the retailer said that the Amazon.com Web site is selling more Kindle books than hardcover books. The U.S. Kindle Store now has more than 630,000 books available, it added.

"Kindle device unit sales accelerated each month in the second quarter -- month-over-month, and year-over-year, and that's just counting online sales," added the Amazon spokeswoman in her email to

TheStreet.

Amazon nonetheless faces stiff competition in the increasingly crowded e-book market. In addition to

Barnes & Noble's

(BKS) - Get Report

Nook, the prospect of an imminent

Google

(GOOG) - Get Report

tablet launch should also be cause for concern. Like the Apple iPad, the Google tablet will likely serve a number of functions, from e-book reader to gaming capabilities.

Apple, unlike Amazon, has been happy to reveal its unit sales;

Apple

said it has sold more than 3 million iPads since the device was launched in early April.

With competition intensifying, Amazon has repeatedly slashed its Kindle pricing. When the original Kindle launched in 2007, it was priced at $399, and by last year the price dropped 35% to $259. The new Kindle costs $189 for a 3G and Wi-Fi version while a Wi-Fi only Kindle is available for just $139.

Investors surveyed by

TheStreet

earlier this month predicted that Amazon will be

forced to cut its Kindle prices even further

. Some 48.7% of voters said the Kindle's price will bottom out at $99 and another 31.8% think it could go even lower.

Amazon shares rose $1.44, or 1.2%, to $126.02 on Wednesday, outpacing the modest uptick in tech stocks that saw the Nasdaq gain 0.11%.

--Written by James Rogers in New York.

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