Would You Buy the New $79 Kindle?

The most significant thing about the new $79 Kindle is going to be its price. A headline from Gizmodo more or less sums it up (“Wow: There’s a New $79 Kindle”). Compared to $114 — the previously cheapest available Kindle with Special Offers — this is quite an aggressive pricing strategy by Amazon, and a welcome one.

In offering different types of device choices for different readers, with different types of needs and reading habits, Amazon is unquestionably going to push competitors such as Barnes & Noble, Kobo, and Sony to keep its own e-reading devices up to speed. And, competition in the marketplace is a good thing. From an objective standpoint, it’s actually somewhat remarkable to see how quickly this e-reading device competition seems to evolve in interesting ways practically every six months.

While there’s a lot to like about the new Kindle Touch (which at first glance seems to me to be the superior e-reading device), the $79 price point of this basic Kindle model, along with a bit speedier (with a welcome improvement of reported 10% faster page turns), smaller, and lighter, than the Kindle 3, should be compelling enough to entice a number of casual buyers. And even the $109 model which comes ads-free is still a decent enough buy. At least, that’s my opinion. What do you think? Would you buy a $79 Kindle? Or the $99 Kindle Touch?

Tech Crunch (“Amazon reveals $79 Kindle, ships today!”) shares some additional details for us —

“The new super small, non-touch Kindle was announced to appeal to Amazon’s legion of eReading purists. It’s small enough to fit in a pack pocket, and will cost users a scant $79 — customers can order today, and Amazon says it will ship today too. While it retains physical buttons, Amazon’s traditional Kindle keyboard is gone. In order to drive the price that low, the new Kindle also comes packed with Amazon’s Special Offers and their Amazon Local deals service.”

By the way, CNET has a useful comparison of the three new Kindle devices, including a table for ease of comparison: “Amazon Kindle Touch 3G vs. Kindle Touch vs. Kindle

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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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