Is The Latest Kindle A Pre-Cursor To An Amazon Tablet Computer?
The new “Kindle with Special Offers” is the most recent of Amazon's massively successful Kindle e-book reader - and it lets customers get a $ 25 reduction on the price of the standard model Wi-Fi Kindle. The latest Kindle will start shipping on May 3, and it does more than let you buy a Kindle for just $ 114 - it highlights a few of the reasons why the Kindle is such a great success for Amazon, prompts some questions about the method of pricing e-book readers and hints at other products which Amazon may see fit to develop and launch, quite possibly in the near future.
The pictures of famous authors, used to decorate the screen saver pages of the standard Kindle, are replaced with adverts and special offers. Ads also appear at the bottom of the home page menu. The reading experience is, according to Amazon, unimpaired, Amazon earns money via ad revenue and extra sales, and consumers get cheaper hardware. There's something in it for everyone.
Some purists will be unhappy about the thought of adverts on the Kindle, but some people dislike the very idea of e-book readers pretty much on a point of principle. At the end of the day, it’s a very personal thing. In any event, anyone who is uncomfortable with adverts on the Kindle can pay a little extra and get the standard, ad-free, model.
A number of different companies have their Kindle ad campaigns prepared and ready to launch. Procter and Gamble, Chase, Visa and General Motors are a selection of companies who want to see adverts for their products on the Kindle. However, you would suspect that a large percentage of the ads will be for special offers which are available right from Amazon’s website.
In some respects you would have to ask why Amazon haven't done this before now. It’s the perfect advertising platform for virtually any product available on Amazon's website.
Aside from the fact that anyone who owns a Kindle is going to be in the target demographic for Kindle books, and probably any personal electronic device as well, Amazon are highly skilled at crafting personalised offers to customers based upon both their buying and browsing history. Laser targeted advertising, combined with the possibility of completing a purchase at the press of a button, must make advertising on the Kindle a very effective sales technique for Amazon.
It’s just one more significant advantage which Amazon enjoys in the e-book reader market which is simply unobtainable for many of their competitors. However, it's debatable as to whether or not a discount of just $ 25 is an accurate reflection of the true worth of Kindle advertising to Amazon. Some industry watchers are already speculating that we may very well see a free Kindle reader in the near future. If the “Kindle with Special Offers” proves to be successful, then perhaps a free Kindle, possibly with some strings attached - a minimum number of Kindle book purchases per annum for example - may not only be a possibility, but might be here faster than you imagine.
As exciting as the chance of getting a free Kindle reader may be, the success of Amazon’s sponsorship efforts may have even more wide reaching implications. The prospect that Amazon will release their own tablet computer has moved beyond the realms of speculation and rumor to an event that seems to carry an air of inevitability about it. ZDNet's James Kendrick is quoted as saying that “Amazon would be remiss in not producing its own tablet.".
By closely coupling a new Amazon tablet with the Amazon web-store, Amazon would be able to set the selling price at a considerably lower level than their competition. Food for thought.