The Technium

Free Kindle This November


[Translations: Japanese]

In October 2009 John Walkenbach noticed that the price of the Kindle was falling at a consistent rate, lowering almost on a schedule. By June 2010, the rate was so unwavering that he could easily forecast the date at which the Kindle would be free: November 2011.

kindlepriceforecast2-1.png

Since then I’ve mentioned this forecast to all kinds of folks. In August, 2010 I had the chance to point it out to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. He merely smiled and said, “Oh, you noticed that!” And then smiled again.

When I brought it to the attention of publishing veterans they would often laugh nervously. How outrageous! they would say. It must cost something to make? The trick was figuring out how Amazon could bundle the free Kindle and still make money. My thought was the cell phone model: a free Kindle if you buy X number of e-books.

But last week Michael Arrington at TechCruch reported on a rumor which hints at a more clever plan: a free Kindle for every Prime customer of Amazon. Prime customers pay $79 per year for free 2-day shipping, and as of last week, free unlimited streaming movies (a la Netflix). Arrington writes:

In January Amazon offered select customers a free Kindle of sorts – they had to pay for it, but if they didn’t like it they could get a full refund and keep the device. It turns out that was just a test run for a much more ambitious program. A reliable source tells us Amazon wants to give a free Kindle to every Amazon Prime subscriber.

I don’t know if this is Amazon’s plan, but it should be. It brilliantly feeds into Bezo’s long-term strategy of nurturing extreme customer satisfaction. What could be more satisfying that a free Kindle, free movies, and free 2-day shipping for $80 a year? If the past is any indication of future events, expect an as-if-free Kindle this fall in time for the holidays. Brilliant indeed!

UPDATE: I misread the TechCrunch dateline. Arrington’s speculation was from February 2010, a year ago, not last week. Still valid, though.

Also, in the comments Phil Gyford quotes an article from the London Review of Books which makes another interesting free kindle speculation:

“Taking the lower figure, that means that New York Times, if it stopped printing a physical edition of the paper, could afford to give every subscriber a free Kindle. Not the bog-standard Kindle, but the one with free global data access. And not just one Kindle, but four Kindles. And not just once, but every year. And that’s using the low estimate for the costs of printing.”




Comments
  • moopet

    “Prime customers pay $79 per year for free 2-day shipping” – mangling language like that is why it’s impossible to challenge the prediction.

  • http://jfno.net/blog Jean-François Noël

    I keep pointing out to friends that soon the kindles could be free. I don’t know if I’m a typical client, but Amazon knows. I was buying quite a lot of book in a year but before I had my kindle, only a fraction of those were bought on Amazon.com. Now that every time I finish a book, I can buy a new one in seconds and keep on reading I buy all of my books on Amazon and I probably tripled the number of books I buy. This has been going on for more than a year (availability of the kindle in Canada). Amazon has a clear picture of how much more money they make with a user once they get a kindle. You then can simply offer to certain customer when they buy a book, to instead ship them a kindle with the ebook preloaded. The customers are the ones fitting the profile of augmented revenues, like me.

  • Joe

    My wife has a Kindle. She paid for it. It should be free because it is so booorrring to look at. If Amazon were to send me one (I’m a Prime customer), I’m not sure what I’d do with it. It ain’t heavy enough for a doorstop….

    • G. Kips

      I suppose most books are just as boring for you.

    • John Hinnegan

      I was the same way. I had no interest in the device. By happenstance, I came to possess one. I tried a book or two on it, and kept ordering physical books. Within 2 months, I was totally on the Kindle for all my books and magazines. Within 6 I had sold 4/5ths of my library, and now don’t understand why I didn’t get rid of it all.

      • http://gonzague.me Gonzague Dambricourt

        ;-) whats frustrating is ..when someone offers you a traditional book. I often wish there was some sort of a code in the physical i could type on my kindle to get the digital version… and avoid carrying the heavy, hardcopy.. book

        • equanimous

          ISBN

          • http://gonzague.me Gonzague Dambricourt

            Yeah but more of a redeem code ;)

          • http://twitter.com/librulcarmelite Sister Weasle F.

            Exactly! Like the free digital copy of a movie that you get when you buy the actual DVD…

          • belgand

            As long as you redeem it within a few months after the initial release date. And agree to the DRM. And the DRM system is linked to something that works on your chosen platform.

            There are a lot of these little hoops to jump through and potential incompatibilities. Part of the reason why I’m still such a huge fan of physical media.

    • http://en-gb.facebook.com/people/Rob-Moir/679255871 Rob Moir

      But who wants the kindle itself to be “innnnnteressssssting” to look at? Isn’t anything that takes focus away from words on the “page” a bad thing when you’re reading?

      I have to admit I was dubious before I got a kindle for Christmas, and the thing is that once you start reading you no longer focus on the device but on the book you’re reading inside it. Which is exactly how it should be – and making the device itself appear low-key and muted is a very clever bit of design when you want people to forget the device itself is there and just focus on the content.

  • Timaree

    Drat, I just got a kindle this Christmas. Guess I should have waited on more year! I didn’t know about the movies; will have to check that out.

    • TinyVox

      Time counts too. You’d have had to delay one year your experience of the joy of e-books !

  • http://www.tanjabarnes.com TanjaB

    As it’s been said before “Information wants to be f-r-e-e!”. What better method of delivery?

  • http://jrsedivy.com J.R. Sedivy

    Great strategy – Increase revenue by increasing product accessibility to the masses. Makes me think of the inkjet printer model – practically give away the printer and sell expensive ink.

    • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_OVRSLDBFGSKI2T6RUYSUNWV7FA Jérôme

      It’s actually the razor model. Price razors at a really low point and then racketeer customers with the blades.

      • Guest

        Yeah, except you can’t pirate ink or blades as easily. }:-)

  • grahams

    That Arrington article was from a year and a week ago (Feb 12, 2010), not a week ago.

    • Kevin_Kelly

      My error! I will correct.

  • Wilbur

    Four data points is a slam dunk. You should make zillions on the market!!

    • http://helloform.com/ Fred Oliveira

      Wilbur: first of all, allow me to congratulate you for the brilliant, witty, and glorious remark. You sir must get *all* the women at the parties you attend. Cheers mate.

      I hope, however, that you didn’t miss the part where Jeff Bezos said “Oh, you noticed that!”. Thought it might help you not be an ass on the internet the next time you consider quipping your thoughts.

      • Crackheadbob
      • Andy

        A wry remark that the author interprets to be laden with innuendo is hardly enough evidence to counter balance the minuscule pool of data. It’s an interesting projection but there isn’t anything concrete to back it up.

      • http://www.DavidCDean.com David C Dean

        Relax, he made a reasonable and valid point. It’s interesting, but it’s far too little information to make any concrete assumptions.

        So yes, it absolutely could happen with some subsidy magic, and the graph is an interesting clue that might indicate as much. But a graph with four data points certainly doesn’t mean it’s likely to be $0 by the prescribed date.

  • FabioC

    I’ll wait until after November 2011 when people will start to get paid by Amazon to get a Kindle…

    • http://codercharts.com Agnes Lam

      LOL! I have the same idea … wondering how much they are willing to pay!

  • cvbruce

    Consider you only need one Prime/household. Only one kindle. I’m sure I’d have to buy more.

  • http://scott.blomqui.st/ Scott Blomquist

    Maybe they’ll wait until the day the line should cross $80 to announce free Kindles for Prime subscribers. Which should be about now!

    • Kevin_Kelly

      I didn’t think of that Scott. You are right!

  • nycfam

    Here’s a bright idea. Why not just focus on sending free kindle to their biggest ebook subscribers and ebook clubs, I mean common sense tells me that they would more likely purchase ebooks than a movie subscriber. Why would I want a movie along side kindle? no correlation between movies and ebooks.Also if you think about it, their are so many devices to watch netflix and other movies out there that I wouldnt even want a kindle device, unless it somehow had a social comment like feature similar to an “oprah” book club with fellow bookers!!!

    • brookstalley

      So if I’m one of Amazon’s biggest ebook purchasers, and they send me a free Kindle, I’m going to… what? Buy more of the ebooks that I’m already one of the top purchasers for?

      I think the goal is to get new customers, or increase purchasing among low-volume users. The top buyers are probably already buying every book they have time to read.

  • omg

    Well a lot of phones and gadgets are advertised as ‘free’ already but with a contract, I bet they make way more money selling ebooks than the kindle itself, – I wouldnt be surprised if their strategy is to give them away for free at some point, but tied to a contract of course.

  • http://twitter.com/mockuptiger Mockup Tiger

    time to buy amazon stock

  • Michael Wallace

    I still love books, but I’ve been reading more and more on my Kindle. My books are selling smartly for ereaders, too. In fact, The Righteous, my thriller set in a polygamist enclave has sold 1,000 copies in the last week for Kindles alone. We’ve clearly passed a tipping point.

  • http://fionabunny.wordpress.com/ Nancy

    I hope this forecast true!

  • mike_breslin

    “But last week Michael Arrignton at TechCruch reported on a rumor which hints at a more clever plan: a free Kindle for every Prime customer of Amazon.”

    Your next article should be on your time machine, I’d guess that’s a much bigger story than the (happening since version 1) free kindle speculation.

  • http://www.gyford.com/ Phil Gyford

    This reminded me of this article from the London Review of Books by John Lanchester, about newspapers: http://www.lrb.co.uk/v32/n24/john-lanchester/let-us-pay

    It includes this paragraph:

    “If newspapers switched over to being all online, the cost base would be instantly and permanently transformed. The OECD report puts the cost of printing a typical paper at 28 per cent and the cost of sales and distribution at 24 per cent: so the physical being of the paper absorbs 52 per cent of all costs. (Administration costs another 8 per cent and advertising another 16.) That figure may well be conservative. A persuasive looking analysis in the Business Insider put the cost of printing and distributing the New York Times at $644 million, and then added this: ‘a source with knowledge of the real numbers tells us we’re so low in our estimate of the Times’s printing costs that we’re not even in the ballpark.’ Taking the lower figure, that means that New York Times, if it stopped printing a physical edition of the paper, could afford to give every subscriber a free Kindle. Not the bog-standard Kindle, but the one with free global data access. And not just one Kindle, but four Kindles. And not just once, but every year. And that’s using the low estimate for the costs of printing.”

    If Kindles were free that’d be an even more dramatic comparison…

    • mare

      But even if the NYT stopped printing now, they still have to pay (off) the unionized printers.

      • Brian

        They could give the unionized printers free Kindles…

        • AFP

          BRILLIANT!

    • Kevin_Kelly

      That’s a keen insight. Thanks, Phil.

  • Mister Snitch

    Well-observed. Makes sense to me.

  • jonathanbaldwin

    I heard the Prime = free Kindle thing last year. Still waiting!

  • Dsawyer

    They need a family sharing plan with the books. We buy less kindle books because a with a physical book we can buy one copy and share it. If this was possible with kindle books my family would buy more snooks.

    • Dsawyer904

      “ebooks”

    • Bobrossconsulting

      you can loan ebook, can you not?

    • AJACs

      Set up a specific account just for kindle books and register all your purchases with that account. Two iPhones, 2 iPads, two computers, one ebook.

    • Vogie

      You can set up a single account that doesn’t even have purchasing powers… then “gift” all ebook purchases to that account. No one can go on a shopping spree, and everyone’s Kindle, iPad, iPod Touch, Android, and Blackberry all have the same library

    • Em

       There is a “family plan” – have everyone on the same account.  My husband and two (grown & married) daughters are all on my Kindle account (my K came first, therefore “my” account).  We all have access to all the books on the account. 

  • Tabretro

    I wonder if that will extend to Prime customers of non-US stores? In Japan at least Prime is not as expensive, but then we don’t get all the bells and whistles, but bundling a Kindle as part of the deal would certainly increase the attraction.

  • Iria00

    This idea of giving Prime members free Kindles was actually first theorized in Feb. of last year. But the story is written as though it was just a while ago. Someone needs to check the 10 vs 11

  • http://twitter.com/tsbandito Andrew N

    Agree that this business model would make sense for Amazon, though not sure of the timeline – the sooner the better. A very low price Kindle or bundle with Amazon Prime will be a huge win for the platform.

    I did notice the other day that an Amazon Prime subscription beats a CostCo membership hands down. Once you get me from visiting a box store (great!) moving me to a regular digital downloads on your platform is next.

  • Mikew1201

    While you do make a compelling argument, I’m afraid I’m going to have to disagree with you on this one.

    • Nerb

      If the argument was compelling, why would you disagree with it?

      • anon

        He said “compelling”, not to be confused with “convincing”, I suppose

  • Stereotactic

    This is as weird as it gets! Free Kindle? Unless Amazon wants to piggy back on the logistics chain it has already set up.

  • John Hupp

    Perhaps they’d give you a free kindle every year, but I’d hope they’d tie it to shipping back the old one. I’d hate for all those old Kindles to end up in a landfill.

  • http://www.thedatarevolution.com Dan Murray

    I think the $140 unit is already pretty wonderful for long form reading.

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_WGDP2QZWX65AQWH67IX6MASH4I DisgruntledOne

    I’m not sure why people are flaming you. Here is why:

    Amazon will probably give Kindles away to encourage people to buy eBooks. Why not? It would be a great marketing strategy. “A free Kindle to people who join the Prime plan and/or buy 5 or more eBooks.” That is where books are going anyway, and what a way to carve out a market niche and scoop the Nook, and the iPad.

    • Librulcarmelite

      Well, I don’t think it is where books are going anyway… but I do think that it is one more format that will be available to people in the future.

      Rather than giving away Kindles and such, I wish that you would get a free e-copy with the purchase of the print format edition… like when you get a free digital copy of the movie when you buy the DVD…

  • Wanderley

    Seth Godin calls it the “paperback kindle”. And I don’t know why people are so surprised. It’s the razor, right? eBooks are the blades, so it’s an old business model.

  • Jorge Rodriguez

    Just hope they don’t come with the ‘US only’ policy as they are doing with the Movies service. I’m a proud Amazon Prime customer but I live outside the US, and I was very dissapointed when I attempted to watch a free streamed movie and it told me that the service was available only in the US.

    • Librulcarmelite

      Yes, this is something that is firmly of the LAST century! I will likely end up in Eastern Europe or any of the many, many other places in the world that ISN’T the US ;) And that is precisely WHY I have been moving books to emedia… I can take it easily with me wherever in the world I go…

  • sleepd

    So what? It should be obvious by this point that gadgets are not the value proposition for consumers. Not so slowly but surely, the cows are being led down the chute to paying for the content they consume. Watch all those old memes such as “pay wall” melt away as they become “subscriptions” and “streaming services”.

    What is interesting are the implications for geek technology cultures which previously signified first adopters and heralded either success or failure of a service or product. I’m betting they are being supplanted as a significant demographic – see the decline of email use – by a larger group of younger consumers who are less enthralled with *new* technology and more fluent with content creation. Amazon and iStores fit in well with that. It doesn’t bode well for complicated publication schemes that are not focused on the consumer (cough Google One Pass cough).

  • http://franksting.net.au/ Gavin

    removing the barrier to entry, creating lock in. Sounds familiar…wait – mobile phones!

    • Shifty

      Except it’s not lock in: Kindles can view many file formats, from any source, including plain text and PDF. It’s more like the iTunes Music Store than the iOS App Store: you can get your books from anywhere, and we simply make it easy and convenient to buy from us. (You can buy music anywhere and put it on your iPod; the iTunes Store is simply the easiest way to do so — if the music you want happens to be available there, of course.)

      Joel Spolsky (“Strategy Letter V”) called this “Smart companies try to commoditize their products’ complements.” Amazon sells (among many other things) books and e-books, so they’re happy if their complements are cheaper. It’s not about lock-in: I bet Bezos would be overjoyed if UPS and Fedex found a way to cut their prices in half, or if you could buy an iPad for $20. No lock-in necessary.

      • belgand

        They’re not terribly good at reading books from the library (and don’t even get me started on the weird licensing requirements that limit them to having a certain number of “copies” of digital books… and a due date) or cheap books I pick up from the used shop.

        Especially when you compare this with iTunes. I’ve never bought a song there and I never will… I get music on my iPod by ripping them from CDs and paying less.

        The physical/digital divide is much stronger here and will continue to be an issue. Likewise the Kindle doesn’t currently play nice with plenty of third-party providers like Google Books. Amazon hasn’t simply made their shop the easiest way of getting content, they’ve made it very hard to use other methods.

  • http://www.inamirrordimly.com/ Ed_Cyzewski

    A free kindle as part of a subscriber/Prime Plan would certainly act as a tipping point for me. After reading this article, my theory is that it’s the only way the Kindle can stay competitive with the iPhone and iPad. There is such an allure to those Apple products, at least so far as I can tell, that Amazon needs to make purchasing a Kindle a simple, almost compulsive act.

    • Librulcarmelite

      Especially when you buy that iProduct used!!! You can’t beat the savings not to mention it’s a LOT easier carrying around hundreds of volumes on an iPad or iPod as opposed to print volumes :)

      • belgand

        At the same time, how often do you need to carry around hundreds of volumes? This seems to be an almost unnecessary argument for eReaders. With mp3 players it made sense: you’re listening to a song or an album and at most that will take an hour or so and at least a few minutes. The ability to carry a very large library makes sense there. With a book, however, I can rarely see the need to carry more than one or two (assuming you might be finishing the current book shortly).

        I think the killer app in this regard is actually textbooks and reference books. If you’re a student or academic doing research there is a much greater need to carry an array of a half-dozen or so books most of the time. Large, heavy textbooks at that.

        Not only do they have the advantage in storing large collections, but search, annotation and other features are far more useful and necessary in this area than they are to the casual reader. Academic journals will still need to be read and utilized on computers, but the additional ability to access them on an eReader would certainly be a boon in many fields.

        The only flaw is that this would require devices capable of color and with a good ability to display graphics. I also suspect that it would only come to a suitably open platform, not one as locked-down as the Kindle with only one provider.

        The prices are already obscene so any option to reduce those prices will work and publishers already try very hard to find ways to kill the used market (a scam itself unless you sell privately; paying half of the standard campus bookstore used price benefits both parties almost by a factor of ten). Considering many textbooks are currently the price of a Kindle it should be trivial to find a way to encourage their acceptance heavily. Offer a slight discount, throw in the Kindle for free if you spend $300 or so (roughly one semester’s worth of books) and it would sell wonderfully. Partnering with schools and offering a method to automatically find and buy all of your books for a semester would help greatly with keeping students with it through convenience. Why bother tracking down all the books you need, ordering them in advance (either online or reserving them with the campus bookstore) when you can get everything within minutes with a single click and not even having to think about it.

        For personal reading I can’t see any real advantages to an eReader, especially in the current form, compared to printed books that come with a low price, resalability, no DRM, and the sort of firm, final ownership that physical goods provide… but I can still see that textbooks would be amazing opportunity.

        • http://www.myrealnameismatt.com Matt Cullen

          I’m not trying to be contrary, though it may seem that way. My experience is nearly the opposite of what you’re saying.

          Travel is one situation in which the Kindle excels, and where the multiple books argument works.

          If I’m going somewhere for more than a couple of days there’s a good chance I’ll finish whatever book I’m reading. With paper books, depending on how long I will be gone for, that means carrying as many as five books at a time. Taking the Kindle I carry one item that’s smaller than a single book and I have plenty of options to choose from. If I run out of unread material, or just don’t feel like reading what I have, it’s easy to buy a new one anywhere with cell service.

          I used to think text books were going to be the killer use, but have changed my mind about that, at least in the current state of the Kindle. The problem is that you can’t flip through the pages on a Kindle. Know roughly where something is in a book, but not the exact page number? With a paper book, flip through a few pages, glance at what’s on them and you’ll probably find it pretty quickly. It’s much slower and more difficult to do the same with kindle. More like press Menu, select Go To, enter a location number, glance at the page, guess another location number and repeat the process. You also can’t hold open the Kindle to one page while referencing something on another page like you can with a text book.

          On the other hand, the ability to quote and make notes as you read is wonderful.

          I’m sure there’s a way to design a UI in such a way that the Kindle will make sense as a text book. It’s just not there yet

  • Rollerboi

    Never extrapolate. Haven’t you taken high school statistics?

  • http://twitter.com/cfrogfood Charity Froggenhall

    I wouldn’t actually buy one, but I am a Prime customer already (and I have an Amazon Visa so I buy Kindle books to get 3x the points). So I’ll gladly take one if they want to give it to me. :)

  • huh?

    I think something that could be very competitive for the kindle is if it were to offer some of the capabilities of the nook and other e-reading devices. I know that Amazon wants to try an keep things dedicated, and the money within the company, but if they opened up the software to allowing access to google e-books, and other services, they’d be even more competitive.

    While the Kindle isn’t the first e-reader out there, it initially was the gold standard. Now that more competitive e-readers are on the market, all that glisters is not gold. Nook, and I-Pad among others offer access to google e-books and you can even check out e-books from, at least from my local library, to the nook. The most you can do, book wise, with the kindle is buy and share for 14 days with another kindle owner.

  • Caveat Emptor

    What about another possibility? A priced Kindle, but with a certain number of books and magazines or newspapers for free.

    The current model suffers because the books, magazines and newspapers are typically more expensive on the Kindle than the paperback versions. I wish Amazon sold the Kindle as a tree saver, and additionally being a money saver.

  • Adrian Meli

    Hadn’t heard of the free kindle for prime idea but it would seem to make sense along with the free streaming video service. Amazon is a scary company to compete against because they keep their margins low and give so much of the economics back to the customer. It is very smart to push people to Prime obviously because it makes Amazon’s service stickier, similar to the Costco model. Once you have paid for Prime, you get everything quickly and love Amazon. I have been continually impressed at how Amazon has sacraficed short term profitability for the long-term health of the business and this would be another example of that. – Adrian Meli

  • http://www.ricardojorge.net/ Ricardo Jorge

    Wow, do want!

  • http://pulse.yahoo.com/_GSLO4RIXWYPAI2EPRQTF25KLRQ Br.Bill

    I’m holding out for direct brain download.

  • Rochelle MacDonald

    Mine is free in that I have the Kindle app for iPad. It has it’s advantages over iBooks, like more selection and more attractive pricing of books. I like the formatting and usability of iBooks better, though.

    • Librulcarmelite

      I too use the iPad Kindle app… and the nook app… and the stanza app… and the iBooks app… and the app for my local libraries… I am now a bibliophile of both the print and ebook type.

      • Victoria Miller

        I agree, but the “feel” of the kindle screen is sooo much better… My husband has an Ipad and I get tired reading in it after 1/2 hour. I can go on reading the my kindle for hours. All its missing is a better nav system.

  • Cifarelli

    How does paying $80/year = free?

    • Kevin_Kelly

      It’s what economists call a marginal cost of zero. It’s like the free car wash if you buy gas, or free item in buy one get two, or the free movies you get on cable. There is no extra cost beyond what you already pay. The extra — the margin – is free.

  • http://www.handheld-ebook-reader.com/ Jen

    I would love a free Kindle. But, do you think they will want to “cheapen” its image so much. The latest ad seems to be trying to prove its hip – young and sexy but being free would totally destroy any success in promoting that image in the future.

  • http://www.rightnowintech.com Antriksh Yadav

    And you had to write this just after I purchased my new Kindle I am typing this on.

  • ah

    According to this chart, the price of a Kindle should be about $100 right now. But you can’t even buy a used one for that. It seems kind of foolish to use this to project the future when it can’t even predict the past.

  • http://twitter.com/Betsy_Manning Betsy Manning

    I love my first generation Kindle, but wondered why Amazon didn’t create a built-in way to buy ALL their merch through it. It’s great for the e-books, but it would have been smart to allow it to order everything they offer including physical books. Seems like a huge missed opportunity.

  • Oranges

    Doubtful. I see where you’re going – considering most of the money to be made is not in the hardware, but in the books you must buy.
    But they can continue to develop new versions at “full price” and just discontinue old ones that are no longer profit-worthy.

    See: Apple

  • Yo

    Silly me.

  • U0010002

    Hmmm Why do I need free shipping (with Prime) if 99% of my amazon purchases are going to be e-books for my “free” kindle?!?

    So now I go from a $139 outright purchase (over a 5 yr expected life) to $80 * 5 yrs = $400!!!

    Nope – no thanks!

    • http://WillCBrown.com/ Will Brown

      It would be yet another incentive for people to sign up for Amazon Prime. Free shipping, free movie streaming, free Kindle!

      As a Prime user, I actually buy a lot more from Amazon. Why go to the store to buy a pack of batteries? I can get them cheap on Amazon and have them in 2 days.

      Amazon would more than make up for the $139 from the increased revenue.

  • http://kinreader.com/ ziad

    At first, Bloggers were saying that Amazon was selling the Kindle at a loss. Now they are saying that the Kindle costs little to make. Either way, if it is true that they are giving away the Kindle for Prime members, then this is clearly ambition on a grand scale.

    But that doesn’t mean it will succeed. Amazon’s largesse may allow it to potentially give away Kindles, but it it certainly not a bulletproof strategy.

  • http://www.wonderoftech.com Carolyn Nicander Mohr

    Makes me proud to be an Amazon Prime member. Fingers crossed this prediction is accurate!

  • ctd

    We’re due for a $99 Kindle right about now.

  • http://www.profitperspectives.com/ Steven Appenzeller

    Perhaps the direction Amazon could take in providing free, or at least below cost, hardware would be to enhance its capabilities to purchase more than just e-books. Looking at Amazon’s recent moves in the Android space as well as their product development efforts it seems as if they are building a whole ecosystem geared towards competing with Apple. Perhaps a “kPad” is in the works… http://www.profitperspectives.com/2011/03/meet-amazon-kpad.html

  • Chris Boers

    And now Amazon has lowered the price of its Kindle with another $25, making the price-tag 114 dollar. The new ad-included Kindle will ship starting May 3, RIGHT on time to match the declining forecast line.

  • Ed Gauthier

    You’re talking Kindle 1 or Kindle 2? Because Kindle 2 is so superior that I’m shocked that little piece of black and white junk Kindle 1 wasn’t being given away a long time ago!

  • Myeachia

    i want i kindal so bad im dying to get one

  • Terencehughes

    So much for being an early adopter. Shit.

  • Dafjji

    according to that chart, the kindle should currently cost 40 USD. It currently costs 140 USD. Is everyone else seeing something that I am not?

    • ctd

      Lowest priced version is now $114, and that’s been for a bit and was introduced almost on par with prediction.

      The key is that when the price drops it will match prediction…but the price drops are erratic, so may stay above the curve for a while.

      Upshot is we’re about due for another price drop, and that to near $40.

  • Uriah Smith

    Well, one, your data points are lacking in numbers, plus, if they really are going to be “Free” in november, email me when they are free, because you know what, your slope is too steadily depleting, you only have four data points, and dude, come on, you can’t predict the future

  • http://www.facebook.com/people/Crystal-Potter/100002991285049 Crystal Potter

    Amazon has a free Kindle app for your PC.

  • http://www.m2mdaily.com/m2m-editorials/m2m-or-m-to-m/ m2m

    It’s great for the e-books,But you can’t even buy a used one for that.even if I agree, but the “feel” of the kindle screen is sooo much better.

  • Yorutomo777

    This reminded me of this article from the London Review of Books by John Lanchester, about newspapers: http://www.yorutomo-gaido.com/