E-Books Outsell Printed Books on Amazon.com

Online retailer Amazon.com may be on target for sales of 500,000 Kindle e-readers over Christmas.

Amazon customers bought more than printed books for the first time on Christmas.

As people rushed to fill their freshly unwrapped e-readers – one of the top-selling gadgets this festive season – the online retailer said sales at its electronic book store quickly overtook orders for physical books. Its own e-reader, the Kindle, is now the most popular gift in Amazon's history.

Amazon's shares rose sharply today after it updated investors on a strong Christmas performance. On its peak day, 14 December, the retailer said customers ordered more than 9.5m items worldwide, the equivalent of a record-breaking 110 items a second, The Guardian reports.

It was also reported, Amazon.com Inc shares rose on Monday after it posted strong growth in holiday season orders and said its customers bought more e-books than physical books for the first time ever on Christmas Day.

While Amazon does not disclose specific sales data for the Kindle, it is believed to be the market leader among growing competition from devices sold by Sony Corp (6758.T) and Barnes & Noble.

With electronic readers one of the hottest selling items over the holidays this year, the Kindle also gained ground as both Barnes & Noble and Sony were unable to keep up with demand. The two companies both sold out of their stock of readers more than a month before Christmas.

The Kindle Store now includes more than 390,000 books, Amazon said. The company also provided details on its holiday season sales, saying that Dec. 14 was its peak shopping day with more than 9.5 million items ordered worldwide, Reuters reports.

Amazon's Kindle was expected to have some competition this season from Barnes and Noble's new Nook e-reader, which sells for about the same as the Kindle. However, because of production delays, Barnes and Noble was unable to deliver very many of the units in time for Christmas.

On Amazon's peak day, Dec. 14, 2009, customers ordered over 9.5 million items worldwide, which is a record-breaking 110 items per second.

In addition to the Kindle, Amazon said customers snapped up the Apple iPod touch 8 GB; and Garmin nuvi 260W 4.3-inch GPS in huge numbers, Consumer Affairs reports.

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