Last week was a big one for gadget geeks all around. The iPhone 5 announcement came hot on the heels of TechCrunch Disrupt and Mark Zuckerberg’s first public interview since Facebook went public in May. These two events may have taken center stage, pushing Amazon’s first foray into the big screen tablet market to the back burner, but initial sales show that the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” might just give Apple a run for its money.

With every tech writer from budding tech blogs to CNN conducting analyses of how the 8.9” Kindle Fire stacks up compared to the iPad, we did a quick survey of initial sales – based on our completely anonymous and aggregate data, of course! – and found that the number of 8.9” Kindle Fires that have sold on preorder since they became available on September 6 have vastly outperformed iPad sales.

Let’s take a look at the numbers:

  • Amazon sold nearly 2.5  times as many models of the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” in the week following its announcement vs. the iPad.
  • Of the Kindle Fires that have been preordered so far, the split between the 7” and the 8.9” is about even with 52 percent for 7” and 48 percent for 8.9”.
  • Sales of the iPad dropped off significantly – by more than a third – in the week after the Kindle announcement, compared to the week prior.

Perhaps the iPad numbers were down in the days leading up to the September 12 iPhone 5 announcement because Apple lovers were waiting  to see if there would be any major updates to Apple’s tablet offering (none were mentioned). Nonetheless, still interesting to take a look at the tablet sales data amid all the excitement in the tech world earlier this month.

Since the Kindle Fire HD 8.9” is only available for preorder until November 20, it’s still a bit early to predict how this all will play out, especially with the holiday shopping scramble right around the corner. But preliminary numbers just go to show that prospective tablet users are certainly in the market for alternatives to the iPad, which has clearly steamrolled all competition in the past. And, Amazon drives a hard bargain: the 16GB version of the Kindle Fire prices at $299, vs. $499 for the comparable iPad.

Curious to hear from readers what you think. What’s at the top of your holiday gadget wish list – Kindle or iPad?