Kindle 3: “Jeff Bezos has survived the iPad”

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Kindle 3By Matthew Mullin, Events Marketing Manager, Digital Book World

“Evidence is starting to accumulate that this is a mass-market device. I predict that at the $139 price, people will buy multiple Kindles. We’ll have to wait and see. People might buy Wi-Fi-only models for the kids and 3G ones for themselves.”

–Jeff Bezos, via USA Today

Yesterday, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos announced the latest iterations of the Kindle ereader. The new devices are smaller, thinner, and lighter than the Kindle 2, while maintaining the same 6″ eInk screen. The part that has tech pundits buzzing is price: $139 for the new WiFi-only version, undercutting Barnes & Noble’s WiFi-only Nook by $10. 

The announcement comes only five weeks after B&N aggressively dropped the price of its current 3G Nook and introduced the lower-priced WiFi version. 

Here’s some of the reactions from around the digital book world: 

  • eBookNewser liveblogged Bezos’ appearance on the Charlie Rose Show, where he acknowledged criticism of Amazon’s hesitance to share sales numbers: “We are secretive about the [Kindle sales] numbers because we think it is competitively useful.”
  • Crunchgear calls Kindle 3 “a legitimate step up from both the old version and other e-readers on the market.”
  • Engadget reports that “the build quality and materials used did seem slightly more polished than the previous version, and we really liked the new, more subtle rocker.” (includes press shots and video)
  • FutureBook calls the Kindle the “yardstick” by which consumers judge the ereader market – and that’s great for Amazon.
  • Wired declares that “Jeff Bezos has survived the iPad.”

Are the eReader Wars officially over, and if so, is the next battlefield a return to eBook pricing?

Matt Mullin holds two full time jobs as a marketing manager and as a publishing optimist. In his previous position at Sterling Publishing, he kick started a social media program for the company and coordinated every aspect of a thriving eBook program, from checking contracts to reviewing the quality of the final product. Born and raised in Virginia, Matt is descended from an Iowa plains farmer and a traveling peanut salesman from New Jersey.

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