Amazon says Kindle sets sales record…but still won’t say how many it’s sold

One of the ironies of the ereader marketplace is that Amazon’s Kindle line is widely regarded as the leading digital reader…yet Amazon has never disclosed how many Kindles it actually sells. That trend continued today, as Amazon announced that its latest Kindle readers, introduced this past summer, have already outsold the fourth-quarter totals of the previous Kindle line…and it’s only October. But, as usual, Amazon did not disclose one single number about how many Kindle devices it has actually put into customers’ hands: could be dozens, could be millions.

Amazon Kindle VP Steve Kessel described the sales as “astonishing because the fourth quarter is the busiest time of year on Amazon,” implying that once the fourth quarter of 2010 is concluded, the company will be able to pat itself on the back for completely blowing away previous sales figures for the Kindle. “It’s clear that this is going to be the biggest holiday for Kindle ye—by far.”

Amazon also noted that Kindle book sales continue to outpace sales of traditional print media on…but book sales are also still growing. During the last 30 days, Amazon sold more Kindle books than print books to its customers, at least amongst the top-selling titles on the site. For the top 10 best-selling books on, customers are buying two Kindle ebooks for every one printed edition. Amazon says it has sold three times as many Kindle ebooks in the first nine months of 2010 as in the first nine months of 2009.

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