Amazon has just announced a new Kindle, which can now be ordered for just $139, if you don’t need the 3G feature, which adds $50 to the reader. It may be the first time, e-Readers are truly affordable for the mass market as they move away from the $200 mark and close in on $100, what is potentially the sweet spot for e-Readers. Amazon refuels the price war in e-Readers, while it also effectively defending itself against Apple’s move into eReaders with a substantially more expensive iPad. Which could work out well for Amazon, if it does not loose track of current trends and Apple’s strategy.
The latest Kindle is available in $189 (3G) and $139 (WiFi) flavors, comes with a 6” bistable (e-ink) screen that now offers 50% more contrast, the capability to create shades of gray and can run for up to 10 days without recharging. The storage capacity is about 3500 e-Books. The sharp price cuts indicate that Amazon is shifting the price war from hardware profits to e-Book sales, which makes sense as the company now sells more e-Books than hardcovers. You can order the new Kindle now and it will ship on August 27, for $10 less than Barnes Noble’s WiFi Nook and for just about one third of the price of the cheapest iPad.