Today Amazon announced the release of not just one, but four new devices. First is an all new basic barebones Kindle without a touch screen for $79 ($109 without the ads). Next up is the new Kindle Touch for $99, which they sorely needed to compete with the Nook in this area. If you want the ads-free version it’ll cost you an additional $40.
Amazon is also releasing the new top of the line Kindle Touch 3G with “free” 3G wireless connectivity for $149 ($189 for ads-free). The e-readers also now include an X-Ray feature with community-aggregated meta-content about the ebooks your reading – which essentially means it’s a collection of discussions, commentary and ratings about whatever ebook you’re reading at the time.
The flagship device was the introduction of the Kindle Fire, which is an Android tablet, for $199. At first blush, the interface looks and works a lot like the Apple iPad, but this is no computer replacement like the iPad. The Kindle Fire is meant purely for entertainment consumption, but make no mistake; it does put a dent in the iPad market share.
The 7-inch Kindle Fire tablet looks very much like the $499 BlackBerry Playbook, and weighs just 14.6 ounces. Unlike the struggling Android market, Amazon points out why this tablet matters to you in that available are “18 million songs, movies, TV shows, books, magazines, apps and games.” Now you don’t get all that with the purchase of the Kindle Fire, but the device was created as a conduit for media, whether you opt to pay for the Amazon Prime streaming subscription or just buy books, music and movies individually
Everyone in the industry knew the Kindle Fire was coming to market, but not everyone knew about the other three devices, and the aggressive pricing structure surprised just about everybody. Amazon’s stock price jumped over $10 at one point during trading, but settled for a gain of $5.50 for the day closing at $229.71 (did I mention I’m a numbers guy?)
The Kindle Fire isn’t targeting readers per se, but with the $199 price point, I can see many people in the U.S. market opting for the Fire because 1) It’s cool. 2) It gives readers the option to do other things than just read – when the urge strikes them.
You can pre-order the Kindle Fire, Full Color 7″ Multi-touch Display, Wi-Fi now, but it won’t be released for delivery until November 15th
With the coming Christmas season, all of these devices are going to be HOT items on the gift lists and I have no doubt the sales will eclipse the previous year’s revenue numbers. This means there’s going to be a bumper-crop of people switching from print to e-ink. For self-pubbed writer’s this provides an unprecedented opportunity to get their work noticed even more so than it was last year.
How many will reach the Kindle Million Club this time next year?