All hail the Kindle Christmas

New figures from YouGov reveal that the 2011 festive period was definitely a Kindle Christmas, with over one million e-readers sold and nearly all of those being Amazon devices.

The research firm reckons that last Christmas 1.33 million e-readers were either given as a present or bought by people as a little gift for themselves here in the UK.

Of this figure, a massive 92% were Amazon Kindle’s – making it by far the most popular e-reader on the market, ahead of other offerings from the likes of Sony and Kobo.

YouGov estimates that one in 40 adults in the UK received an e-reader at Christmas.

Amazon Kindle sales

According to YouGov the demographic of those receiving e-readers this Christmas fits in with the general book-buying public, with 61% of Kindles being received by women and with over 55 year olds twice as likely as 18-24 year olds to receive one.

"This is finally the year when the late-medieval technology of the printing press was challenged by a 21st Century, digital alternative," said Marek Vaygelt, Head of Technology and Telecoms Consulting at YouGov.

"Amazon has done a remarkable job of selling the benefits of e-readers and the upside for the publishing industry is that it appears e-reader owners, at least in the early days, buy more e-books than the printed books they purchased before acquiring an e-reader."

The key to the success of the Amazon Kindle echoes that of Apple’s iPad – a hardware device that is designed to tie a user into a company’s ecosystem; in Apple’s case it is iTunes and the App Store and for Amazon it is the huge amount of content it sells online.

Not wanting to be restricted by books, Amazon launched the Kindle Fire tablet last year, a direct iPad competitor that can play music, movies, games, apps and books – all of course downloadable from Amazon’s website.

Speaking of tablets, YouGov also looked at sales figures for those during the Christmas period. Sales were not as impressive as e-readers, with around 640,000 being shipped. Of these 72% were Apple’s dominating iPad device.

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