Wednesday, July 14, 2010

The $100 eBook Reader is Coming

We have been saying for a long time that the eInk reader price had to drop to a point where it becomes a throw away commodity. We have seen recent skirmish with Nook and Amazon but today we saw the first real push into that price point space.

eBookNewser has reported that Books-A-Million has been selling one version of the Sony eReader which was originally $299 for $99 and $89 to members. Guess what - within hours the members-only special offer had sold out. Ok we offer was limited to just one version, restricted to members and was a time window offer, but it clearly proves that people will buy at the right price and we will continue to suggest that $100 is it.

If a real price war were to start today it will be interesting to watch. With the recent demise of iRex and Cooler readers and many others probably looking shaky it is easy to see the opportunity for many to dump their inventory onto the market and cut their losses. This has to drive down the high end machines and it is a brave man who stick at the old price. The likely winners are those who like Amazon can cross subsidise any loss, those with a sizeable repository on offer and the brave.

We predict that the price of many readers will fall to $100 before the Christmas buying season. However consumers beware that the first to be on offer will be the old models, refurbished ones and generally those that are sitting on shelves waiting to be written off in the ebooks. Also consumers must ensure that the readers, especially the less know ones, are capable of doing what they says on the box.

1 comment:

Ben said...

I would suggest that if this truely was a Sony eReader then its a total loss leader to encourage membership/PR. Veho have been looking at eReader technology for the last 24 months and the quality of some of the units that would lend themselve to a $99 price point is truely abysmal. Poor build, terrible software and very limited functionality. I might be old school but give me my notebook, Blackberry and hardback any day and that goes for the iPad as well !
Ben Vallance