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Will Amazon Start Kindle Subscriptions?

The Wi-Fi only version of the Kindle - at £109 - is now cheap enough for Amazon to envision the possibility of giving the device for free (or for very cheap) to those buying a yearly or monthly subscription, emulating the way the rest of the content or mobile industry works.

Not sure that this will happen? Think again, Audible, which was purchased by Amazon a few years ago, gives out a free MP3 player when you join in and sign on their three months Audible listener Gold membership at $14.95 a month (opens in new tab).

Amazon therefore already has a game plan which has been successfully implemented when it comes to audiobooks. Why not therefore expand it to electronic books then? Audible charges £7.99 per month for the first 3 months and £14.99 thereafter giving two books per month to members.

They also give out free content and downloads, upgrades, early access to sales and other exclusive offers. We suspect that this will happen by the fourth generation of Kindle, by which time Amazon will have been able to reduce the Bill of Materials and the manufacturing costs of the device.

Ultimately, we guess that Amazon may well, one day, bundle music, audiobooks and ebooks in one easy to use monthly subscription package that use credits, a similar idea to the monthly contract we suggested for the iPad two months ago.

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 ITProPortal.com 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.