Kindle’s Popularity Forces Competitors to Slash Prices


The nascent but fast growing e-reader market in the United States has largely been dominated by Amazon’s Kindle since its debut back in 2007. In addition to Kindle, Apple’s multi-purpose iPad tablet and Barnes and Noble’s Nook have also made significant inroads into the e-reader space. This has made life difficult for the dozen or so newcomers in this segment.

To stay in the reckoning, these companies are now offering their e-readers at a substantial discount to the established players like Kindle and Nook which are currently available at $139 and $149 respectively. Some of the most “attractive” offers are detailed below.

  1. Borders Kobo Wireless e-reader: Recently, Borders had a great offer available on its Kobo Wireless e-reader and was retailing it for $99.99 as compared to its original retail price of $139.99. The Kobo Wireless e-reader has a sleek design and an easy to use wireless connectivity package, making the e-reader a great bargain at $99.99. Unfortunately, the offer ended some time ago and the price has reverted back to the earlier level of $139.99.
  2. Velocity Micro Cruz Reader: The Cruz Reader is an Android based e-reader with a resistive touch display screen. The e-reader has received good reviews and retails for $99-$119 on various websites. The resistive touch screens used in the Cruz Reader are less functional and more difficult to use as compared to the latest capacitive touch screens used in the iPad, Nook Color, and Samsung.
  3. Sony PRS-350SC Pocket Reader: Consumer electronic giant Sony’s PRS-350SC features a 5 inch screen and does not offer Wi-Fi connectivity. At $129.99, its current retail price is significantly lower than its debut price of $179.99. Besides the fact that it carries the Sony name, PRS-350SC supports the EPUB file format and also allows users to browse titles at their local libraries. Alternately, the PRS-350SC’s lack of Wi-Fi connectivity and relatively small screen size work in Kindle’s favor.
  4. Pandigital Novel: Like the Cruz Reader, it is an Android-based tablet with a 7 inch resistive screen. The Pandigital Novel had a shaky debut with loads of complaints pertaining to its bug-filled software and mediocre performance. Since then, the company has rectified past errors and made many new improvements making the Pandigital Novel a decent e-reader. Unfortunately its reported price-tag of $150 makes it a tad bit expensive even as proven market leaders like the Kindle and the Nook sell for less.      

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