The competition in the ebook reader market is getting tight. On Thursday, Amazon introduced a newer version of the Kindle wireless ebook reader which is smaller and lighter than the original. The improved and lighter model will debut in August with a price tag of $139. Earlier this month Amazon lowered its price on the Kindle 2 to $189 from $259 because of stiff competition from Sony. The $50 price difference between these two models will make up for the loss of the 3G capatabilty.
Not only is Amazon Kindle competing with the products that are sold by Sony and the Apple iPad but they also have to stay ahead of the Barnes & Noble’s Nook which has been re-launched with Wi-Fi capability at $149. Barnes & Noble announced their relaunch and price reduction following Amazon’s announcement or the Kindle 2 price cut.
Even with the improvements to keep their large market share Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos stressed that the company developed the Kindle for more serious readers but stated the new price range will allow the wireless reading device to be accessible to a wider market. “People will buy them for their kids,” Bezos said. “People won’t share Kindles anymore.” By creating a new model with a lower price point Amazon is making ebook readers more accessible to those that could not have afforded one otherwise.
In January Amazon held 95% of the US market and analysts project that by the end of this year, the competition is more likely to be divided among Amazon’s Kindle, Apple’s iPad and Barnes & Noble’s Nook.