Amazon also refreshed the e-ink Kindle line this year, introducing a touchscreen version. Amazon is usually cagey about Kindle sales and won't specify numbers or the breakdown across the Kindle family. But 2011 has been the year of the Kindle, and Amazon wants to demonstrate its success.
The new, basic Kindle model is $79 ($109 without screen saver ads). E-readers haven't yet replaced the printed book altogether, but a $79 price point is a great start for consumers. Between the basic model, the Kindle Touch, and the 3G Touch, the line of Kindle e-readers has options all along the price spectrum with the $199 Kindle Fire tablet as the top-of-the-line Kindle.
Amazon treats the Kindle line as an end-to-end retail service, rather than just a range of products. While it touts the hardware and its features, Amazon describes the Kindles as a "service" for consumers who buy media and other goods through Amazon, especially through Amazon Prime membership, which brings streaming video straight to the Fire.
The Kindle & Online Shopping
This year's Black Friday sales were "good" for retailers, so the story is that it was "good" for America. It's hard to argue that consumers pepper spraying each other to get at the goodies is "good." But the clear trend this year is toward online shopping and, consequently, away from the "chaos" of stores.
More than five times as many people shopped from mobile devices to beat the rush (and skip the violence) this year. The Kindle family is Amazon's handheld digital shopping portal, and its success this Black Friday is in line with this marked trend toward digital shopping.
Have you shopped on a handheld device this holiday season?