How many Kindle Fire tablets has Amazon sold? While we don't have an official answer from Amazon, a market researcher that has been tracking sales of the 7-inch Amazon tablet offered an estimate today.
"Our estimate is that Amazon.com has now sold 850,000 units direct from the Amazon.com site. Total sales would be substantially larger," Carter Nicholas, CEO of eDataSource said today. Amazon may have sold as many as 2 million or more so far when you consider all sales channels."
Those other sales channels would be national retailers like Best Buy, where the Fire was listed as of Thursday night as its best-selling tablet.
"The Fire is selling well at Best Buy," said a Best Buy spokeswoman. Hard numbers will come later this month when Best Buy announces earnings, she said.
"Trendwise, sales are picking up if you compare second half of November to second half of October, the rate of sales is up 63%," Nicholas wrote.
So far, the closest Amazon has come to specifying sales numbers is a November 28 press release when it said, "Even before the busy holiday shopping weekend, we'd already sold millions of the new Kindle family and Kindle Fire was the bestselling product across all of Amazon.com," Amazon Kindle Vice President Dave Limp said in a statement at the time.
Nicholas offered a word of caution amid all of this Kindle Fire euphoria. "If Amazon is selling the Kindle Fire at cost, then they'd better sell a lot of books, movies, music and apps through the Fire," he said. Nicholas said he will be compiling that data soon.
In related news, IHS iSuppli said Friday that the Kindle Fire is expected to take second place in the global media tablet business in the fourth quarter, behind Apple's iPad.
Amazon will ship 3.9 million Kindle Fire tablets during the last three months of 2011, according to a preliminary projection from iSuppli.
That would give the company a 13.8 percent share of global media tablet shipments in the fourth quarter, exceeding the 4.8 percent held by No. 3 Samsung, and second only to Apple's 65.6 percent share of the market.
"Nearly two years after Apple rolled out the iPad, a competitor has finally developed an alternative which looks like it might have enough...secret sauce to succeed," said Rhoda Alexander, senior manager, tablet and monitor research for IHS, in a statement.
Updated on December 2 at 8:45 a.m. PT: with additional Kindle Fire shipment numbers from IHS iSuppli.