The Price War for E-readers Heats Up

By Tracey E. Schelmetic September 02, 2010

Just in time for the winding up holiday season, the retail battles have begun. Desperate for a bigger share of consumer’s very trimmed down holiday shopping budgets, retailers will be pulling some surprises out of their sleeves in the coming months. E-readers, the digital devices used to read digital e-books, will be no exception.

Staples announced today that it will begin selling Amazon’s Kindle e-reader at its more than 1,500 U.S. stores. It plans to sell the 3G Kindle DX at about $139. Target announced plans earlier in the year to carry at least one Kindle model, and bookstore giant Borders has been selling e-readers (though not its own) for some time. Big box retailer Best Buy began serving the e-reader market this year by selling Barnes & Noble’s Nook e-reader, a competitor to Kindle.

In addition to Kindle versus Nook, other players have stepped up their efforts in the e-reader market, perhaps to prepare for battle with not only each other, but Apple and its iPad device, which can also act as an e-reader.

This week, Sony announced that it is updating its Pocket e-reader and making it a touch screen: the device now has an infrared sensor to read finger swipes or taps from an included stylus, eliminating the need for the special touch-sensitive overlay that users complained reduced clarity. Sony also boosted the screen graphics and added memory to the device, which will sell for $179.

It’s no surprise that we’re seeing a price war on e-readers, given the flurry of activity in the market. In July, the three major players: Barnes & Noble, Amazon and Sony began aggressively cutting prices on their respective devices. Borders also chimed in this week and said that it had plans to lower the price of two e-readers it sells. According to the Wall Street Journal, Borders plans to slash prices of the Kobo and the Aluratek Libre e-reader by $20, in a bid to better compete against the Kindle and the Nook. The Aluratek model is expected to retail at Borders for $99. Borders also plans to begin selling two higher-priced, full-color e-readers in the coming weeks: the $199 Cruz Reader and the $299 Cruz Tablet. Both units offer users the ability to surf the Web and play multimedia files.  

The drop in price on e-readers (which of course makes the profit margin thinner) is seen as necessary to encourage adoption. The sellers of e-readers no doubt plan to recoup the profits lost by the lower prices by ratcheting up their sales of e-books.


Tracey Schelmetic is a contributing editor for TechZone360. To read more of Tracey's articles, please visit her columnist page.

Edited by Beecher Tuttle

TechZone360 Contributor

SHARE THIS ARTICLE
Related Articles

Modern Moms Shaping Influence

By: Maurice Nagle    7/19/2018

Everyone knows Mom knows best. The internet is enabling a new era in sharing, and sparking a more enlightened, communal shopping experience. Mommy blo…

Read More

Why People Don't Update Their Computers

By: Special Guest    7/13/2018

When the WannaCry ransomware attacked companies all over the world in 2017, experts soon realized it was meant to be stopped by regular updating. Even…

Read More

More Intelligence About The New Intelligence

By: Rich Tehrani    7/9/2018

TMC recently announced the launch of three new artificial intelligence events under the banner of The New Intelligence. I recently spoke with TMC's Ex…

Read More

Technology, Innovation, and Compliance: How Businesses Approach the Digital Age

By: Special Guest    6/29/2018

Organizations must align internally to achieve effective innovation. Companies should consider creating cross-functional teams or, at a minimum, incre…

Read More

Contribute Your Brain Power to The New Intelligence

By: Paula Bernier    6/28/2018

The three events that are part of The New Intelligence are all about how businesses and service providers, and their customers, can benefit from artif…

Read More