Ereaders, like any other tech toy, were bound to come down in price. And they have--steadily--over the last couple of years. But yesterday was big in terms of pricetags getting smaller.
The latest edition of Kindle is now only $189. Pretty cool price for such a simple, no-strings-attached device (great for someone who wants ebooks without the hassle of figuring out how to download and upload and all that). Can't help but feel for the folks who shelled out $400 for one, but it is a really nice product.
Other big news? B&N figured out they needed to lower their price too, in order to compete (can they really? with all those bells and whistles on iPad, and the monstrous selection on Amazon? Ah well, can't fault them for trying. Belatedly.) Nook is down to $149 for the Wi-fi edition, and $199 for Wi-fi plus 3G.
Hey, at those prices, my Sony Reader seems like an overpriced relic. But oh, wait. I can still get library books on my Reader. And I'm pretty sure those devices... cannot. :)
Borders is selling an ebook reader for $119, and will have their own ebook store soon (gee, here's hoping they get a selection, not just what their buyer decides to stick in their catalog like they do with print books *she snarks*).
Which of these readers do I think is the best deal? Well. I'd be lying if I said iPad isn't purty, and shiny, and probably loads of fun. I've got no complaints about either my iPod or my iPhone. Apple makes a nice--if pricey--device. However, for reading ebooks the iPad just looks too darn big. I've played with it in Best Buy, and the thing would need a whole other purse or bag or briefcase to haul it around. My Reader slips nice and small into my handbag or my laptop bag. It's flat and doesn't take up much real estate. Don't know if Nook still operates with only B&N (a sucky attempt at trying to mimick Amazon's proprietary success), but either way, it's still pretty thick for my taste. Kindle's a little thinner than Nook, I believe. But I don't think I'd like having that keyboard in my way. Those lower-end devices Borders is peddling seem like what I'd go for, if my Reader keeled over (heaven forbid!!).
And that's what I'll call my Market Update. With 1st quarter ebook sales at a staggering alltime high, and reader prices falling as drastically as ebook sales are rising, I'd say the forecast is pretty rosy for the epublishing biz.