Amazon drops price with $114 ad-based Kindle e-reader coming May 3

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  • Reply 21 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Inkling View Post


    You say: "As consumers increasingly turn to the iPad for reading, Amazon has bottomed out on price in order to compete, announcing a cheaper ad-supported version of its Kindle e-reader."



    What's the evidence for that? The fact that iPads are selling well doesn't mean people are buying them to read ebooks, least of all ebooks from the iBookstore. People get iPad primarily for reasons other than reading ebooks. They get them for games, movies and web browsing, as well as various apps. They get Kindles for reading, which is why the Kindle is also selling like hotcakes. And one thing you can know for certain is that someone who buys a Kindle buys it to read ebooks. Don't equate rising iPad sales with falling Kindle sales. That's not happening. No one with a $139 product needs to cut its price to compete with one selling for $500 and up. A KIA subcompact isn't competing with a Mercedes SUV.



    Even more important, Kindles are taping a wholly new market for digital gadgets. They are selling and being given to people who will never get interested in gadgets like the iPad. I know several such people who like to read so much, a friend or spouse gave them a Kindle and they love it. I don't know of a single similar example with an iPad. Heck, I don't even know anyone who likes their iPad primarily for reading. The closest is a lawyer who puts all the documents in a case on his iPad and uses the instant search and find to intimidate opposing counsel. That's not reading.



    Amazon is doing three things with this move. First, they're moving toward the magic $99 price point where a Kindle supposedly becomes an impulse purchase. Second and most important, they are competing with Nooks and other ereaders that also sell for just over $100. That's where their real competition is. And third, they've created a platform to advertise their own products with special offers. That may prove so effective, they may soon able to offer a price cut larger than $25. And what they are doing may beat Apple's struggling iAds scheme.



    Something even more critical could happen. An Amazon study in the UK recently discovered that people who buy Kindles buy three times as many books in the six months after that purchase as they did in the six months before. That may not mean they're reading more, but it does mean that more of what they read comes from Amazon, so much more that in a year or so Amazon may be able to look at its customers and pick out those it could give a free Kindle and profit from increased sales.



    You might ask yourself how a $500 iPad is going to compete with a free Kindle.



    I don't know what you're talking about. I've read more lately with the iPad then I have with paper. The Kindle App and iBooks make it a no brainer.



    In any event, I think it can be agreed this is a move for survival for Amazon, not intended to be in any way an "iPad Killer".
  • Reply 22 of 38
    I don't dislike e-ink. It is a good idea. The Kindle needs color e-ink. It is available on other devices used for advertising. It just needs a little work. Color e-ink will never look as good as something on an LCD screen but it would look better for book covers and illustrations than just black and white.



    Last week I was looking at books on Amazon. In the past I've complained that the prices of e-books are still too high. I still feel that way. On the Amazon site I found a couple of books available new for under three dollars. These were paperback books. The same versions were available on the Kindle for $9.99. The math just doesn't add up. If publishers or book sellers can earn a profit selling a new paperback book for under three dollars then what is the real profit on such a book?



    Why can't a publisher take the same profit from an e-book and just sell the damn thing for $.25 or $1.00? I'd really like an answer to this. It would be almost all profit with none of the extra work involved with printing and shipping. When publishers do that I'll be into e-books in a big way.
  • Reply 23 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by anantksundaram View Post


    I agree. Soon they'll have to give away the Kindle, with the hope that they can make money on books they sell.



    Apple, otoh, makes its money on hardware. The content (music, books, movies...) is simply a way to sell more high-margin hardware.



    Tough to replicate.



    Amazon is not just thinking books. Amazon is definitely trying to create the a device that can be used to buy and consume anything digital. It could be Android apps, music, video, books, etc. and this is just a step in that direction (using ads to promote their digital contents). "Kindle Color" will be in mass production mode by the end of this year, and that's when you'll see all these experiments from Amazon (Android Appstore, Kindle with ads) paying off.
  • Reply 24 of 38
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    To each his own I spend my time reading, not staring at menus. And the last time I spent more than a few seconds staring at a screen saver was when After Dark screen savers were all the rage in the 90s



    I don't stare at menus or need screen savers either, but it's an added mess that doesn't need to be there for the meager price difference given. It is a bit of a matter of principle. I've never bought a media device where the device itself serves up its own ads to fund said device, I'm not seeing why I should start now, there's enough ads plastered on everything now.
  • Reply 25 of 38
    Yeah, what he said.



    I own both because they both do different things well. Just as my cars, truck, boat, and motorcycle, all do different things well.
  • Reply 26 of 38
    matrix07matrix07 Posts: 1,993member
    They are testing the model for when they release an Android Tablet. I guess they'd come to the conclusion that it's hard to compete with iPad on price without clever tactic.
  • Reply 27 of 38
    richlrichl Posts: 2,213member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkKnot View Post


    So the Amazon page for Kindle says they now have a WebKit browser for free 3G browsing. So if I get the 3G model I can surf the internet via 3G for the life of the Kindle?



    Admittedly it's not going to payback movies or Flash stuff but still, web access anywhere with no contract?



    That's correct. Free unlimited browsing, even abroad.



    However, the e-Ink display makes browsing painful. The refresh rate of the screen isn't high enough to make scrolling smooth.
  • Reply 28 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by CaptRied View Post


    they both do different things well.



    Precicely. And if you are in Europe and moving across countries a lot, the Kindle 3G is absolutely faboulous. Imagine being at a skiing resort in Austria nad running out of lecture - thanks to the 'free' 3G your next book is just a click away. On an iPad2 3G not only do you need a second subscription to a 3g service but you also have to pay roaming charges, which usually clock in at a nice 2-3? /MB.



    To the (US) american lambda this may not sound like a big deal, but for those travelling a lot through Europe it actually is
  • Reply 29 of 38
    dunksdunks Posts: 1,254member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkKnot View Post


    So the Amazon page for Kindle says they now have a WebKit browser for free 3G browsing. So if I get the 3G model I can surf the internet via 3G for the life of the Kindle?



    Admittedly it's not going to payback movies or Flash stuff but still, web access anywhere with no contract?



    That's been there for a while. Even the second generation device has it courtesy of a free update. In my opinion it's one of the strongest reasons to own the device.



    It's not the natural, immersive web experience that the iPad is but it's definitely useable if you know a few tricks. And the battery life is insane.



    I travelled with a friend who had one in the US last year and used it to book accommodation, check email and maps when outside of wifi range. It rescued us from more than one bind.



    The only concern is that they classify it as an "experimental" feature - which is really just a nice way of saying they don't have to honour their promise to provide you free internet access in 20 years if it doesn't turn out to be the amazon store cash cow they thought it would be.
  • Reply 30 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    Amazon is not just thinking books. Amazon is definitely trying to create the a device that can be used to buy and consume anything digital. It could be Android apps, music, video, books, etc. and this is just a step in that direction (using ads to promote their digital contents). "Kindle Color" will be in mass production mode by the end of this year, and that's when you'll see all these experiments from Amazon (Android Appstore, Kindle with ads) paying off.



    That's a long time thinking. Good luck (to them).
  • Reply 31 of 38
    jeffdmjeffdm Posts: 12,953member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by drobforever View Post


    Amazon is not just thinking books. Amazon is definitely trying to create the a device that can be used to buy and consume anything digital. It could be Android apps, music, video, books, etc. and this is just a step in that direction (using ads to promote their digital contents). "Kindle Color" will be in mass production mode by the end of this year, and that's when you'll see all these experiments from Amazon (Android Appstore, Kindle with ads) paying off.



    Are you speculating on a Kindle Color this year? I can't find a reasonably credible rumor of one anywhere.



    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Dunks View Post


    That's been there for a while. Even the second generation device has it courtesy of a free update. In my opinion it's one of the strongest reasons to own the device.



    It's not the natural, immersive web experience that the iPad is but it's definitely useable if you know a few tricks. And the battery life is insane.



    I travelled with a friend who had one in the US last year and used it to book accommodation, check email and maps when outside of wifi range. It rescued us from more than one bind.



    The only concern is that they classify it as an "experimental" feature - which is really just a nice way of saying they don't have to honour their promise to provide you free internet access in 20 years if it doesn't turn out to be the amazon store cash cow they thought it would be.



    Are you saying they think the internet browsing is experimental, or the Kindle business as a whole? I think the speed of the screen makes it a device of last resort for general web browsing, as the speed of the screen improves, they might start pushing data plans for web use.
  • Reply 32 of 38
    gwlaw99gwlaw99 Posts: 134member
    Sell it for $25 with ads and I would buy it.
  • Reply 33 of 38
    That's like buying a car covered in NASCAR decals and getting a whole $100 off.



    Is somebody that poor in the market for a Kindle???
  • Reply 34 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    If the ads don't display while reading, I don't see what the big deal is. It is after all a reading device, and the ads don't interfere with that mission.



    I think his point was more about the cost, which is the criticism many people are raising about this offer so far. if it's going to be full of ads and free, that makes sense. If it's only 25 bucks off it isn't worth it.
  • Reply 35 of 38
    I'm surprised that a book publisher isn't one of their launch partners. It would make a lot of sense to put book ads on there.
  • Reply 36 of 38
    nagrommenagromme Posts: 2,834member
    Paying $79 for the privilege of paying them for books, AND being sent ads? That?s an insult of cable-TV magnitude!



    Now, if it costs $114 and the ads involve any kind of tracking of your personal data (as online ads tend to do) then that?s another matter...
  • Reply 37 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by ThinkKnot View Post


    So the Amazon page for Kindle says they now have a WebKit browser for free 3G browsing. So if I get the 3G model I can surf the internet via 3G for the life of the Kindle?



    Yes, but do not expect much from the browser.
  • Reply 38 of 38
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by Mazda 3s View Post


    At $114, how is it competing with the iPad? Quite frankly, neither is a competent replacement for the other. Gawd, I hate it how news outlets have to make it seem like it's Apple versus everyone else in just about every single story. It gets rather old.



    Hell, at $114, I'd have both of them (an iPad and an Kindle). It seems like a no-brainer at that price tag for me.



    Kindles are very nice, well worth $114. I paid $199 for a 2nd-gen.



    I think the article is making the argument that multi-purpose tablets have put pressure on Amazon's Kindle (and likely other e-Ink readers), and in response, Amazon has had to drop prices to compete, and now they speculate that the $114 price indicated they've hit bottom with prices. Since Amazon doesn't report sales numbers, it is hard to confirm directly. But usually when the price of a hardware device drops, it means the market at the higher price is saturated. A $25 price drop seems pretty small. I'd still recommend a kindle at $139 for novels and books that are mostly text to be read linearly. Books with lots of color, tables, charts, source code, math equations, etc, or any book that you'd want to flip through, it looks better on the iPad.
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