June 21st, 2010 update: International Kindle price has been dropped to $189 and the two Kindles are rolled into one i.e. only the Kindle 2 International remains and becomes the default Kindle.
Amazon has, in parallel with the introduction of the Kindle US & International Wireless version, dropped the price of the Kindle 2 to $259.
- This is great news as it’s a drop of $40 and brings the Kindle 2 ever closer to the magical sub $200 mark.
- There are also some naming changes as Amazon has begun to refer to the Kindle 2 as the Kindle US Wireless, Latest Generation.
- It gives US customers something to be happy about as the Kindle goes International.
Do check my Kindle 2 Review for an in-depth look at the Kindle US Wireless (earlier Kindle 2).
What does a $249 Kindle 2 mean?
Amazon now have a very compelling value proposition when compared to other eReaders –
- The $149 refurbished Kindle 1.
- The $219 refurbished Kindle 2.
- The $259 Kindle 2 aka Kindle US Wireless.
This ensures no other eReader company currently beats Amazon on prize or value for money. Especially when you factor in Free Internet Access via WhisperNet.
The Kindle 2 is also at 6,693 Kindle 2 reviews (from customers) and the new lower price and the Kindle US & International Wireless version ought to boost Kindle Sales and significantly increase the number of reviews at Amazon.
Why cut the price in parallel with the International Version?
It’s probably a combination of factors –
- Amazon are probably reaching better economies of scale.
- Sony’s new offerings are threatening to take some portion of holiday sales.
- The postage, custom duties, etc. mean they had to optimize on the price of the Kindle International Version. Those savings carried over to Kindle 2 too.
- Amazon sees the opportunity to greatly expand its Kindle customer base before Apple and Plastic Logic jump in (early 2010).
It wouldn’t make sense to sell the International Version for a lower price than the US version. It would make US consumers feel they were getting a worse deal.
For International customers it makes sense that international wireless ability costs a bit more. Although you have to emphatize with their pain of paying custom duties and postage.
So what we get is a nice $40 cut, a new name (Kindle US Wireless) and a great, low priced, $259 Kindle 2.