Amazon has backed itself in the great small-tablet brouhaha, taking the opportunity to compare the Kindle Fire HD to the iPad mini.

The incongruous comparison came while Amazon bragged that its sales were up 27 per cent in the third quarter of 2012 and that it's made a not-even-slightly-shabby $13.81 billion (around £11.7bn or AU$13 bn) over the course of the three months.

That's come from sales of books and other goods through the Amazon retail shopfront as well as the new line of Kindles, tablets and software.

BDSM

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos posited that the plan to sell devices at no profit was working quite well and even beating 50 Shades of Grey into submission (something it probably enjoys if our understanding of the series is correct):

"Our approach is to work hard to charge less. Sell devices near breakeven and you can pack a lot of sophisticated hardware into a very low price point

"And our approach is working – the $199 Kindle Fire HD is the #1 bestselling product across Amazon worldwide.

"Incredibly, this is true even as measured by unit sales. The next two bestselling products worldwide are our Kindle Paperwhite and our $69 Kindle. We're selling more of each of these devices than the #4 bestselling product, book three of the Fifty Shades of Grey series."

The iPad mini comparisons were listed under 'highlights', with Amazon pointing out that the Kindle Fire HD offers more pixels, HD playback, "better audio" and is cheaper than the iPad mini.

Interestingly, there was no zing-laden comparison with arguably more comparable Google Nexus 7 though.