“Our best ever Kindle at a new low price!” Amazon announced today on the front page at Amazon.com. For $139, you can now get a Kindle with a 3G wireless internet connection — saving $50 over the usual cost of a Kindle 3G. Of course, it’s the “Kindle with Special Offers,” where the screen savers are slick images advertising the device’s sponsors. But Amazon had been selling this model for $169, so it’s still a new savings of $25.
My theory? Google released their own digital reading device on Monday — and they priced it at $139. It’s a price war — where consumers benefit — and the rivalry between the two companies probably means that we’ll all pay a lot less for our next new Kindle.
In a statement today, Amazon’s CEO Jeff Bezos shared “A big thank you to AT&T for helping to make the new $139 price possible.” (AT&T is the sponsor of the device, and they said today that the Kindle is “by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network.”) But Amazon’s CEO also revealed some interesting statistics — suggesting that the wireless capability increases sales for both Amazon and AT&T. “Kindle 3G customers read 20 percent more books, and take advantage of twice as many special offers.”
I already know the advantages, and it really is great to have a Kindle that can connect to Amazon’s store anywhere, any time. But it was fun to watch Amazon try to explain it to new customers who might be contemplating a purchase. “There’s no wireless set up, and no paying for or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots,” they wrote in today’s press release. “Kindle 3G’s always-on global wireless connectivity means that wherever you are – at the beach, on the train, or stuck on the tarmac – no problem, you can download books and periodicals in less than 60 seconds and start reading instantly!”
I didn’t realize the device had its own shortcut at Amazon.com. Just point your browser to amazon.com/kindle3G and Amazon delivers the web page about their top-end Kindle. They shared this URL in their press release, but unfortunately it’s the wrong one! That’s the URL for the ad-free version of the Kindle — while it’s only the Kindle 3G with special offers that’s been reduced in price to just $139.
Fortunately, somewhere in Amazon’s headquarters there’s a geek who’s created another shortcut to send shoppers in the right direction. I discovered this morning that there’s a second URL — amazon.com/kindlespecialoffers — which will take you directly to Amazon’s web page for the new specially-priced Kindle 3G with Special Offers.