Amazon.com (AMZN) has a habit of bragging about sales of its Kindle e-reader, without ever gives exact numbers. That habit annoys Wall Street, which has consistently tried to gauge the success of this core part of the e-commerce firm's business as a way to forecast earnings.
Amazon commented on the tremendous sales of its new Kindle in a statement on Aug. 25., saying "more new-generation Kindles were ordered in the first four weeks of availability than in the same timeframe following any other Kindle launch, making the new Kindles the fastest-selling ever."
The company went on to say, "In addition, in the four weeks since the introduction of the new Kindle and Kindle 3G, customers ordered more Kindles on Amazon.com and Amazon.co.uk combined than any other product, continuing Kindle's over two-year run as the bestselling product across all the products sold on Amazon.com. The new Kindles started shipping to customers today -- two days earlier than previously announced."
The new WiFi-enabled Kindle sells for $139; the 3G version retails for $189. The press release about the latest version of the e-reader also includes several positive media reviews.
It's odd that Amazon withholds its sales figures. They shouldn't be of much help to the competition, which includes Barnes & Noble's (BSK) Nook and Apple's (AAPL) iPad. Maybe Amazon is worried that what it considers strong sales might actually be a disappointment to Wall Street.
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