Tuesday, June 22, 2010

B&N, Borders and Amazon in e-reader price war. Walmart should join the fun, too.

The eBook reader business has heated up on the first days of summer with a price war among Barnes & Noble, Borders and Amazon.

  • Barnes & Noble slashed the price on its original Nook electronic reader which has both 3G and Wi-Fi, from $259 to $199, undercutting Amazon's $259 Kindle. B&N will also offer a lower-price Nook with Wi-Fi but no 3G, for just $149. A new software update gives Nooks access to AT&T's national Wi-Fi network.
  • Borders Books is accepting pre-orders for an $119.99 Aluratek e-reader, and sells a Kobo model for $149.99, plus more expensive Sony models. Today, Borders offered a $20 gift card and double loyalty points with the purchase of a Kobo e-reader.
  • Amazon.com quickly responded to the B&N move by cutting $70 off the price of its Kindle, going from $259 to $189. The first Kindle was initially priced at $399 in 2007.  The Kindle DX, with a larger screen, is priced at  $489, just $10 less than the least-expensive iPad.
Apple's iPads have been extremely popular, with more than three million selling in the first 80 days. They're priced from $499 to over $800, and serve as e-readers and much more.

The e-reader business seems to be dividing into Apple -- and everybody else.

Don't be surprised to see BestBuy and Staples selling e-readers for $99 for back-to-school, and Walmart selling e-readers for less than $50 on Black Friday in November.


  1. The ereaders need to be $50 all the time. If Amazon was smart, they would sell the e-reader at a loss and develop their Kindle library even further.

    The profit is in the long tail--- not the sale of the reader itself.

  2. To Christy:

    Years ago, Gillette realized that the big money is in selling blades, not razors.