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Amazon and Barnes & Noble Slash eBook Reader Prices

Gordon Kelly


Amazon and Barnes & Noble Slash eBook Reader Prices

During certain moments we wish we were living in America. Most notably when attaining admiring glances while we put on our plumiest English accents, but also regularly when it comes to tech pricing...

Today Amazon and Barnes & Noble have begun an eBook reader price war which we dearly hope will spill all the way to our shores (too topical?). The former has slashed the price of its Kindle by a whopping $70 to just $189 (£128) which the latter has cut $60 from the still US-only Nook taking it to $199 (£135).

Interestingly these cuts are just the latest in a wave of RRP hacks by both companies. After all the first generation Kindle launched in 2007 for $399 and the Nook only appeared late in 2009 for a debut price of $259. At this rate they'll be giving away eBook readers in packets of breakfast cereal by 2012.

In related (and I suspect influential) news Apple has quietly launched its own eBook reader for the iPhone and iPod touch now iOS 4 is out. The 'iBook' app (that name was destined) is available to download for free in the App Store and comes with a copy of Winnie the Pooh. The iBooks app has been available since launch for the iPad and while I'm not keen to reading off a 9.7in LCD screen for hours at a time, a 3.5in LCD holds even less appeal.

That said they happily sync reading progress wirelessly between one another, so it may be ok for short spells what, what?


Amazon Kindle

Barnes & Noble Nook

Apple iBooks


June 22, 2010, 10:05 am

Barnes & Noble will ship to the UK for $13

Just ordered the nook now :)


June 22, 2010, 3:03 pm

"At this rate they'll be giving away eBook readers in packets of breakfast cereal by 2012."

And so they bleedin' well should, considering the markup they charge on the e-books you buy from them.

Err, sorry, I mean the e-books you "rent" from them - and which can be revoked at any time and without warning. See http://www.nytimes.com/2009...


June 22, 2010, 3:03 pm

No price drop for the DX sadly which just makes its RRP look even worse :)


June 22, 2010, 3:13 pm

@deano.uk: Careful - there might be a number of problems:

1. The nook's GSM frequencies are US-only (850/1900 MHz as opposed to European 900/1800 MHz) so you will be WiFi-only (unless they've come out with a EuroNook?)

2. You will need a VPN or an IP proxy in the US in order to register and indeed buy eBooks. You may even need a US-registered credit card :-(

Disclaimer: I'm basing this on stuff I read a while back, it might be out of date info.

Found it: http://www.mobileread.com/f...


June 22, 2010, 3:34 pm

Barnes&Noble also announced the Nook Lite (wifi only) for $149.99 which looks a really appealing option,

@Deano.uk thanks for the tip, im SERIOUSLY tempted by that but theres still the hassle of it not being officially supported outside of the USA so I think you have to set up an american account ect. Or has that changed?


June 22, 2010, 4:27 pm

I was looking at one of the also, but read the following on their FAQ page, which suggest the books cannot be purchased outside the US.

Can I use my NOOK while traveling abroad?

Yes, when you travel abroad, you can read any files that are already on your NOOK. You can connect to Wi-Fi® hotspots that do not use proxy security settings, such as those commonly used in hotels, and download eBooks and subscriptions already in your online digital library. You cannot, however, purchase additional eBooks and subscriptions.


June 22, 2010, 7:21 pm

I've been looking into the Wi-Fi only version, especially as I'm off to the States in the morning. From my reading on mobileread.com I get the impression that you'd need a proxy to download from the B&N store. However, downloading epub books, e.g. from Waterstones, WH Smith etc. to your PC and 'sideloading' the content on via USB should be ok. I'll probably find out in the next week or so for sure.


June 22, 2010, 7:43 pm

I forgot to add i only bought the wifi version.

I was hoping there would be support for B&N ebook's in the UK :(

never mind i will use other sources like waterstones etc.


June 23, 2010, 12:33 am

lower price readers are a start..... but the real issue is the price of the books! Surely if we are saving the publisher the print and distribution costs then ebooks should be noticably cheaper than their paper counterparts.

Even a modest saving will stack over large numbers of books (i bought around 20 books in the last 6 months), and make those initial reader costs more palatable.

I'm waiting for the price to be right, or the tech to be stunning enough to win me over.....

Does anyone know if there has been a rise in Indie ebooks, just like online music lead to a rise in Indie music artists?


January 9, 2011, 6:26 pm

Look first at what is available from China. I'd thoroughly recommend the Mebook (from Chinavasion) which cost me half the price of a Kindle or Nook. It has a long battery life and will play music files, has a radio, will play videos, and has everything and more offered by the main names in ebook readers. Even after import duties, it was the best value of any gadget I've bought in recent years.

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