For Amazon, Netbooks Are a Smash Hit

netbookSanta was apparently good to (s amzn) this year; the e-tailer says its 14th holiday (shopping) season was its best ever, though it doesn’t offer any data to back up that cheery claim. Its biggest sellers (based on number of units ordered) included the Samsung 52-inch LCD TV, iPod Touch (s aapl), Acer Aspire One netbook and Nintendo Wii video game console — all in line with the trends we saw at the start of the holiday shopping season.

Amazon seems to have done well at the expense of its brick-and-mortal rivals. As Mary Delk, a director in the retail division of consulting firm Deloitte LLP told the Wall Street Journal, “Retailers went from ‘Ho-ho’ to ‘Uh-oh’ to ‘Oh-no.'” Sales for electronics and appliances fell a combined 26.7 percent vs. a 2.7 percent gain in 2007, according to the WSJ. E-commerce sales fell 2 percent versus 22.4 percent gain in sales in 2007.

I am particularly amazed by the growing popularity of netbooks. Kevin, Stacey and others on our team are quite enamored with these devices, which were originally designed as part of a program for underprivileged children. According to Fortune’s Apple 2.0 blog, of the 25 best-selling notebooks on Amazon, 17 are netbooks that cost less then $500. As they say — the race to the bottom has begun.