Hours after Barnes & Noble slashed the price of its Nook e-reader and debuted an even cheaper basic model, Amazon responded with a price cut of its own for the competing Kindle.
Amazon’s Kindle is now $189, down $70 from the previous price and $10 cheaper than a comparable Nook. Both the Kindle and the top-tier Nook include 3G connectivity for downloading e-books from the road, though the Nook also has Wi-Fi.
Separately, Barnes & Noble released a version of the Nook with only Wi-Fi connectivity for $150. Amazon has not announced a cheaper Kindle with reduced features. In fact, the retailer is rumored to be working on a thinner and more responsive version of its e-reader for launch in August. Amazon also bought a company that makes color, multi-touch screens, but Bloomberg’s sources said the upcoming Kindle will not have color or a touch screen.
As Business Insider points out, Amazon and Barnes & Noble are racing to the bottom, and it’s got to be hurting them especially with loss-leader e-book prices, but the result is great for consumers. That’s certainly true, but the other casualties in this price war are the other e-reader makers, those who were trying to feed a demand for cheap and basic e-readers, such as Cool-er, or those who are selling more feature-rich readers at a price premium, such as Spring Design with the Alex. For these companies, it’ll be too hard to compete with Kindle and Nook prices so low.