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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.