Amazon has not so far revealed sales figures of its Kindle ebook reading device, with a spokesperson stating in July when Amazon's quarterly financial results were announced, only that they are "very happy" with sales.

The Kindle was launched last November and initially sold out with supplies described as "tight" ever since, but whether this has been manufacturing delays, clever marketing or genuine sales has never been known.

But TechCrunch now claims to have the insider info on the stats, satating: "240,000 Kindles have been shipped since November, according to a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the numbers".

This would mean total sales of the device would be between $86 million and $96 million, as the price of the device was reduced to $360 from $400 last May.

Amazon has yet to launch its Kindle in the UK while Sony's rival ebook reader will see a launch this autumn for £200.