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Amazon breaks holiday sales record again in 2018

More items were ordered worldwide than ever before, the retail giant touts among other highlights in its annual post-Christmas data drop.

Angela Lang/CNET

As it has done the past several years the day after Christmas, Amazon on Wednesday put out a list of its accomplishments from this year's holiday season. Among the data points and assorted claims, the company says it's become more ingrained in our holiday celebrations: Customers around the globe ordered more items from the retail giant this holiday shopping season than ever before. 

In particular, Amazon touts key statistics for its Prime subscription service. Amazon says it shipped more than a billion items during the holiday season in the US via Prime, an uptick from the last time it broke out Prime shipments in 2016 when it cited more than a billion Prime shipments globally (it gave no global number this year). Amazon also says tens of millions signed up for either a Prime subscription or a Prime trial this holiday, versus 4 million new or trial Prime subscriptions during "one week" in 2017.

Amazon also brags about sales figures for Amazon Devices, including Amazon Echo, Fire, and Kindle products, for the 2018 holiday period. The company says it sold "millions more" Amazon Devices this year than it has in years past. It lists the Echo Dot, the entry-level Alexa speaker, at the top of its list of best-selling products across categories (along with L.O.L. Surprise! Glam Glitter Series Doll, Carhatt gear, and Bose QuietComfort headphones).

Amazon also cites the Fire TV Stick 4K streaming devices and the Amazon Echo speaker as the top gadgets from the devices category overall, and a record buying season for Amazon Kids' Editions of the Echo Dot and Kindle Fire tablet, which include usage timers and other parent-set restrictions.

Among other statistics, Amazon says Alexa set more than 100 millions timers and that users asked Alexa for three times as many recipes as they did during the holiday season in 2017. Mariah Carey's "All I want for Christmas is You," remained the most played holiday song via Alexa for the third year in a row.

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