Price war! Amazon drops Kindle to $189, down from $259

The price reduction was no doubt spurred by Barnes & Noble's equally aggressive Nook cost cut & pressures from tablet devices

Wasting little time in responding to Barnes & Noble's new lower prices for its Nook e-readers, Amazon today slashed the cost of its Kindle device to $189, the company announced. The new price is $70 off the Kindle's previous $259 list, and $10 less than a comparably equipped Nook.

Both the $189 Kindle and the $199 Nook are 3G-enabled wireless devices that use a cellular connection to download books, periodicals, and other content. Kindle and Nook users don't pay monthly fees for 3G service. Barnes & Noble today also introduced a $149 Wi-Fi-only Nook.

The lower-priced Kindle and Nook e-readers join Borders' $150 Kobo and the $199 Sony Reader Pocket Edition in the suddenly hot sub-$200 e-reader market. However, neither the Kobo nor the Sony Reader Pocket Edition has wireless connectivity. Rather, each requires a wired connection to a PC to download content.

The rapid drop in e-reader prices isn't unexpected. A 2009 report by Forrester Research suggests that e-readers would need to cost $50 to $100 to gain mass market acceptance. One option that e-reader manufacturers may still pursue is to team up with content partners, such as magazine, newspaper, and book publishers, to offer subsidized devices with lower up-front costs.

"Device makers should partner with companies that have incentives to subsidize the device in exchange for a content subscription (newspapers like the Detroit Free Press) or service subscription (mobile carriers like Verizon, which already has a similar model for mobile phones and now netbooks)," the Forrester report states.

While Amazon's Kindle price reduction was no doubt spurred by Barnes & Noble's equally aggressive Nook cost cut, pressures from tablet devices such as the Apple iPad are pressuring e-reader prices at the high end too. With the multi-use iPad starting at $499--and upcoming Android-based tablets likely to debut at even lower prices--it was increasingly difficult for Amazon and Barnes & Noble to justify the cost of a $259 e-reader.

What's next, a free Kindle with an Amazon E-Book of the Month Club subscription?

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags e-booksamazonamazon kindle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Jeff Bertolucci

PC World (US online)
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Kathy Cassidy

STYLISTIC Q702

First impression on unpacking the Q702 test unit was the solid feel and clean, minimalist styling.

Anthony Grifoni

STYLISTIC Q572

For work use, Microsoft Word and Excel programs pre-installed on the device are adequate for preparing short documents.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?