Ereader Price Wars Continue: Amazon releases $139 Kindle Wi-Fi

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I think it’s amazing that only a year ago, Amazon was the only big player in the ebook world with their Kindle. Now, they have some major competition from Barnes & Noble with the release of the Nook last November. And it appears that B&N is leading the way in ereader pricing.

About a month ago, B&N lowered the price of the Nook 3G + WiFi to $199 from $259. They followed that by releasing a WiFi-only version of Nook for $149. Amazon quickly followed by lowering the price of their Kindle 2 to $189. Now, they have announced a WiFi-only Kindle that will retail for $139.

Why Amazon insists on keeping the Kindle only $10 lower than the Nook is beyond me. Maybe that’s as low as they can go and still make a healthy profit on the device. Or maybe Amazon did some research and found that a $10 difference has a big psychological effect on consumers.

I also wonder if Amazon was taken by surprise by the $149 Nook WiFi and had to scramble to get a similar Kindle onto the market. Or, if they had the Kindle WiFi already in the pipeline and maybe sped up production in response to B&N’s

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