With the holiday shopping season in full swing, online retailer Amazon.com Inc. said Thursday that it has been selling more than 1 million of its Kindle devices each of the past three weeks.
The company has never released specific sales figures for the Kindle family, which since the launch of the first Kindle e-reader in 2007 has grown to include a number of e-readers and a tablet computer called the Kindle Fire.
Dave Limp, Amazon's vice president for the Kindle, said in a statement that the $199 Kindle Fire in particular has been the best-selling product for the past 11 weeks, selling "millions of units." The company began taking orders for the device in late September, and the Kindle Fire started shipping in mid-November.
The Kindle Fire is expected to be one of the first true competitors to Apple Inc.'s iPad, though the iPad is still expected to far outsell other tablets this year. According to Gartner Inc., nearly 64 million tablets will be sold worldwide by the end of the year. Some 73 percent of them will be iPads. By Gartner's estimate, Apple will sell 47 million iPads this year — a figure it could certainly achieve, given that it sold 25 million of them by the end of September.
Amazon shares rose $2.72, or 1.5 percent, to $182.93 in afternoon trading.