July 2, 2010

Amazon Furthers Cuts Kindle Price

Amazon cut the price on its top-end Kindle e-reader this week, the latest round in a pricing war between makers of tablet computers and electronic book readers.

It was the second price cut for the online retailer's line of e-readers in as many weeks. Amazon cut the cost of its cheaper Kindle, with the 6-inch screen, last week to $189. The price cut came just hours after bookstore chain Barnes & Noble lowered the price of their Nook e-reader to $199.

Both companies could be forced to cut their prices even further to compete with Apple's iPad tablet computer, which also functions as an electronic book reader. Apple has sold more than 2 million units of its iPad in its first 60 days on the market.

Thursday's price cut was on the Kindle DX, which has a 9.7-inch screen. The company said it updated that reader to include a new graphite enclosure and a new, high contrast electronic ink display.

The reader will sell for $379, down from $489. It will have free 3G wireless connection with no monthly fees or annual contracts, as the earlier model did, according to Amazon. The new Kindle DX is available for pre-order beginning today and hits stores July 7.

Besides the Nook and Apple's iPad, the Kindle also competes with Sony's e-reader device. Industry experts say the field will soon get even busier, with more e-readers expected out this year. Borders Group is set to launch its own e-bookstore soon but has no plans to develop its own reader.

Apple's iPad, which sells for $499, and unlike other competing models, has a color screen and can be used as a full computer.

Still, some analysts say dedicated e-readers are appealing because they consume less power, are easier to read on, and weigh less.

On the Net: