Amazon surprised analysts by announcing 2 new Kindle e-readers this week. The “All-new Kindle” e-readers are smaller, lighter, faster and boast a 50% better contrast ratio than any other e-reader on the market.
These third-generation devices are looking pretty impressive. Both models are able to flip pages 20 percent faster than previous models. Amazon has also boosted storage capabilities, doubling e-book holding capacity to up to 3,500 titles.
The Kindle line now touts 3 different models. The lower priced, Wi-Fi only (no 3G) model of the popular e-reader launches next month, with a $139 price tag. The device has evolved dramatically over the past three years, and a price drop down to $139 is further evidence that Amazon is aggressively looking to pursue new customers.
The newer 3G model is 15 percent lighter (weighing 8.7 oz.), and uses the same 6 inch screen despite being around 21 percent smaller.
Amazon, which has never revealed sales figures, leads the e-reader market with the Kindle — and saw sales triple once the $259 base model received a price cut to $189.
The latest low price model is an impressive push by Amazon to try to convince even more consumers to purchase a Kindle. Analysts believe Amazon must reach the $99 price point before casual consumers will show additional support for e-reader technology.
I think this is strong proof Amazon wants to try to bring e-readers to mainstream consumers even faster, despite already high sales figures. These price cuts could spark a new price war among other manufacturers looking to grab a larger portion of the developing e-reader market.
There has been a lot of price fluctuation in the e-reader market as of late. Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader recently saw a price cut, along with the launch of a new $149 Wi-Fi model. Sony also slashed pricing on all of its e-readers. Amazon countered by cutting Kindle prices, but this announcement of a $139 Wi-Fi only Kindle is the best response yet.
The Kindle isn’t at the supposed magical $99 price point quite yet, but with a starting price of $139, it’s very likely that they’ll get very close to the hundred dollar mark during sales and for the end of year holiday shopping season. I’m thrilled by all the price cuts and new models. Bring on the cheaper e-readers!