Amazon Intros Ad-Supported Kindle 3G

By Beecher Tuttle May 25, 2011

Amazon on Tuesday unveiled an ad-supported version of its Kindle 3G e-reader, just hours after rival Barnes & Noble launched its next-generation Nook device.

The new Kindle 3G With Special Offers will be priced at $164, which is $25 less than Amazon's standard 3G-enabled e-reader. As with the Special Offers version of the Wi-Fi Kindle, users of the new 3G device will encounter on-screen ads and sponsored screensavers, hence the $25 savings.

"You will get all the features readers love about Kindle 3G - free 3G wireless, global wireless access, Pearl electronic ink display that's easy to read even in bright sunlight, access to over 950,000 'Buy Once, Read Everywhere' Kindle books - all for just $164 - the lowest price for any 3G e-reader," Jay Marine, Director of Amazon Kindle, noted in a statement.

Some of the advertisements that are included in the Kindle 3G With Special Offers are presented in the form of deals, such as $10 for a $20 gift card and $1 for specially marked Kindle e-books.

Launched five weeks, Amazon's Wi-Fi-enabled version of the ad-laden Kindle is now the best-selling member of the company's family of e-readers. The success of Amazon's first-ever ad-supported e-reader made the launch of the 3G version inevitable.

The timing of the launch involved a bit of strategy on Amazon's part. The online retailer stole some press away from its closest competitor by introducing its new Kindle device on the same day that Barnes & Noble unveiled its latest e-reader, the Nook Simple Touch Reader.

What is more, Amazon made its device available for immediate shipment to customers in the U.S. Barnes & Noble's e-reader can be preordered today, but won't hit stores until around June 10.

The Nook Simple Touch Reader is slimmer, more intuitive and less expensive than any other member of the Nook family. The device is 35 percent lighter and 15 percent thinner than the first Nook, and contains only one button. The e-reader will be priced at $139, keeping it in line with the standard Amazon Kindle.

Beecher Tuttle is a TechZone360 contributor. He has extensive experience writing and editing for print publications and online news websites. He has specialized in a variety of industries, including health care technology, politics and education. To read more of his articles, please visit his columnist page.

Edited by Stefanie Mosca

TechZone360 Contributor

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