This Week in the Mercury


Tuesday, August 31, 2010

Amazon Keeps Making Smart Choices with E-Readers

Posted by Paul Constant on Tue, Aug 31, 2010 at 1:44 PM

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Staples just announced that they're going to start selling Kindles and Kindle accessories in their stores. Staples is probably a better fit than Target, which was previously the only brick-and-mortar store selling Kindles. Business travelers are still probably the target audience for e-readers, and now that Amazon has lowered the price below $200, it approaches impulse-buy territory for many business-minded shoppers.

In other e-reader news, Borders has dropped the prices of two e-readers. The Aluratek reader will now sell for $99, and the Kobo Reader will go for $129, which is ten dollars less than the Wi-Fi only Kindle.

Several months ago, when Borders first announced they were going to sell the Kobo Reader in their stores, it looked like a great deal: It was a no-frills e-ink e-reader. Sure, it didn't have any Wi-Fi or 3G networking capabilities, but it stored a ton of books, and it looked comparable to the Kindle in terms of performance. That was back in the days when the Kindle was almost a hundred dollars more than the Kobo price. Nickel-and-dime fighting with the Kindle isn't going to convince anyone to pick up the Kobo Reader; the only way they could make a convincing case for the device now is to cut the price by half, but Borders probably can't afford to eat the profit margin on anything these days.

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