Wednesday, July 13, 2011

Kindle 3G-WiFi -Special Offers model now $139 due to AT&T sponsorship


Below are salient points from the Amazon press release today for the Kindle with 3G/WiFi, normally $164 with the Special-Offers feature (Kindle-SO), which has ads as screensavers and in one slot on the bottom of the Home Screen but which don't appear while you're reading.

  The "Special Offers" that are a part of this "SO" model are discount deals that appear on the Kindle as ads, such as a gift certificate for $10, worth $20 at the Amazon store.

  AT&T's sponsorship, Amazon's press release reports, is making it possible to offer the $164 Kindle-SO model for $139 now - the current cost of the Kindle WiFi-Only model.  Will the latter drop also?  I have no idea.  It's odd that it's the same price at this time.

All bolded or italicized emphases are mine, and my add'l notes are within brackets.
' With Kindle 3G, there's no wireless set up, and no paying for or hunting for Wi-Fi hotspots.

  Kindle 3G's always-on global wireless connectivity means that wherever you are - at the beach, on the train, or stuck on the tarmac - no problem, you can download books and periodicals in less than 60 seconds and start reading instantly.

[My note: You can turn 3G Wireless off to conserve battery but the 3G connection is always available or "on" if an AT&T cellphone tower is nearby, and you can turn your 3G "on" to use it.]

  Amazon pays for Kindle's 3G wireless connectivity, which means the convenience of 3G comes with no monthly fees, data plans, or annual contracts.

  Today, announced that AT&T has agreed to sponsor Kindle 3G with Special Offers and that it is now available at a new price of $139.  Kindle 3G with Special Offers is the same as the $189 Kindle 3G, plus money-saving special offers and sponsored screensavers.

  "Kindle 3G is more convenient - customers never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot - they simply download and read books anytime, anywhere.  Kindle 3G customers read 20 percent more books, and take advantage of twice as many special offers," said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, "A big thank you to AT&T for helping to make the new $139 price possible."

  "Kindle 3G is by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network.  We consistently hear from customers how much they enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a Wi-Fi hotspot and instead being able to download and read new books anytime, anywhere on AT&T's fast, reliable network," said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. "We are excited to sponsor Amazon's best Kindle [most-capable Kindle] - Kindle 3G with Special Offers - at the new lower price of only $139." [Note that the Kindle 3G also has WiFi.]

  Kindle 3G includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling e-reader in the world:

  . Free 3G wireless, no annual contracts, no monthly fees
  . Global 3G coverage means books in under 60 seconds in over 100 countries and territories
  . Paper-like Pearl electronic ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
  . Lightweight body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
  . Kindle Store with over 950,000 books - largest selection of the most popular books
  . Seamless integration with free "Buy Once, Read Everywhere" Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone

Learn more at the Kindle 3G/WiFi-Special Offers page. '

At the Amazon Kindle Forums, there is an ongoing Special Offer Alerts thread, titled "Today's Ads and Special Offers " although it's added to only once a week or so.

  Kindle-SO owners can press the Menu button on the Kindle Home Screen to select the listing of Special Offers currently available.  But some like to follow that message thread too.

  Yesterday, someone started another discussion thread on Special Offers - titled "For Kindlers with Special offers."

For daily free ebooks, check the following links:
Temporarily-free books -
- USA: by:
NEW:  May  June  July 2011
   Publication Date   Late-listed
   Bestselling   High-ratings

UK: PubDate   Popular
What is 3G? and "WiFi"?       Battery Care
Highly-rated under $1,  Newest: $1-$2, $2-$3
Most Popular Free K-Books
U.S. & Int'l (NOT UK):
   Top 100 free
   Top 100 free
USEFUL for your Kindle (U.S. only, currently):
  99c Notepad 1.1,   99c Calculator,
  99c Calendar,   99c Converter

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's)   K3 Special ($114)   K3-3G Special ($139)   DX Graphite Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
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  1. It's a sweet deal, particularly for those who travel a lot outside the country. I have some hunches about the reasons.

    1. The data-transfer scheme that Amazon/AT&T are using is very efficient at using what would be otherwise idle cellular data time. As a result, the money AT&T gets from Amazon is almost pure profit. It probably helps that a lot of the use is in the suburbs in the evening or weekends.

    2. The WiFi-only version of the Kindle 3 has proved so popular, that AT&T is not getting as much of that almost-pure-profit business as it would like, hence it's willingness to subsidize the cost of the cellular version. And don't forget that Amazon makes money from some data transfers to cellular Kindles that it doesn't make from WiFi models. More cellular Kindles mean more income for Amazon too,

    3. Possibly, AT&T may want to make sure iPads don't become so market-dominant that it becomes too dependent of the whims of Apple. What better way to do that than to subsidize the #2 product? For potential customers, free cellular gives a Kindle an advantage over the iPad's monthly payments. It's also a move that Apple can't match, given how data hungry iPad use can be.

    I know that when I bought my Kindle 3 with WiFI, I couldn't see paying another $50 for the cellular model. I almost always have WiFi access. But for just $25 extra, it makes a lot more sense.

  2. Inkling,
    And soon T-Mobile (well, 9 months away maybe), TMobile will be covering areas too, with AT&T.

    Sprint was similar. They used an unused portion and instead of $30-$60 cost for individual use, the actual cost to Amazon was SAID to be $2/mo. though I never believed it was that low.

    WiFi Model was pushed by Amazon - the only model it presented to Staples and most other places. I think this was to get 3G use DOWN and of course $139 sells more easily. But people are finding ways to download huge files, and are enjoing reading feeds live, so 3G has to be watched.

    Good point that AT&T is not getting as much of the business as they might like. Now if they could only handle properly what they need to do for AT&T smartphone customers (at least here).

    I don't understand what you meant though that Amazon makes money from data transfers TO cellular Kindles. They are so wary about data charges to cellular Kindles that their app requirements are really weighed down by them.
    Slower to release too because of that.

    ---"More cellular Kindles mean more income for Amazon too"

    How? They have de-emphasized them like crazy and now most of us are used to doing most of our downloading and web browsing on WiFi which costs Amazon nothing, especially compared to years 2007-2010. Their income is higher, but their net is lower and they've been disappointing analysts.

    Re not being too dependent on Apple, I agree. Apple has teased them with Verizon.

    I think that the 3G advantage over other e-readers has always been ignored by gadget columnists, just because it's "too slow" but in some circumstances 'slow' beats 'zero'...

    Also it's incredibly flexible and I do use it often. Right now Amazon is at a disadvantage due to gadget-news lust over touchscreen models, deeming the physical keyboards, 'retro' and 'old.' Well, they are more reliable for me for the typing I do, but I'm unusual in using the keyboard that much. I am like a drunk on the NookColor, stumbling around on that virtual keyboard, wrong keys activated constantly.

    NO one can touch Amazon on the 3G and those who use it on the Kindle love it. Amazon hasn't wanted to push it probably due to fears people would overdo it (using mobile-optimized sites and feeds, etc.) but at the same time it's not then counted as a feature by almost anyone doing reviews.

    If the Nook added 3G and had it in 100 countries, columnists would go ape over it. Look how patient they are about the hideous action of Angry Birds on the Nook Touch.

    True that $25 makes it easier. For me, it was no contest. I use that Kindle in offices waiting areas, bank lines, anyplace I have to wait and I want to access email for a peek and I'm really constantly looking up things. But most gratifying is when I am lost or don't know best directions.

    I even use it routinely for movies and restaurants.

  3. I was wondering if the offer is available internationally and it seems it is. On the Amazon site, I have all the option to purchase it. Usually, when something is not available, I get a warning or something.

  4. Corneliu,
    From what I've seen, the SO models work perfectly well over seas and I think that someday they'll want to use ad-screensavers also.

    So it seems there is nothing wrong with selling the K3 3G SO internationally, but until advertisers who'd benefit in your area have Agreements with Amazon, there'd be no ads and probably no special offers on it (although one would think they might be able to do the discount offers at some point).

    However, I know nothing about the legal aspects of any of it...

  5. Hi Andrys ,

    In the third paragraph , you wrote :
    "(...) for $139 now - the current cost of the Kindle-SO WiFi-Only model."

    I think that should be :
    "(...) for $139 now - the current cost of the Kindle WiFi-Only model."

    as the K3-SO WiFi-only costs $114 (for U.S. customers) .

  6. AthenaAtDelphi,
    Thanks much for catching that. I've changed it. At first with strikeouts, but it's confusing enough for new readers without that.


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