Why is Kindle DX so expensive?

Kindle DX is really expensive. Think about this for a second –

  1. Kindle WiFi is $65. Nook Simple Touch is $79. Nook Simple Touch is on sale in the UK for 29 pounds. Both Kindle WiFi and Nook Simpl Touch have eInk Pearl screens – same as Kindle DX.
  2. Kindle WiFi and Nook Simple Touch have 800 by 600 screen resolution with 167 pixels per inch.
  3. Kindle DX has the same eInk Pearl screen, just in a bigger 9.7″ size. It has 1200 x 824 screen resolution with 150 pixels per inch (so it’s not like it has HD resolution or anything). It doesn’t have a touch screen. It’s $299.

How strange is that.

You’re getting a bigger screen (2.5 times the screen area). However, you’re getting lower pixel density. You are getting the same 2-year-old eInk Pearl screen. You are not getting a touch screen.

Instead of $69*2 ($138) or even $79*2 ($158), you’re expected to pay $299? That’s nearly 5 times the price of the Kindle WiFi. That’s nearly 4 times the price of the Nook Simple Touch which also has a touch screen.

Why is Kindle DX so expensive?

What does Kindle DX offer that makes it so much more expensive?

  1. The 9.7″ screen is probably double the price of the Kindle WiFi. If the Kindle WiFi screen costs $30 to $40, then the Kindle DX screen shouldn’t be more than $60 to $80.
  2. There’s 4 GB RAM. Can’t be very expensive. Perhaps $20 to $30.
  3. The processor has to be a bit faster to support the larger screen. We know the screen isn’t very snappy, so the processor can’t be that much faster.
  4. There’s a 3G modem. Perhaps $25 to $35 for that.
  5. A power charger is included. Perhaps it costs $5 to $10 to make.

So we’re talking about $155. Perhaps another $15. That’s $170.

Where is the other $129?

Additionally, and this is the real question, if Kindle WiFi can be just $69, and Nook Simple Touch with a touchscreen can be just $79, then why does Kindle DX have to be $299.

Something’s wrong for Kindle DX to be $299

Something has to be very wrong for Kindle DX to still be priced at $299 –

  1. Kobo Aura HD is $169 with a HD eInk screen. Are we to believe that the Kindle DX screen costs more than a HD screen? $130 more?
  2. Kindle DX has components that are all 2 years old. Everything – the processor, the memory, the storage. Surely, prices must have gone down since then.
  3. Every other Kindle has seen prices drop massively within 1-2 years of release. Kindle DX is still being sold for close to its launch price. Why?
  4. Kindle DX has the exact same features as at launch. It has 2-3 weeks battery life while the other Kindles have moved to 1-2 months. Magically, the price hasn’t been reduced.

If Kindle WiFi is $69, then the logical price range for Kindle DX is between $120 and $170. Why is it at a ridiculously high $299?

Is Amazon incredibly inefficient? Is Amazon just taking advantage of people who want a large screen eReader?

There are a few possibilities –

  1. The same company that can make a 6″ Kindle WiFi for $69 can’t bring the price of the Kindle DX below $299. For some reason, when it comes to large-screen eReaders, Amazon is incredibly inefficient.
  2. Amazon knows that there is zero competition in the 9.7″ eInk eReader market and is making the most of it.
  3. Amazon has a huge stockpile of unsold Kindle DXes. It’s selling these off. It would rather sell them slowly than take a loss.
  4. Kindle DX sold in extremely small numbers. As a result, the 9.7″ screen never hit economies of scale and is incredibly expensive ($150? $125?). That makes Kindle DX impossible to make and sell for less than $299.
  5. Amazon thinks of the Kindle DX as the luxury model. It’s quite possible. If we look at the $499 Kindle Fire HD 8.9″ LTE, which is now $399, Amazon tried the ‘luxury model’ approach there too. It’s very strange but perhaps Amazon truly does believe you can sell an economy model as a luxury model just by pretending it’s ‘luxury’ level of quality.

Kindle DX is about double the price it should be. Apart from the large screen and the 3G, it has nothing going for it. It’s 2 years old. All the components are 2 years old. The screen is 2 years old. Not sure what Amazon is thinking. Would love to know exactly why Kindle DX is so expensive.


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