Originally written for eBookGuru - The Digital Magazine Devoted to eBooks
The $50 eReader just got a lot closer.
There was a flurry of activity yesterday in the eReader market.
First Barnes & Noble came out with a $149 Wi-Fi only version of the Nook, putting pressure on the recently released Kobo eReader. While the Kobo has gotten some good press and has some nice features, it only has the ability to sync books via Bluetooth. Without Wi-Fi or 3G access the Kobo will be fighting an uphill battle. Barnes & Noble also dropped the price of the 3G version of the Nook from $259 to $199.
To add insult to injury (for both the Kobo and the Nook) Amazon lowered the price of the Kindle to $189 shortly after the Barnes & Noble announcement came out, putting it below the $199 3G enabled Nook and within spitting distance of the $149 Kobo and Wi-Fi only Nook.
While this isn’t the $50 eReader that I referred to earlier, this widens the price gap between eReaders and the iPad making it more unlikely for these devices to be in competition with each other.
It will be interesting to see how Kobo reacts to these price cuts. Also Sony has been relatively quiet recently but these new prices will put pressure on the lower end Sony Reader Pocket Edition ($169), let alone the Touch Edition ($199). Neither of the Sony eReaders have Wi-Fi or 3G access and the Pocket Edition only has a 5 inch screen despite being practically the same size and weight as the Kobo reader.
Regardless of what happens, readers and writers benefit from the increased competition.