Apple 2.0

Covering the business that Steve Jobs built

X-mas electronics top sellers: 5 of 10 on Amazon are Apples

December 22, 2007: 3:22 PM ET

picture-40.jpgOnline shopping is up nearly 20% this Christmas, according to comScore Inc. (see here), and electronics is one of the hottest categories, up 24% from last year. So what gadgets are Americans buying this holiday season?

Judging from Amazon's (AMZN) list of top sellers, a lot of iPods and iPod touches.

With only a couple shopping days left before Christmas, five out of the top 10 items on Amazon's "bestsellers in electronics" list are Apple (AAPL) products, including the 4 GB iPod Nano (No. 1), the 8 GB nano (No. 4), the iPod touch, (Nos. 6 and 7) and the 80 GB iPod Classic (No. 8).

Apple does even better in the "most gifted in electronics" list, with six out of the top 10.

Also selling well on Amazon are GPS navigators (No. 2, 9 and 10), the Kindle reader (No. 3, on backorder) and a Canon digital camera (No. 5).

In Amazon's computer department, the MacBook Pro and MacBook come in at No. 4 and 7, respectively, among a lot of HP (HPQ) and Asus machines.

The iPhone is not available on Amazon, but is reported to be selling briskly both here and in Europe. The rumor site 9to5Mac, citing unnamed sources, claims Apple is preparing to announce the sale of the 5 millionth iPhone next month at Macworld. That may be overly optimistic. Even as bullish an analyst as Piper Jaffray's Gene Munster doesn't expect Apple to have sold more than 3.7 million iPhones by mid January. (See Silicon Alley Insider here.)

SUNDAY UPDATE: Nearly 24 hours after this was first posted -- and two days before Christmas -- the list of Amazon top sellers in electronics is remarkably stable. The same five Apple products are still in the top 10. The Kindle and the Garmin nuvi 350 navigator have switched places at Nos. 2 and 3. And a Toshiba HD DVD player has moved, like a British Prime Minister, into No. 10.

CHRISTMAS EVE UPDATE: A late surge by a USB 160 GB portable hard drive from Western Digital (sale price: $99, down from $149) has pushed an iPod off Amazon's top 10 list in electronics. Apple is down to four of the 10 spots. In the computer department, however, the 120 GB MacBook has moved into the No. 1 position, a smaller MacBook has taken No. 7 and a MacBook Pro is No. 10, giving Apple Inc. three out of the top 10 bestselling computers on Amazon this Christmas eve. (See here.)

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About This Author
Philip Elmer-Dewitt
Philip Elmer-DeWitt
Editor, Apple 2.0, Fortune

Philip Elmer-DeWitt has been following Apple since 1982, first for Time Magazine, and now on the Web for Fortune.com.

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