E-reader Price Wars, and Product Competition, Continue

by Shah Hamadan Khan, age 13

These days it seems everything is available through technology, even reading material.  In recent years, Amazon and Barnes & Noble have developed e-readers, and made available thousands of books for purchase and download online.

Sony produced the first e-reader in 2006. Soon after that Amazon announced a version of its reading tablet, the Kindle. Then, Barnes & Noble came out with another e-reader called the Nook.  The Kindle and the Nook quickly dominated the market since these e-readers came equipped with innovative features, such as Wi-Fi connectivity, making it possible for avid readers to download books from almost anywhere.

These so-called “e-books” are attractive to readers because they are cheaper than hard copy books; most are ten dollars and under, which saves the consumer money. Some versions of e-readers also offer video games.

Recently, these products have undergone major price reductions.  The Kindle’s price has gone down from $259 to $189. The price for a Nook has dropped from $259 to $199.  Even though Amazon and Barnes & Noble seem to make the two most popular e-readers, Apple’s iPad is also creating serious competition. Other companies are also joining the market. These companies include Sony, Panasonic, and Samsung. The e-readers produced by these companies are generally less technologically advanced e-readers, and less expensive.

Amazon and Barnes & Noble continue to introduce new versions of e-readers. And they continue to reduce their prices to attract more customers. They also continue to add more features to increase their sales. Market experts don’t yet know how advanced these tablets will get, or how inexpensive the products need to be in order to gain more customers. But this new brand of consumer product does appear to be here to stay.

[Sources: USA Today;  MobileRead Wiki]

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