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The Smart Techie was renamed Siliconindia India Edition starting Feb 2012 to continue the nearly two decade track record of excellence of our US edition.

August - 2010 - issue > Tech Tracker

Kindle at $139 - Amazon's new idea a gain for e-readers

Binu T Paul
Tuesday, August 3, 2010
Binu T Paul
Undoubtedly, Amazon’s decision to slash the price of Kindle from $259 to $139 has accelerated the E-reader price wars but for Amazon, it is just another strategy to target the mass market. With Apple pitching into the e-reader market with its iBook along with the other strong players like Sony Reader, Alex eReader and the Barnes & Noble Nook, Amazon’s move is seen a tactic to make the new Kindle a standard device for e-reading.

Analyzing the current e-reader prices, the experts predict that the market would eventually see e-readers costing less than $100. The beginning of price wars in the e-reader market could be traced back to the Amazon Kindle debut of $399 in 2007. Soon after we saw Barnes & Noble slashing Nook e-reader price to $199. The Kindle price was dropped to $189 almost immediately. To be an active player in the market, Sony was forced to cut down its e-reader prices from $169 to $149. At the present market, the cheapest Nook coasts just $149.

The Wi-Fi plus 3G Kindle is priced at $189 and the Wi-Fi-only model retails for just $139, which is almost half the price of previous version. This is also $10 less than Barnes & Noble's Nook e-reader.

The vast scope of eBook’s future has been reaffirmed by Amazon claiming to have sold 143 digital books for every 100 hardcover books in the past three months. Amazon’s newly created ‘Kindle Million Club’ which includes authors who have sold over a million Amazon Kindle e-books is expanding in a faster rhythm. But at the same time, ebooks are not damaging sales of physical books. According to the Association of American Publishers, hardcover sales are still growing in the United States, up 22 percent this year.
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