Ebook Readers - Amazon Cut Kindle Down to $139I've always thought that as ebook readers go the Kindle was too expensive, even if it is Oprah's favorite gadget, now it appears that Amazon has admitted as much by cutting its prices to fight the threat from Apple in the electronic reader market.
CEO Bezos says that by focussing on features that facilitate downloading and reading books Amazon will distinguish its the Kindle e-reader from Apple’s multipurpose iPad.
“We’re trying to build something that’s great for long- form reading -- something you’d use if you want to sit down and read for two hours,” Bezos said “Our mission on the device side of the business is to use the latest technology to make the very best purpose-built reading device. We think that’s a mass product.”
The latest Kindles are lighter and thinner than previous versions, page turns are faster and resolution is sharper. They’re easier to read in sunlight and the batteries last for a month on a single charge -- two weeks longer than previous Kindles.
Kindle and e-book sales amount to $2.38 billion that's quite a chunk of change but only 7% of Amazon’s total revenue. However, the company has chosen to go on the offensive to ensure it keeps its market share as digital books start to dominate the known universe. Amazon said sales of e-books are now more than sales of proper hard books and Bezos says they will overtake paperbacks in 9 to 12 months.
“All media over time is going digital,” said Heath Terry, an analyst at FBR Capital Markets Corp. “Amazon saw that building a large base of customers would ultimately become a competitive advantage in dealing with publishers. They want to get there as fast as they can, before the competitors do.”
Competitors are catching Amazon fast and according to Yankee Group the market by Christmas will be split into thirds between Amazon, Apple and Barnes & Noble Inc., makers of the Nook reader.
Bezos said sales of the Kindle got a boost when the price was cut by 27% to $189 in June, a further $50 cut to $139 will spur adoption even more. Hell I might even get one myself when they get below $100 !
“We think at that price point people will buy multiple units for their households,” Bezos said. “We’ve sold millions of the prior generation of Kindles and we’re going to sell millions of this third generation.”
Amazon is also testing color screen technology and Amazon bought Touchco this year, which specializes in touch- screen technology, though strangely it kept the acquisition a secret.
Bezos is not convinced the Kindle needs a color or touch screen right now. A color screen doesn’t make a novel any better, he said and a touch screen glares at you, and reading on the iPad’s LCD is like “reading with a flashlight shining in your eyes.”
With the price getting down to more afforadble levels at last I predict a bright future for the Kindle especially with school kids and college students who are tired of carrying a ton of paper on their backs and women who read Jane Austen novels, as it is a well-known fact that real men don't read books! Does the Kindle have any video games on it ?
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