Tech writers stuck with the unenviable job of working this past holiday weekend were blessed with a last-minute gift from Jeff Bezos: On December 26th, Amazon issued a press release proudly trumpeting the fact that on Christmas Day, for the first time ever, its online superstore sold more electronic books than regular books.
This is what Christmas morning looked like for millions of new Kindle owners.
Make no mistake, Amazon's milestone is worth observing. Its done well to put out what critics have determined to be the market's best e-reader. And the fact that the Seattle-based company has gone from purely hawking the wares of others to creators of the "most gifted" product on their own site is an impressive transformation.
But there's a simple explanation for why the Kindle's Christmas Day record isn't that impressive.If the Kindle sold as well as Amazon claims (and since they don't release specifics, we'll just have to take their word for it) then that means a lot of Kindles were under a lot of trees. Which meant a lot of people woke up on Christmas morning with itchy trigger fingers and an excuse to fill up their e-book shelves.
Amazon is the only place where you can buy Kindle titles. The same can't be said for books in general. So what we have is a company with a monopoly on supply, and the largest "demand" day in history.
A nice record, for sure. But less impressive considering the circumstances.