Kindle price drops to $189

kindle.jpg Amazon just announced a big price drop on the Kindle e-reader: now $189, reduced from $259.


  1. Darn. I’ll have to hop in my time machine and remedy that. Hope not to leave any more cloud holes on the way back.

  2. This is where it belongs, and it’s a good price for it. No confusion now between ereaders and tablet quasi-PCs, and cheap peace for my strained eyes.

  3. I hope it stays at this rate for a couple of months. Sadly, all my spare money is currently going towards my next security deposit on another apartment, but I’ve been dying to get an ereader.

  4. Or I can just use one of the many e-reader apps that lets me read ebooks on my Blackberry. Just saying…

  5. The $149 Nook is not a reduced price–it’s a new product, a wi-fi-only version. The old 3G+wi-fi version is now $199 (it was recently $259 w/ a $50 gift card thrown in).

  6. I’m still waiting to buy one until one or another of the companies starts accepting Paypal for their ebook payments. Big potential non-credit-card-owning university student customer base being neglected here.

  7. I’ve got a Kobo. But that’s mainly because it is the only commercially available e-reader in New Zealand. I guess we’re such a small market that Amazon, Barnes and Noble, Sony etc don’t give a shit about us. Oh well, the Kobo has been sold out here ever since it was released a month ago. They’ve blown their chances of gaining a bit foothold here now. Glad to see the Kobo shook them up though :)

  8. My wife and I bought Kindle IIs shortly after they came out (much higher price). While my wife is still a complete fan of her Kindle, I now have reservations (even at the reduced price). Due to its weight and convenience, I still use it for most reading. However, I now see it as flawed, transitional technology. Here are some of my concerns:

    * Pricing of Books. There was initially quite a pricing advantage to buying books on Kindle. With the recent revolt of publishers, a growing number of books are now over the $9.99 cap and many have no significant price advantage over print versions. Most disturbing, are the changes to the price of many backlist titles. For example, a five year old book by Sarah Vowell (Assassination Vacation) sells for $11.99 on Kindle and $10.20 new print through Amazon. New remainder copies sell for as little as $4.27!

    * Quality of Images. The quality of images (pictures, charts, drawings. . .) really stinks. It is a challenge to read them in most cases. In books such as “Into Thin Air” or “Matterhorn” the images are important aids in following the text. On the PC version of Kindle it is easy to read the images, but the software prevents printing a copy for use with the portable Kindle. Also, think about how you might use an important diagram when reading a book, paging back and forth between the diagram and the text. That is not easy with the Kindle, particularly if the diagram is not called out in the table of contents.

    * Poorly Prepared Text. The electronic version of some text has clearly been rushed to “print.” In “Matterhorn” for example, the electronic text is full of hyphenated words that must have been at the end of a line in a print version. In “The Girl who kicked the Hornets Nest” the links to notes often brings you to a random place in the relevant note.

    * Poor Screen Contrast. With printed books, text is generally in black on a white page. Very high contrast. On a Kindle, the text is dark gray on a light gray background. Much lower contrast. Since very bright light helps reading with this low contrast screen, I generally use a clip on light to read (unless out in sunlight). I recently discovered that my wife’s Kindle has better contrast (though still not good as far as I am concerned). If I had noticed how much better hers was earlier, I would have tried to return mine (it’s no longer under warranty).

    While I am glad to own a Kindle, it increasingly seems like primitive technology. If you are fine with printed books, you may want to wait a few years to see what is available.

  9. Full disclaimer: I work for a B&N store in their music and movies department.

    You can buy ebooks from B&N with a gift card purchased in the store. You do need a default credit card to be able to buy ebooks, but you don’t need to use it to actually pay for them.

  10. Additionally, B&N will be partnering with Plastic Logic in distribution of their QUE reader as well, which I believe is akin to Amazon’s Kindle DX.

  11. iPhone OS 4.0 includes support for iBooks on iPhones. That means that large numbers of people are looking in their pockets today and realizing that they own e-book readers… that use the Apple Store. People with iPhones now have much less reason to pay even more money to buy Kindles or Nooks, and prices are being adjusted to reflect this new reality, with Amazon and B&N desperate to shore up their market share before Apple eats even more of their lunch.

    1. The iPhone does not have a screen I would be happy to read on for hours on end. And the battery does not last 2 weeks between charges.

  12. Has anyone figured out how to jailbreak the damn thing yet?

    CAPTCHA for this comment was “giggly cash”

  13. I’d be happier if they did something about the licensing disparities. $189 is still a lot to pay for a reader for ebooks that you don’t actually *own*

    1. I use my TV to watch plenty of media I don’t actually own (via broadcast, rental, etc) and it cost a lot more than $189. The real question is whether Amazon is charging an appropriate amount for the eBooks it sells (or leases, depending on your point of view).

  14. since we seem to be chiming in here to either endorse or disparage the kindle, I’ll just add that I seem to own many of the competing technologies (iphone, ipad…), and still like my kindle an awful lot. I was just reflecting the other day on how it was a relatively unglamorous little gadget that gives me a lot of use. I think comparing it to other “ebook readers” without a e-ink display really misses the point. The wireless policy of the kindle is also extremely nice.

    If one is adverse to the DRM, that is a problem easily solved, and thoroughly documented. You can only argue on principle because in practice the drm is so easy to work around as to be nonexistent.

  15. similarly, my local used book store just dropped its paperback price from 50 cents to a quarter!

  16. Hmmm….still think I’ll wait a bit longer to see what happens with Google editions. I’d much rather read books on my phone than carry around another device.

  17. Kindle value proposition getting competitively squeezed by iPad from the top and Nook from the bottom.Amazon which was riding high with the success of its e-Book Reader Kindle less than a year ago is now fighting to save its blockbuster product from irrelevance

  18. re: hyphenation issues

    Someone somewhere is using a post-layout version of the book to create the electronic copy, I’d bet.

    I would hope that most books end up in the publishing chain with markup identifying pieces of the book, and ‘style’ stuff external to that file. This was the point of SGML (grand-uncle of HTML) when it was invented. Identify chapters, paragraphs, and other entities with markup, and externally define the style those have with “external” definitions. Even Word can do it, these days, although unfortunately most people still have the habit of just embedding the style cues right into the text.

    The “manufacture” of e-books should start back at the original markup and republish for a new medium, which would eliminate the mismatches caused by using the book-size file for the e-book “medium”.

  19. Aw rats; I just bought the Kindle about a month ago for Mother’s Day! That extra $50 would have come in really handy in these economic times.

  20. With the recent revolt of publishers, a growing number of books are now over the $9.99 cap and many have no significant price advantage over print versions. Most disturbing, are the changes to the price of many backlist titles.

    This. A thousand times this. I don’t care about the cost of the reader when the cost of buying content for it is absurdly expensive on its own, and flat-out obscene when compared to the cost of the same titles in a format with more utility and value (i.e. paper-based books).

  21. When are they going to reduce the price of the Kindle *DX* — i.e. the model that people (read:me) would *prefer* to buy. The price reduction is only for the smaller-screen model. That sux0rs.

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