Amazon.com’s decision to slash the price of its Kindle e-reader is apparently paying off. The basic version of the device is out of stock, according to the Amazon Web site, with no definite information about when it will be available again.
The sell-out comes after Amazon cut the price of the Kindle in June to $189 from $259, a move it made one day after rival Barnes & Noble cut the price of its original Nook e-reader to $199. Last year Amazon was charging as much as $359 for the Kindle.
The price cut led to a reported surge in sales of the popular e-reader, which has been Amazon’s best-selling product for more than two years. Amazon has never offered details on just how many Kindles it has sold since the product debuted in 2008.
The Kindle also has created a whole new market for the online retailer: Amazon now sells more e-books than hardcover books.
While the Amazon.com Web site is still offering the Kindle for $189 with free two-day shipping, a notice said the item is “temporarily out of stock” and that customers can “order now and we’ll deliver when available. We’ll e-mail you with an estimated delivery date as soon as we have more information.”
The notice says Kindle buyers will be charged when the product ships. Meanwhile, the higher-end Kindle DX is still available on Amazon.com and is priced between $359 and $379, depending on the generation model.
In addition to competing with e-readers from Barnes & Noble, Sony and other vendors, Amazon’s Kindle is also widely seen as competing with tablet devices – particularly Apple’s iPad device, of which more than 3 million have been sold.