Make us your home page
Instagram

E-readers go easier on wallet with Kindles, Nooks below $200

NEW YORK — A price war is heating up in the electronic reader market, as Amazon cut the price of its Kindle e-reader below $200 Monday just after Barnes & Noble did the same with its competing Nook device.

The rapid-fire moves are fanning flames in the still small — but rapidly growing — market that the book industry sees as a major part of its future.

On Monday afternoon, online retailer Amazon.com slashed the price of the Kindle by $70 to $189, just a few hours after bookseller Barnes & Noble reduced the price of the Nook by $40 to $199 and said it would also start selling a new Nook with WiFi access for $149.

Both the Kindle and the original Nook can wirelessly download books over high-speed data networks; the Nook also has WiFi access.

Seattle-based Amazon has lowered the Kindle's price several times since the e-reader with a grayscale screen debuted in 2007 at $399. In October, the online retailer dropped the price to $259 from $299. Amazon also sells a larger-screen Kindle, the Kindle DX, for $489.

The Nook was released late last year for $259.

Both e-readers are creeping closer to the price of bookstore chain Borders Group's new $149 Kobo e-reader, which will be available in July and work with Borders' online bookstore.

And the cuts mean the price gap between these products and Apple's touchscreen iPad, which starts at $499, is getting ever wider.

The popularity of the iPad, along with a number of other tablet computers soon to be available that offer many functions, has pressured e-reader makers to lower prices.

Michael Norris, a senior trade analyst at Simba Information, said the Nook's price cut indicates New York's Barnes & Noble "is admitting that when they're up against a $500 digital photo frame on acid that does everything, they can no longer keep a straight face when selling something for $259 that only does books."

And the price cuts might get some more people to hop on the e-reader bandwagon, but he doesn't think they will end up creating some sort of tipping point that will get people to commit to buying tens of millions of e-books. Despite all the hubbub, the market is still small: Just 9 percent of U.S. adults bought at least one e-book last year, Norris said.

Barnes & Noble is hoping that, in addition to the lower Nook price, its latest offering can change this: The Nook WiFi will ship this week for online orders and will be available at some Barnes & Noble and Best Buy stores later this month. It will be in all stores later this summer.

. FAST FACTS

What they cost

Price comparison among leading electronic book readers:

Amazon.com's Kindle: $189

Barnes & Noble's original Nook: $199

Barnes & Noble's new WiFi-only Nook: $149

Borders' Kobo eReader, shipping in July: $149

Apple's iPad: Starts at $499

Sony Reader Pocket Edition Digital Book: $169

Sony Reader Daily Edition Digital Book: $349.99

E-readers go easier on wallet with Kindles, Nooks below $200 06/21/10 [Last modified: Monday, June 21, 2010 7:24pm]
Photo reprints | Article reprints

Copyright: For copyright information, please check with the distributor of this item, Associated Press.
    

Join the discussion: Click to view comments, add yours

Loading...
  1. Last steel beam marks construction milestone for Tom and Mary James' museum

    Growth

    ST. PETERSBURG — Tom and Mary James on Wednesday signed their names to the last steel beam framing the 105-ton stone mesa that will be built at the entrance of the museum that bears their name: the James Museum of Western and Wildlife Art.

    The topping-out ceremony of the James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art was held Wednesday morning in downtown St. Petersburg. Mary James (from left), husband Tom and Mayor Rick Kriseman signed the final beam before it was put into place. When finished, the $55 million museum at 100 Central Ave. will hold up to 500 pieces of the couple's 3,000-piece art collection. [Courtesy of James Museum of Western & Wildlife Art]
  2. Heights Public Market to host two Tampa Bay food trucks

    Business

    TAMPA — The Heights Public Market announced the first two food trucks for its "rotating stall," which will feature new restaurants every four months. Surf and Turf and Empamamas will be rolled out first.

    Heights Public Market is opening this summer inside the Tampa Armature Works building.
[SKIP O'ROURKE   |   Times file photo]

  3. Author Randy Wayne White could open St. Pete's biggest restaurant on the pier

    Food & Dining

    ST. PETERSBURG — The story begins with Yucatan shrimp.

    St. Petersburg Deputy Mayor Kanika Tomalin, pilot Mark Futch, Boca Grande, St. Petersburg Mayor Rick Kriseman, and author and businessman Randy Wayne White,  Sanibel, exit a Maule Super Rocket seaplane after taking a fight around Tampa Bay off the St. Petersburg waterfront, 6/28/17.  White and his business partners are in negotiations with the City of St. Petersburg to build a fourth Doc Ford's Rum Bar & Grille on the approach to the St. Petersburg Pier with a second event space on the pier according to White. The group met near Spa Beach after a ground breaking ceremony for the new pier. "We want to have our business open by the time the pier opens," said White. Other Dr. Ford restaurants are located on Sanibel, Captiva and Ft. Myers Beach. SCOTT KEELER   |   Times
  4. Guilty plea for WellCare Health Plans former counsel Thaddeus Bereday

    Business

    Former WellCare Health Plans general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District …

    WellCare Health Plans former general counsel Thaddeus M.S. Bereday, pleaded guilty to one count of making a false statement to the Florida Medicaid program, and faces a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison. A sentencing date has not yet been set, acting U.S. Attorney W. Stephen Muldrow of the Middle District of Florida stated Wednesday. [LinkedIn handout]
  5. DOT shows alternatives to former Tampa Bay Express toll lanes

    Transportation

    TAMPA — State transportation officials are evaluating at least a half-dozen alternatives to the controversial Tampa Bay interstate plan that they will workshop with the community over the next 18 months.

    Florida Department of Transportation consultant Brad Flom explains potential alternatives to adding toll lanes to Interstate 275 during a meeting Wednesday at the DOT’s Tampa office. Flom presented seven diagrams, all of which swapped toll lanes for transit, such as light rail or express bus, in the I-275 corridor from downtown Tampa to Bearss Avenue.