Amazon.com Delivers

It's important to take every milestone in perspective.

"On Christmas Day, for the first time ever, customers purchased more Kindle books than physical books," reads an Amazon.com (Nasdaq: AMZN  ) press release over the weekend.

It's an impressive visual. Picturing digitally-delivered books outselling old-school bound reads is a head-turning moment.

However, that's when logic kicks in:

  • It's Christmas, so all of the Kindles that have been delivered over the past few weeks as gifts are finally meeting their owners. They're empty. They're hungry.
  • There aren't any shipments going out on Christmas, so it doesn't make sense to place an order for a physical item.
  • Amazon has been promoting the Kindle on its landing page for more than two years. This day was going to come eventually.

Don't get me wrong. It's certainly cool that this happened, but wake me up when it happens on a typical operating day.

In the meantime, Amazon also announced some of its category bestsellers in terms of units shipped. There are some meaty implications for investors.

In the electronics category, the Kindle was the big winner. Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL  ) entry-level iPod touch followed. Those two items are no-brainers. The bronze medal goes to Garmin's (Nasdaq: GRMN  ) nuvi 260W 4.3-inch GPS. Amazon may have been practically giving them away -- they were at $129.99 last night -- but it's still impressive to see Garmin muscle its way onto the list. The widening proliferation of smartphones and other mobile devices with navigational functions appeared ready to dig a grave for Garmin. Not so fast, I guess.

Good news for Green Mountain Coffee Roasters (Nasdaq: GMCR  ) ? The top two grocery items were K-Cup refills from Diedrich Coffee's (Nasdaq: DDRX  ) Coffee People brand. 

Bad news for Green Mountain? Reusable K-Cup filters -- which mean that java junkies don't need to buy actual Keurig K-Cup refills for their machines -- were the top draw in Amazon's Home & Garden category.

Another notable nugget is that Microsoft (Nasdaq: MSFT  ) scored two of the three software bestsellers, but none of them were Windows 7. It was the PC and Mac versions of Microsoft's Office suite that landed on the list.

Thanks for the morsels, Amazon, even though some are meatier than others.

Read Amazon's press release and share your insights in the comment box below.

Green Mountain Coffee Roasters is a Motley Fool Rule Breakers recommendation. Apple and Amazon.com are Motley Fool Stock Advisor selections. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Options pick. Microsoft is a Motley Fool Inside Value selection. Try any of our Foolish newsletter services, free for 30 days.

Longtime Fool contributor Rick Munarriz has been shopping online for about as long as Amazon.com has been in business. He owns a Kindle. He does not own shares in any of the companies in this story. He is also part of the Rule Breakers newsletter research team, seeking out tomorrow's ultimate growth stocks a day early. The Fool has a disclosure policy.


Read/Post Comments (4) | Recommend This Article (8)

Comments from our Foolish Readers

Help us keep this a respectfully Foolish area! This is a place for our readers to discuss, debate, and learn more about the Foolish investing topic you read about above. Help us keep it clean and safe. If you believe a comment is abusive or otherwise violates our Fool's Rules, please report it via the Report this Comment Report this Comment icon found on every comment.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 1:35 PM, plange01 wrote:

    amazon had a decent holiday season but now its sales will drop for the rest of the year a srtong sell on amzn as it will soon return to the $60 range....

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 2:55 PM, bnathanson wrote:

    I like this writeup because it provides a reasonably thoughtful observation on recent data without trying to tie it into buying a Fool product. We need a LOT more of these without having to dive into the boards all the time.

  • Report this Comment On December 28, 2009, at 3:21 PM, TMFTomGardner wrote:

    bnathanson, you're always going to see a nice mix from us at The Fool. The mentions of Fool services is what helps us pay the bills. We opted this direction rather than toward the approach that sends up six pop up ads per click and breaks articles into seven pages.

    I'll do a little Fool surveying here. Would you be willing to pay, say, $100 per year to read articles and see a site that is without advertisement? We have considered this. I'm willing to re-open consideration of it. Would you be a buyer?

    Fool on! - Tom

  • Report this Comment On December 29, 2009, at 2:59 AM, bnathanson wrote:

    Tom,

    If we set aside the philosophical question of whether any true "community" should be operated for profit, then I would argue it's a matter of sales approach.

    I liked this article over some of the others I've read because the segue into the mention of Fool services "cheapens" the analysis for me. I acknowledge it's an emotional response and doesn't actually change the quality of the analysis, but I feel that it lessens it nonetheless -- especially given that The Fool's brand relies significantly on being different from other financial sites that push product (in the form of "tips").

    I don't actually have a problem at all with advertising on the site. I just think advertising should stay in ads and analysis should stay as analysis. In response to your question: While as a subscriber to a premium service, I believe that the feature should already be included in the price paid -- I would indeed be willing to pay $100 per year to be able to read the analysis sans segues into advertising or product mentions.

    Thanks for your response to my comment. - Brian

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