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Prices tumble for Kindle and Nook e-readers

by Parm Mann on 22 June 2010, 11:07

Tags: Kindle reader, Amazon (NASDAQ:AMZN)

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Two of the frontrunners in the lucrative e-book market - Amazon and Barnes & Noble - have slashed the cost of their available e-reader devices.

Making the first move, Barnes & Noble cut the cost of its 3G-enabled Nook from $259 to $199, whilst also introducing a Wi-Fi-only model priced at $149.

Just hours later, Amazon responded by lowering the price of its second-generation Kindle reader by a substantial $70, taking the asking price from $259 to $189.

Despite the head-to-head rivalry, analysts have suggested that the respective price cuts may be a direct response to newer competition from the likes of Apple's iPad.

Having sold over two million units in 60 days, Apple's tablet-turned-e-reader has rapidly taken claim to a sizeable chunk of the e-reader market. The company's marketshare is expected to grow as its own e-book marketplace - dubbed iBooks - becomes available to iPhone and iPod users with the launch of a new mobile operating system.

Following today's price cuts, both the Amazon Kindle and Barnes & Noble Nook are now priced at less than half the cost of an entry-level iPad. At launch in November 2007, Amazon's Kindle was priced at $399.



HEXUS Forums :: 11 Comments

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Am I bothered? Seriously what is the point of these things? Can't believe people are shelling so much out for the iPad either. Its amazing what marketing can achieve I guess for the ignorant masses.
It makes sense to me, personally.

If I could get a newspaper on an e-reader every day, and have thirty or so of my favourite books stored on it permanently, along with 3-4 more that I was interested in having a look at, all crammed into a device that could fit in a coat pocket, I reckon I would use it a lot.

Obviously it would be dependent on price (device and books) and DRM restrictions, but I think the concept's a good one.
Zinio.com (magazines like PC Pro, etc)
and Pressdisplay.com (all newspapers)
both have ipad apps which replace the paper versions very well.


Now they just have to wake up to pricing - I aint paying £4 an issue for the electronic version!

But for books, I actually use the kindle reader app on the ipad…
snootyjim
It makes sense to me, personally.

If I could get a newspaper on an e-reader every day, and have thirty or so of my favourite books stored on it permanently, along with 3-4 more that I was interested in having a look at, all crammed into a device that could fit in a coat pocket, I reckon I would use it a lot.

Obviously it would be dependent on price (device and books) and DRM restrictions, but I think the concept's a good one.
I entirely agree with that, apart from the newspapers bit.

Unlike neon, I can see the point of e-readers, if the price (and availability) of both content and the devices is right, and if any DRM doesn't hinder me, as a legit purchaser, too much.

Price? Under £100, or for me, it's a non-starter. Will it get to that level? Dunno.

Content pricing Here's my biggest problem. Given a choice between book and e-book, I will go for the printed one every time. And I'm not forking over any significant part of that, again, for an e-version, let alone paying more for the e-version than the printed one as some vendors currently charge. That is just taking the p…. p…. proverbial.

What I expect is that if I buy the printed one, I get access to the e-version either included, or at best for a nominal charge. Will it happem? Dunno, but I'm not holding my breath.

Next, DRM. Once I've bought an e-version, I expect to be able to use it when and where I want. And I absolutely want to be able to move it, device to device. If one device packs up, I expect to be able to reload content to it's replacement, and the same applies if I upgrade the hardware. I will not buy into any device that uses a proprietary format where transfers to other devices aren't possible. I've been through that before, when you buy something on LP and they want you to buy it again on CD, or you buy it on DVD and they want you to buy it again on DVD. I'm not playing that game any more. In those examples, you've got physical media involved, so there's half a case for it, but when it's a case of deliberate DRM preventing you moving the content, well if the providers want to play that game they can, but they can play it without me, or with a lot of people that think like me.

So as for these price drops, it's a move in the right direction, but it's not enough, and it's not the only issue. I like the idea of e-readers and will go that route, but only when, and indeed if, these concerns are resolved.
Its a speed / convenience issue, but the price could be less.

E.g. the other night someone mentioned the book “Heroes” by Robert Cormier, and I was able to read it later that night with a few clicks on my ipad (cost £3)

I've done similar with quite a few books, and am reading more than ever,

Yes, I probably could have gone to the library the next day and got it there,
but that's an hour out of my day (and libraries aren't open 24hr !).