Amazon drops Kindle 3G with Special Offers to $139 with AT&T ads
Amazon.com cut the price of its Kindle 3G with Special Offers eReader on Wednesday to $139 due to a sponsorship deal with AT&T.
The Kindle 3G with Special Offers -- a lower-priced version of the device that runs advertisements or Amazon discounts on the screensaver and in a strip along the bottom of the home screen -- previously sold for $164.
But, because of AT&T buying the majority of the ad space that the device offers, the price was lowered to match that of the regular ad-free Kindle Wi-Fi unit, Amazon said in a statement.
An ad-free version of the Kindle 3G sells for $189, while a Wi-Fi-only version of the Kindle with Special Offers sells for $114.
Amazon picks up the cost of the AT&T 3G service for Kindle 3G owners, allowing them to escape data plans and contracts for the mobile data used to buy eBooks on the devices.
"Kindle 3G customers read 20% more books, and take advantage of twice as many special offers," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon's founder and CEO, in the statement. "A big thank you to AT&T for helping to make the new $139 price possible."
AT&T mobility's president and CEO, Ralph de la Vega, said the Kindle 3G is "by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network."
The big price drop for the Kindle 3G with Special Offers comes as the competition in the eReader market is heating up. Barnes & Noble has a hot-selling touchscreen Nook eReader selling for $139, with a better-than-Kindle two-month battery life, and its successful Nook Color tablet running Android on the market for $250.
Up-and-comer Kobo also has a touchscreen device out called the Kobo eReader Touch Edition, selling for $129, and the iRiver Story HD launches this Sunday for $139 promising integration with Google's eBookstore.
Speculation abounds that Amazon is working on new eReaders to address changes in the market -- namely eInk touchscreens and possibly a tablet of its own to challenge the Nook Color or maybe even the iPad. But so far, Amazon has stuck to rolling out new versions of its Kindle with Special Offers eReaders, which have become best sellers for the world's leading online retailer.
-- Nathan Olivarez-Giles
Image: Amazon Kindle with Special Offers eReaders. Credit: Amazon.com