Amazon Cuts Kindle DX Price As E-reader Vendors Scramble For E-book Pie6:40 PM EST Thu. Jul. 01, 2010
Amazon's decision to cut the price of its Kindle DX e-reader to $379 is only the latest salvo in an e-reader price war as several vendors including Apple, Sony, and Barnes & Nobel jockey for position in what may be a rapidly expanding market for e-books.
Amazon is currently taking pre-orders for its Kindle DX e-reader at $379 per unit, a steep cut from its originally planned price of $489. The Kindle DX is expected to ship on July 7.
The drop follows last week's moves by Amazon to cut the price of its existing Kindle e-reader to $189 and Barnes & Nobel to cut the price of its Nook with 3G and Wi-Fi capability to $199. Until the cuts, both models were priced at $259.
Barnes & Nobel also offers a Wi-Fi-only version of its Nook for $149.
Sony is also cutting prices, with its Sony Reader Touch now priced at $169.99, or $80 less than its previous $249.99 price.
A price war on the hardware side of the e-book market would seem to fit what has become a typical pattern in the IT and consumer electronics market of cutting hardware prices in order to sell more software.
In this case, the software is the growing number of e-books.
Businessweek, quoting a report by financial analyst Goldman Sachs, in April reported that e-book sales are expected to grow by over 400 percent between 2011 to 2015 to reach about $3.2 billion.
That compares to a fall in print book sales by 4.9 percent to $21.7 billion, Businessweek reported.
Even as e-book sales can be expected to drive a scramble between e-reader vendors to grab as much of that market as quickly as possible, those vendors also need to keep an eye on Apple and its iPad, which can be used as a substitute for specialized e-readers.
Businessweek, quoting the same Goldman Sachs report, said that Apple’s share of the e-book market could surge to 33 percent in 2015 from 10 percent in 2011. By 2011, Amazon's share could fall to 28 percent from 50 percent this year, while Barnes & Noble’s share will stabilize at 15 percent from 2012 to 2015 compared to 5 percent in 2011.