It was inevitable that the e-reader market would end up in a war. The market is just still too small with far too many players for there not to have been a shake up at some point, and that seems to have happened today.
This morning started off with the announcement that Barnes & Noble was releasing a new version of its Nook e-reader that was Wi-Fi only for $149. It was also lowering the price of the 3G model to $199, a drop of $60 from its previous price of $259.
Not to be outdone, a few hours later came an announcement from Amazon that it was dropping the price of the Kindle e-reader it markets and sells. However, being the second company to drop the price means you can make a judgement call based on the drop your competition did, so Amazon went for a $70 price cut going from $259 down to $189. This places the 3G Kindle at $10 less than the 3G Nook, and only $30 more than the Wi-Fi only version.
In short, expect Barnes & Noble to come up with some sort of follow-up reaction in short order, but will any of this matter? As we asked before, does it make any sense to buy a single store e-reader? These new prices certainly will help the situation, and with the cheapest iPad being $499, the Kindle and Nook look far more appealing. However, you buy an iPad and you get iBooks, a Kindle app, a Nook app and other e-reader options.
Barring new versions of these new devices being released prior to the holiday shopping season, which would bring a price hike with them, both the Nook and Kindle should have a very happy end of the year. Consumers aren’t going to look at the idea of having multiple options on the iPad, they are simply going to look at the price points, and since they already bought tons of them last Christmas, they’ll do even better this year.
What say you? Will these new prices drive you to finally buying an e-reader?