Tuesday, March 15, 2011

'Smartphone and Free Kindle', Certainly Sir!

If you were a ereader platform and wanted to extend your market in the UK the best option to do it is through bundling it in with mobile providers on a non exclusive basis and to choose Carphone Warehouse who dominate the independent channel. Next to line it up with the traditional consumer electronic devices retailers such as PC World, Currys and Comet, finally make sure its available through the bulk shippers such as Best Buy.

That is what Amazon has done with the Kindle with the Wi-Fi-only version is priced at £111 and the 3G and Wi-Fi Kindle 3G version priced at £152 Kindle 3G. The twist comes when you select a smartphone contract and effectively get the basic Kindle free or the Kindle 3G for a one off cost of £15.

As most book sellers will discover selling ebook readers is not what they do or should expect their staff to do. They are booksellers and as we have pointed out are ill equipped to sell ereaders. The interesting thing now is that the eInk contenders all look sidelined and struggling to compete in a market when a multi platform service such as the Kindle is effectively going for the channel killer.

We have never been a lover of the eInk solution but in the Kindle platform it makes sense and we would even buy into it. This latest move by Amazon clearly gives everyone else a challenge and we believe that unless the service, the reader platform and the reach is multi platform the game could be up in the UK ebook market.

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