Since it was first introduced in November of 2007, the Kindle ebook reader has been a great product for Amazon. It took a while to catch on, but it was always going to be a great fit with the company's business model.
Amazon's long association with books and reading made the Kindle a superb vehicle for them. It's important to realize that, for Amazon, the Kindle is much more than just an interesting electronic gadget. They have a big advantage over pure electronics manufacturers due to the fact that they can use through life sales of their Kindle books to subsidize the selling price of their Kindle reader hardware.
In fact, some business analysts have gone as far as to speculate that Amazon either makes a slight loss, or only just breaks even, on Kindle hardware sales. If that is the case, then Amazon wouldn't be the first company to invoke such a loss leader strategy. It's not much different from selling razors at cost so that you can make money selling razor blades time and time again.
Amazon Price: $69.00 Buy Now
(price as of Sep 15, 2016)
It's interesting to note that, whilst the price of Kindle hardware has tumbled over the last couple of years, the price of ebooks has remained pretty static. There might even have been a slight upward trend - prompted in part by many of the large publishers adopting an agency pricing model - in the price of ebooks.
Not that ebooks can be considered to be an expensive option of course. They use no paper, ink or bindings and, just as importantly, they don't need to be shipped by road or rail. It's only natural that they should be sold for less than traditional printed books when you think about it. There are also plenty of free out of copyright available on the market. Amazon alone has over 1.8 million free ebooks which can be downloaded direct from its Kindle store.
And it's not just Kindle books that are available for free. If you visit sites like Project Gutenberg, you will find a whole variety of different ebooks available as free downloads. These can be read on a variety of different readers - such as the Nook, from Barnes and Noble or the Sony PRS reader. You can, for that matter, read them on your PC, iPod or Blackberry. There's no shortage of choices available to you.
A lot of the books on offer are classics - from authors such as Dickens, Shakespeare, Virgil, Homer, Mark Twain and Sir Arthur Conan Doyle. You can expand your library of classics, find some very enjoyable reads and make your ebook reader hardware self financing all at the same time.