Numbers Up, Prices Down

As e-readers and e-reading software proliferate like well-fed rats, we have the inevitable price drop. Amazon slashed the basic Kindle down to $189 to compete with the Nook, which promptly slashed its basic price down to $199 and is putting out a just the Wi-Fi Nook for $149. Those who paid substantially more in earlier years for a Kindle — well, you paid to have it early. Which is how it works for the most sought after  e-books too.

So it looks like the e-market is developing along as expected. But I would suspect that you aren’t going to be seeing $40 e-readers in the grocery store any time soon. I’d say that the lowest prices will hoover around $90, at least for the next few years. New toys are coming, which will effect the e-reading market, so there will be a leveling out, especially as the middle class is essentially gone in most of the world. But still, it’s maybe a good sign of expansion.

I’m amused at the grumbling on the Net that the e-readers will just be this little niche market with their millions and millions of customers. In the electronics world, this is true — it is just a niche — but for book publishing, it’s a huge number of buyers and quite welcome.

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