B&N NOOKcolor took retailer's top spot; almost 1m ebooks sold on Dec 25 [Updated]

Barnes & Noble has announced that its NOOK range has become the retailer's biggest selling line in the company's history, with the NOOKcolor taking the number one spot as the best-selling gift of the holidays. Meanwhile, almost one million B&N ebooks were purchased on Christmas Day, despite widespread reports of server issues plaguing the service for the holiday weekend.Updated with B&N statement on the server outages after the cut

The news follows Amazon's announcement that the Kindle is now its best-selling product of all time. Neither retailer has publicly confirmed sales figures, however, with B&N only saying that "millions" of NOOK devices – including the original NOOK, its WiFi-only version and the newest NOOKcolor – have been sold.

For more on the NOOKcolor, check out our multi-part series on a week with the new color ereader tablet. We're chasing B&N for an official comment on the outage.

Update: Barnes & Noble spokesperson Mary Ellen Keating gave us the following brief statement:

"Due to the high traffic and customer demand on Christmas Day, we experienced some sporadic issues with our servers that were quickly resolved."

Press Release:

NOOK™ Line of eReading Devices Becomes Barnes & Noble's Biggest Bestseller in Its History

NOOKcolor™ is Company's Top Holiday Gift

Millions of NOOK™ Devices and Expansive Digital Catalog Combine to Result in Nearly One Million NOOKbooks Sold on Christmas Day

New York, New York – December 30, 2010 – Barnes & Noble, Inc. (NYSE: BKS), the world's largest bookseller, today announced that with millions of NOOK eReading devices sold, the line has become the company's biggest bestseller ever in its nearly 40-year history. The new NOOKcolor Reader's Tablet, introduced just eight weeks before Christmas, is the company's number one selling gift of the holiday season. Barnes & Noble also announced that it now sells more digital books than its large and growing physical book business on BN.com, the world's second largest online bookstore. With its growth across device and NOOKbook™ sales over the critical holiday selling season, Barnes & Noble has successfully established itself as a leader in digital reading.

Demand for the critically acclaimed NOOKcolor remained high following the product's introduction in late October through the holidays. Sales have continued to exceed the company's high expectations. In addition to a great customer response, NOOKcolor has received high praise and critical acclaim from leading technology and consumer media outlets including being named "Editors' Choice" and the "Best Android Tablet of The Year." The company also experienced robust sales for its award-winning line of NOOK 3G and Wi-Fi devices, which feature an E-Ink display and a color touchscreen for navigation.

The company also reported record holiday sales from its comprehensive two-million-title catalog, including nearly one million NOOKbooks purchased and downloaded on Christmas Day alone. Through Barnes & Noble's eReading offerings, customers can buy and read their NOOKbooks on the widest range of platforms, including NOOKcolor, NOOK 3G, Wi-Fi®, and using NOOK apps on popular devices including iPad™, iPhone®, Android™ smartphones and more. Among the best-selling titles of the holiday season were James Patterson's Cross Fire, Stieg Larsson's The Girl with the Dragon Tattoo, The Confession by John Grisham, and Decision Points by former U.S. President George W. Bush.

"NOOKcolor became the gift of choice over the holidays for people who love to read everything – books, magazines, newspapers, children's books and more – in rich, beautiful color," said William Lynch, CEO of Barnes & Noble. "The success of NOOKcolor, along with our unique ability to market NOOK devices to readers in our stores and through our strong channel partnerships with Best Buy, Walmart and Books-a-Million, resulted in the continued explosive growth of our Digital Content business and our NOOK line, our most successful products ever. We have a large online book business at BN.com, that's been recently growing. And the fact that eBook unit sales now exceed physical book sales through BN.com, illustrates how quickly we've grown this exciting new business at Barnes & Noble."

NOOKcolor is the first full-color touch Reader's Tablet that integrates books, magazines, newspapers and children's books – all in amazing, rich color in a device that weighs less than a pound. It features a stunning 7-inch VividView™ Color Touchscreen and is the most social reading device ever built. NOOKcolor is available at your local Barnes & Noble store and at www.NOOKcolor.com, as well as Best Buy, Walmart and Books-A-Million stores.