Amazon claims 70-80% of ebook market, Apple and B&N numbers don’t “add up”

Aug 3, 2010
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Amazon's third-generation Kindle models sold out in less than a week, but the company itself doesn't sound too surprised at the high demand.  According to Ian Freed, VP in charge of the Kindle, 80-percent of ebooks they sell are to owners of physical Kindle hardware, and Amazon still reckons it has 70 to 80-percent of the ebook market, despite what rivals may claim.

CNET asked Freed how Amazon's figures line up with Apple's suggestion that they have 20-percent market share and Barnes & Noble's that they have their own 20-percent.  Freed stopped short of pulling out evidence, but basically said that his rivals were fudging their numbers:

"Honestly, something doesn't add up because we're pretty sure we're 70 to 80 percent of the market. So, something, somewhere isn't quite working right. I encourage you to do some more research. Obviously, from the beginning of Amazon we've been very metrics-focused and we don't typically throw out numbers we don't firmly believe in. Take that 70 to 80 percent number and add up all the others and something somewhere isn't going to add up." Ian Freed, VP, Amazon

He also saved a little tacit criticism for the publishers who demanded a change to the so-called agency model of ebook pricing, saying that "customers are voting with their pocketbook" and shifting their attention to sub-$9.99 titles.


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