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Amazon Slashes Kindle Price To $189

The price war for standalone ebook readers continues as Amazon has cut the price of its Kindle from $259 to $189, a $70 cut (or 27 per cent), which comes after rival Barnes & Noble reduced the price of its Nook reader to $199.

Both devices are facing the threat of Apple's iPad which, at $499, is more than twice the price of either but offers significantly more features like a larger colour capacitive touchscreen, a faster processor and the ability to browse the internet.

Amazon and B&N however both have free apps for Apple's platform as well which shows that they are both trying to make money from selling electronic books rather than hardware. Barnes & Noble is also preparing a new, cheaper version of the Nook without 3G which will cost $149.

However, the Nook has yet to appear outside the U.S. and Amazon customers in the UK can already purchase it at the Kindle at a lower price. It will be interesting to see whether the rest of the family will follow suit, especially the bigger DX version.

While sales of e-readers are expected to top five million units in 2010, the whole market is likely to be significantly less than Apple's iPad itself and the arrival of a new generation of generic Android-based tablet may hasten the obsolescence of dedicated e-readers altogether.

Désiré Athow

Désiré has been musing and writing about technology during a career spanning four decades. He dabbled in website building and web hosting when DHTML and frames were en vogue and started writing about the impact of technology on society just before the start of the Y2K hysteria at the turn of the last millennium. Following an eight-year stint at where he discovered the joys of global tech-fests, Désiré now heads up TechRadar Pro. Previously he was a freelance technology journalist at Incisive Media, Breakthrough Publishing and Vnunet, and Business Magazine. He also launched and hosted the first Tech Radio Show on Radio Plus.