German digital distributor ‘txtr just announced an eReader for less than $14. The ‘txtrbeagle’ will be released later this year. This is significant because prior to this the cheapest eReader was around $69.
Amazon Kindle, MS-BNNook and Kobo have all been bringing out new readers and dropping the prices of their older ones.
From almost $500 for the least expensive one a few years ago, to almost free today, we have come a long way.
What impact will this have?
Amazon will start to give away Kindle’s with Prime membership. It will have ads and be stripped down. Amazon has always countered competition with price. Their strategy has been to grab and protect market share with lower prices on the books, the devices and the shipping (in digital this is the free wifi).
MS-BN will lower their prices although they just did so. But they will not go to zero.
Kobo will keep the same course. They have been successful by not trying to undercut on price.
What about Apple? They are releasing a mini-ipad soon. But the price will still be higher than anyone.
More readers. This is good for the consumer.