Amazon is usually pretty tight-lipped about things like how many Kindle e-readers they have sold or how many ebooks consumers have bought to date. They are also really good at keeping a lid on their secrets, especially when it comes to releasing big news concerning unreleased technology. But there’s one area that the online giant can’t sweep under the rug, and that’s the quarterly sales figures, mostly because there are a lot of people out there—market watchers, media outlets, and investors, just to name a few—who have a keen interest in how Amazon manages money.
With the release of the third quarter earnings, the reports swung to both wildly different ends of the pendulum. On the one hand, tech websites released some upbeat reports about Amazon’s third quarter net sales being up nearly 44%, spurred on possibly by excitement over the Kindle family of devices, specifically the pre-orders of the upcoming Kindle Fire tablet.
But that same tablet also may have been responsible for the 73% drop in income—down to $63 million for the quarter—due in large part to the expenses of releasing a much-heralded and long-awaited new device. The fourth quarter, though, should see an upswing with the actual purchasing of the Kindle Fire tablet for holiday gift giving, as well as a massive drop in operating income as less focus is placed on promoting the device. For now, some analysts are predicting Amazon’s fourth quarter sales to be well over $18 billion dollars as the holiday shopping season unfolds.