Amazon is claiming a breakthrough success for its Kindle, after announcing that eBooks had overtaken paperback sales on its US site.
Since the beginning of the year "for every 100 paperback books Amazon has sold, the company has sold 115 Kindle books", the company said.
The news came as the company announced its fourth quarter results for 2010, with net sales increasing 36 per cent to $13 billion.
"We achieved two big milestones," said Jeff Bezos, founder and CEO of Amazon.com. "We had our first $10 billion quarter, and after selling millions of third-generation Kindles with the new Pearl E Ink display during the quarter, Kindle books have now overtaken paperback books as the most popular format on Amazon.com."
"Last July we announced that Kindle books had passed hardcovers and predicted that Kindle would surpass paperbacks in the second quarter of this year, so this milestone has come even sooner than we expected - and it's on top of continued growth in paperback sales," he added.
Whether or not this marks a tipping point for the publishing industry, however, remains to be seen.
The company says it sold millions of it Kindle eReaders in the run up to Christmas, which may have led to a surge in eBook sales as new owners stocked up their virtual shelves.
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