Low-priced e-reader market picks up speed

Since Amazon and Barnes & Noble recently announced lower-priced versions of their e-readers, several companies have scurried to get ahead of the low-cost trend by dropping prices or creating cheaper models. Many top-notch e-readers are now available for $150 or less, with some $100 models expected out by year's end.

In June, Barnes & Noble announced that it would offer a new version of its Nook e-reader at $149 and Amazon introduced a $139 version of its Kindle e-reader. Both new models are Wi-Fi enabled, with no 3G connectivity, and have a 6" e-ink screen.

Sony, in turn, dropped the price of its Reader Pocket Edition - its cheapest, most basic device - to $150. That model has no Internet connectivity and a 5" e-ink screen.

Augen's The Book e-reader model, released in late July and selling for $129, has been called a "Kindle clone" for its outward similarly to the Amazon device, although The Book sports an LCD screen that distinguishes it from many low-priced models. It is Wi-Fi enabled and has a 7" color screen.

Copia broke the $100 barrier with its Ocean model, announced in late July and due out in the fall. The $99 e-reader is Wi-Fi enabled, in color LCD, with a 5" screen.

Now forging ahead is the Borders-owned Kobo, whose $150 e-reader was already one of the least expensive models among the major brands. On August 18, Gregory Levey, blogging for The New Yorker, reported that the Kobo is set to drop to $99 by the end of the year. That device has a 6" monochrome e-ink screen and Wi-Fi.

John Biggs of CrunchGear predicts the low-priced trend will result in a slew of low-priced "no-name" e-readers whose lack of features will make them "woefully useless," adding, "I don’t think e-readers can survive the race to the bottom." Other analysts expect some models to easily rise to the top. Levey, for example, notes the "cult following" of the Kobo, dubbing it "The Kindle Killer" for its "simplicity and affordability."

The expected drop in price for the Kobo led publishing blog GalleyCat to ask, "Is $99 the new magic eReader price?," and many analysts agree that the under-$100 price point is likely to pick up speed before and beyond the 2010 holiday season.

 

Life and Style
ebookNow available in paperback
ebooks
ebookA delicious collection of 50 meaty main courses
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

ES Rentals

    iJobs Job Widget
    iJobs Gadgets & Tech

    Recruitment Genius: Support and Development Engineer

    £20000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: The leading provider of Employee Managem...

    Recruitment Genius: Creative Designer

    £15000 - £25000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: This Kent based design consulta...

    Recruitment Genius: IT Gazetteer Consultant

    £25000 - £34000 per annum: Recruitment Genius: Are you looking to work for an ...

    Recruitment Genius: Regional Support Manager

    Negotiable: Recruitment Genius: This role's responsibility also include operat...

    Day In a Page

    Is this the future of flying: battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks?

    Is this the future of flying?

    Battery-powered planes made of plastic, and without flight decks
    Isis are barbarians – but the Caliphate is a dream at the heart of all Muslim traditions

    Isis are barbarians

    but the Caliphate is an ancient Muslim ideal
    The Brink's-Mat curse strikes again: three tons of stolen gold that brought only grief

    Curse of Brink's Mat strikes again

    Death of John 'Goldfinger' Palmer the latest killing related to 1983 heist
    Greece debt crisis: 'The ministers talk to us about miracles' – why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum

    'The ministers talk to us about miracles'

    Why Greeks are cynical ahead of the bailout referendum
    Call of the wild: How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate

    Call of the wild

    How science is learning to decode the way animals communicate
    Greece debt crisis: What happened to democracy when it’s a case of 'Vote Yes or else'?

    'The economic collapse has happened. What is at risk now is democracy...'

    If it doesn’t work in Europe, how is it supposed to work in India or the Middle East, asks Robert Fisk
    The science of swearing: What lies behind the use of four-letter words?

    The science of swearing

    What lies behind the use of four-letter words?
    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain: Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won't have him back

    The Real Stories of Migrant Britain

    Clive fled from Zimbabwe - now it won’t have him back
    Africa on the menu: Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the continent

    Africa on the menu

    Three foodie friends want to popularise dishes from the hot new continent
    Donna Karan is stepping down after 30 years - so who will fill the DKNY creator's boots?

    Who will fill Donna Karan's boots?

    The designer is stepping down as Chief Designer of DKNY after 30 years. Alexander Fury looks back at the career of 'America's Chanel'
    10 best statement lightbulbs

    10 best statement lightbulbs

    Dare to bare with some out-of-the-ordinary illumination
    Wimbledon 2015: Heather Watson - 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Heather Watson: 'I had Serena's poster on my wall – now I'm playing her'

    Briton pumped up for dream meeting with world No 1
    Wimbledon 2015: Nick Bollettieri - It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve

    Nick Bollettieri's Wimbledon Files

    It's time for big John Isner to produce the goods to go with his thumping serve
    Dustin Brown: Who is the tennis player who knocked Rafael Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?

    Dustin Brown

    Who is the German player that knocked Nadal out of Wimbeldon 2015?
    Ashes 2015: Damien Martyn - 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Damien Martyn: 'England are fired up again, just like in 2005...'

    Australian veteran of that Ashes series, believes the hosts' may become unstoppable if they win the first Test