$100 Kindle WiFi on Black Friday to match Nook WiFi?

Thanks to Lucy S. we know that Best Buy will offer the Nook WiFi at $100 on Black Friday.

The Nook WiFi normally retails at $149, $10 more than the $139 Kindle WiFi, so a $100 price is a huge bargain. Best Buy’s Black Friday flyers pretty much confirm the Nook WiFi will sell for just $100.

Given that it’s Black Friday and the start of the most important retail period of the year it’s hard to imagine Amazon will not match this offer by offering Kindle WiFi for $100 or $110.

$100 Kindle WiFi – Why Amazon might not have a choice 

On paper the Kindle WiFi outpaces the Nook WiFi. Kindle WiFi comes with the new eInk Pearl screen, it has text to speech, performs better, and now even has Kindle Apps of two different types to back it up.

However, the Nook WiFi supports ePub, supports library books, and is available at a lot more retail stores than the Kindle – including at WalMart and at every B&N store. At $100 it clearly becomes a more compelling option than a $139 Kindle WiFi – even though users would, in a few months, probably regret choosing the older generation eInk screen.

$100 is a magical figure (marketers would say $99 and $97 are more magical) and a $100 Nook WiFi would completely decimate Kindle WiFi sales – Amazon doesn’t really have an option other than to go with a $100 Kindle WiFi.

Why we have a $100 Nook WiFi

B&N, with the help of Best Buy, is creating very interesting market segmentation –

  1. $100 Nook WiFi for value conscious readers. It’s almost certainly going to stick with this price throughout the holiday season.
  2. $199 Nook to appeal to hard-core readers. The price for Nook might come down to $170 or even $150.
  3. $249 Nook Color to appeal to the ‘it has to do more than just read/books look better in color’ non-purists.

The $100 Nook WiFi totally undercuts the $139 Kindle WiFi and the Nook Color steals away casual readers. B&N could complete its attack by cutting the price of the Nook to $150 and creating a deeper integration with Google’s offerings.

It’s a much smarter way to attack the Kindle than Sony’s strategy last year of introducing a pocket edition and a daily edition to supplement its core Sony Reader Touch Edition.

Apart from the strategy benefits B&N has to unload its stock of Nook WiFis. Very soon after the Nook WiFi was released the Kindle WiFi was released with the newer generation eInk Pearl screen and lots of great features and a lower price. It probably destroyed Nook WiFi sales and B&N might have a few hundred thousand lonesome Nook WiFis withering away in their warehouse.

With one stroke of Black Friday magic B&N gets rid of its surplus stock and attacks Amazon’s Kindle WiFi sales.

$100 Kindle WiFi vs $100 Nook WiFi

What if both Kindle WiFi and Nook WiFi were at $100 – Which one should you get?

  • If you really need ePub support or support for Library books or the B&N store features then the Nook WiFi is a good choice.
  • In almost every other case the Kindle WiFi is a better option as it’s a third generation eReader while the Nook WiFi is a second generation eReader.

Even at $110 or $115 the Kindle WiFi is a better option than the Nook WiFi (unless you need library book support). At $120 to $139 for the Kindle WiFi it becomes a very tough decision – Then it comes down to what you think of eInk Pearl and which eReader features are most important to you.  

In either case it’s great for readers and ebooks

Regardless of whether users buy a $100 Nook WiFi or a $100 Kindle WiFi it’s great for all of us readers. More eReaders = More eBook sales = More power to readers.

$100 truly is a magical price – The minute people see $99 it seems not that much more than $90 or $10 and a lot less than $149 and $110 and $100. Instead of sweaters that get worn only at funny sweater parties and ties that only decorate moth-eaten cupboards people will be handing out Nook WiFis and Kindle WiFis and hoping they will be cherished gifts – and they probably will.

B&N is bringing us the $100 eReader and Amazon will have to play along. So, it’s quite likely that this Black Friday we’ll have a $100 Kindle WiFi competing with the discounted $100 Nook WiFi.

Kindle vs Kindle WiFi

We’ve seen the $139 Kindle WiFi and the $189 Kindle 3 arrive today and one of the hot topics at the kindle forum is Kindle vs Kindle WiFi.

This Kindle vs Kindle WiFi comparison post will explain the differences between the two and help you choose the right Kindle for your needs.

Note: Kindle 3 has BOTH 3G and WiFi and you can switch between them freely. You can choose to use WiFi instead of 3G. Kindle WiFi, on the other hand, has only WiFi.

Note: You only need 3G or WiFi when you are downloading books or browsing the Kindle Store or Internet. It is NOT needed when reading. Once you have a book on your Kindle WiFi or Kindle 3 you can read it without being connected.

Kindle vs Kindle WiFi – Exactly what are the differences 

There are, to the best of my knowledge, just two significant differences –

  1. Price – Kindle WiFi is $139 and $50 cheaper than the $189 Kindle 3.  
  2. Free 3G – Kindle WiFi does not have 3G and will not benefit from free wireless via AT&T’s network. You will have to find a WiFi network/hot spot to browse the Kindle Store and browse the Internet.

There are also 3 minor differences –  

  1. Weight – Kindle WiFi is 8.5 ounces and Kindle 3 is 8.7 ounces.
  2. Name – They’re named differently and have different serial numbers.
  3. Kindle WiFi is only available in Graphite. Kindle 3 in White and Graphite.

Let’s look at Kindle vs Kindle WiFi differences.

Kindle vs Kindle WiFi – $50 vs Free 3G

The benefits of Free 3G include (provided you’re using the Kindle 3 in places covered by AT&T’s network) –

  1. Browsing the Kindle Store.
  2. Downloading Kindle Books in 60 seconds.
  3. Free Internet Access – This includes Wikipedia and Internet sites via the built-in browser. The browser is experimental and while mobile sites work other sites might not. The 3G is also somewhat slow.

The benefit of getting the Kindle WiFi is – $50.

What is WiFi?

WiFi is simply a wireless network that lets you connect your laptop or mobile device to the Internet. An example would be a wireless modem that creates a wireless network in your home which you use to access the Internet from your laptop (without needing a physical Internet cable).

Another example is a coffee shop that takes its Internet connection and creates a wireless network (also called WiFi hotspot) which its customers use to access the Internet.

Kindle WiFi depends on these WiFi networks to connect to the Kindle Store, to download books, and to access the Internet. If you have a wireless network at home or work the Kindle WiFi should work (you might need to figure out the password). Additionally, Kindle WiFi works with AT&T WiFi hotspots.

How does Kindle WiFi work with AT&T WiFi Hotspots?

Kindle WiFi works automatically with AT&T WiFi Hotspots. If a coffee shop or a mall has an AT&T WiFi HotSpot your Kindle WiFi will automatically recognize it and work –

Free Access at AT&T Hotspots
Enjoy free Wi-Fi access at AT&T hotspots across the U.S. for shopping and downloading Kindle content – no AT&T registration, sign-in, or password required.

This is a nice benefit although Internet access is not included.

Kindle vs Kindle WiFi – Cases where the Kindle WiFi is better

You don’t really need Kindle 3 with 3G in case –

  1. You will mostly use your Kindle WiFi in areas where you have access to a WiFi network. For example – If you use your Kindle WiFi mostly at home and you have a WiFi network setup at home then you don’t really need the Kindle 3. Save the $50.   
  2. If you happen to have a decent number of AT&T WiFi Hotspots where you usually head out for reading or near your house then you should do fine with the Kindle WiFi.
  3. Some coffee shops have a free wireless network. Again, the Kindle WiFi will do just fine – ask the Barista for the network password and you’re set.

Basically, if you have access to a wireless network at home and where you read outside the house then you can get by with the Kindle WiFi.

There are two qualifiers –

  1. If you travel a lot, and especially if it involves international travel, you should get the Kindle 3 with 3G.  
  2. Even if you don’t have WiFi networks handy you can go with the Kindle WiFi if you don’t mind searching for books on your PC and downloading Kindle books to the PC. You can transfer books from your PC to the Kindle WiFi via USB – It’s pretty straightforward.

At $139 Kindle WiFi is a great value and if you don’t need the 3G (or can do without it) it makes sense to get it.

Kindle vs Kindle WiFi – Cases where the Kindle 3 with 3G is better

If you fall into one or more of these categories –

  1. Don’t understand WiFi at all and don’t have home Internet. Note: WiFi is quite simple. So do give it a shot before deciding Kindle WiFi isn’t good enough.
  2. Can’t be bothered to learn how to set up WiFi at home and how to find WiFi hotspots. 
  3. Really value the fact that Kindle 3 with 3G is much more convenient.
  4. Travel a lot and don’t want to keep looking for WiFi networks.
  5. Travel internationally or move around internationally and don’t want to bother with WiFi.  
  6. Will use your Kindle a lot on commutes where WiFi networks will not be available.
  7. Don’t think $50 is a big deal.

Then please get the Kindle 3 with 3G. The $50 is worth it since you get free Internet and it’s very convenient.

There are a few qualifiers –

  1. Keep in mind that AT&T network isn’t available everywhere. If you read mostly at home and have a WiFi network at home but AT&T’s network doesn’t cover your home – Well, it makes little sense to get the 3G Kindle 3.  
  2. If you plan on moving to a different country or different state it makes sense to get the Kindle 3G – You might find that you no longer have any free WiFi hotspots nearby.
  3. $50 isn’t that much in the grand scheme of things. Kindle 3 with 3G will pay that back in many ways – perhaps just the convenience of using it on a vacation, perhaps through higher resale value, perhaps when the 3G saves you (at a time when WiFi isn’t available or is very expensive).

If $50 isn’t a deal-breaker consider going with the Kindle 3 with 3G. Kindle vs Kindle WiFi should tilt towards Kindle 3 – unless you always have a WiFi network around when you’re reading. Also consider taking a look at this Kindle vs Kindle WiFi discussion at the official Kindle Forum.

Kindle WiFi Review

This Kindle WiFi Review is based on about an hour of playing around with the Kindle 3 – courtesy the Kindle Team.

Kindle WiFi comes in for the ridiculously low price of $139. It doesn’t have 3G wireless and that means if you can’t find a WiFi network – no free Internet, no browsing the Kindle Store, no 60 second book downloads. It weighs in at 8.5 ounces and is a little lighter than the Kindle 3 (8.7 ounces). In every other way Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are identical.

Please check out my Kindle 3 Review for a detailed list of improvements and a discussion of Kindle 3 strengths and weaknesses. Except for the 3G wireless part all of these apply to the Kindle WiFi.

Kindle WiFi Review – Lighter, Easier, and Much Better

Amazon’s focus with Kindle WiFi and Kindle 3 seems to have been to focus even more on reading, make the Kindle even easier, and add on as many improvements as possible.

Here are the key improvements –

  1. 50% better screen contrast.
  2. 15% more compact.
  3. 21% lighter.
  4. 20% faster page turns.
  5. Double the memory.
  6. Double the battery life with wireless off (up to 1 month). With wireless on you get just 10 days.  
  7. Much better usability of buttons and keys.

There are also some improvements in the various features –

  1. Better PDF support including the ability to add notes and highlights to PDFs and use the dictionary. Kindle WiFi also supports password protected PDFs.
  2. Better Accessibility – All the menus and the home page now have Text To Speech enabled.
  3. Sharper Fonts – Amazon is using some complicated algorithms to draw sharper fonts.
  4. Page turn buttons no longer make a loudish clicking noise.
  5. There are now 3 Font types – Serif, Sans-Serif, and Condensed.

Overall, the Kindle WiFi is a very compelling eReader and at $139 it’s insanely good value for money.

Kindle WiFi Review – Disadvantages

All the disadvantages mentioned in the Kindle 3 Review post apply. There are some Kindle WiFi disadvantages worth going over again – the lack of 3G, being dependent on a WiFi network for book downloads, the tiny size and accompanying fragility (perhaps, not sure how sturdy it is), lack of ePub support, the missing row of number keys, lack of an SD card slot, lack of a replaceable battery. If one of these is a deal breaker skip the Kindle WiFi.

Not having 3G wireless is a significant drawback – However, if you can get by on WiFi or by using your PC it shouldn’t be a concern.

Kindle WiFi Review – Kindle WiFi keeps the focus on reading

Perhaps the best part of playing with the Kindle 3 was seeing that the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi continue to be dedicated reading devices focused on reading books and on making everything very simple.

You see this in a lot of ways – much better screen contrast, faster page turns, no multi-purposeness added, no touchscreen, keys moved to be more convenient, page turn buttons improved. Amazon has refused to let the iPad’s success poison the Kindle’s focus on reading and that’s a beautiful thing.

Kindle WiFi Review – Kindle WiFi is Very Strongly Recommended

Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi are instantly the best available eReaders. Kindle WiFi exceeds every other eReader (including the Kindle 3) in providing value for money by coming in at $139. Basically, there’s nothing close to the Kindle WiFi other than Kindle 3 and that’s $50 more.

Kindle WiFi undercuts the Nook WiFi by $10 and also has significant advantages – the eInk Pearl screen, better PDF support, faster page turns, more memory, more battery life, better usability, etc. Nook WiFi has its own advantages –  lending, ePub, the promise of Android, Chess and Sudoku. Overall though, Kindle WiFi easily beats Nook WiFi.

Kindle WiFi is very strongly recommended. It’s a beautiful little eReader with lots of impressive features. Hopefully this Kindle WiFi review helped you – let me know if you have any questions.