Amazon sees ebook sales outpace hard covers for first time
AMAZON says digital publishing has reached a “tipping point” after revealing it now sells more ebooks than hardcover versions.
The internet giant has staged a spirited fightback against the hugely successful iPad, slashing its price in the US from $259 (£170) to $189. This has driven a surge in sales for its Kindle reader. Amazon says sales have trebled since last year.
The firm sold 180 ebooks for every 100 hardcovers in the past month. This does not include free downloads, which would further tilt the equation in favour of ebooks.
Amazon also cut the price of the most expensive version of the Kindle to $379 from $489.
Further price drops are expected as it attempts to ward off the competition from the iPad, with some analysts expecting it to hit as low as $99 for the basic model.
However, many still question whether the monochrome device can survive in the long-term against Apple’s internet and application ready product.
Apple snatched 22 per cent of the e-reader market within weeks of releasing its groundbreaking tablet. It has now shifted over 3m units and sales appear to be continuing at their blistering pace.
Amazon’s online bookstore is also under threat from Google, which is set to launch its Editions platform, which will allow publishers to sell ebooks directly through their websites, as well as through Google. Crucially, publishers will be allowed to keep almost all of the cover price from the sales.