Monday, June 21, 2010

The Kindle is now $189. Fast work, Amazon. Nook's turn again

The Kindle 6" International pricing has been lowered to $189, not very long after the Nook announcements today.

  The 3G mobile free wireless full-web access that most countries are reporting  since the 15th, with no change by Amazon to that access for almost a week, seems to be a side effect of having the ability to send a highlighted passage and note to Facebook and Twitter via 3G wireless with the new software update v2.5.x, much discussed on the forums and described here.  See the Intro and Guide to the new software version.

Countries reporting no-cost full-web access are listed in a file associated with the story on June 15, and updated daily.

During past price changes, Amazon gave recent purchasers of the Kindle a credit or refund for the difference in price if the Kindle purchase was made within 30 days of the new, lower price.

U.S. Kindle owners should contact Customer Support about this at 1-866-321-8851.
Very recent purchasers outside the U.S. should go to the Amazon Kindle Support page and click on the orange button labeled "Contact Us" to ask about it..

See today's earlier blog article that included a good link to the Nook news that apparently had a big influence on Amazon, though I think they were prepared for this but did not care to be the first to adjust pricing to compete even more on price with the larger multi-function tablets.  I mentioned the differences in the feature sets for the Nook and the Kindle earlier today.  Pro's for the Nook - it does allow public library access, valuable if your local library carries much in the way of contemporary e-books (some don't).

  The lending feature of the Nook is not clearly described by news stories.  If a publisher approves the lending of a nook book (about 45% do), then you can lend an e-book to someone, but only One Time to Anyone in the lifetime of the e-book (ever), and for 2 weeks to the borrower but not renewable by the borrower even if the book couldn't be finished.

  See the blog article on sharing Kindle books on an account, not restricted to a household or relative, just to people you trust on your account.  It's far more flexible than the Nook arrangement but not heavily marketed.

  The new Kindle price is now a real value instead of just a value ;-)

Check often:  Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers. Below are ways to Share this post if you'd like others to see it.
-- The Send to Kindle button works well only on Firefox currently.

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  1. We just bought our 5th Kindle 2 on June 3. My husband called and they happily issued a $70 refund. There is a reason Amazon customers, especially Kindle owners, are so loyal. Amazon is totally awesome!

  2. Courtney,
    Thanks for this confirmation for this price change and Customer Service action. The 30-day refund eligibility has been reported on the Nook forums also where B&N and Best buy are allowing credit for a period of 14-days although that will be a $10 one because they've been offering nooks with a $50 store credit for the last 2 weeks already.

  3. I received my refund as well - I was at 29 days since purchase so just made it! Took less than 5 minutes on the phone.

  4. I broke my Kindle 2 today (dropped it, and despite being in a cover, the screen is all lines).

    Hubby wants me to hold off buying a new one, but I already miss my Kindle! What's the latest on the likely Kindle 3? I searched your blog, but didn't find anything beyond last year.

  5. suze,
    Is it still under warranty? (Less than 1 yr old?)

    Amazon has started to replace some of those w/o charge if you didn't drop it far and it was in a cover.

    Call them at 866-321-8851 and ask them about it.
    At the worst, they offer 50% price for a replacement if the damage was user-caused, but they're being more flexible in the past couple of months when they feel the Kindle should have survived it. 1/2 of $189 still would not be bad. Let them know what kind of cover you had it in.

    I reported the rumor re an August Kindle but personally don't know anything about it except that Wall St. Journal expects something to develop.
    See for the rumor about August.

    See for the rumor about a black DX.

    Let me know how it goes with Kindle support re the drop when in a case.

  6. Wow, Laura !

    That was close :-)

    Glad there was no problem. Thanks for reporting this.

  7. Andrys, thanks for the advice, I was going to try customer service anyway. Of course, being in Australia, that might change things a little, but I live in hope. I honestly think it should have survived, so am very surprised and upset about it.

    August is too long to wait anyway, especially if there's no blingy new feature such as a touch or colour screen. :)

  8. I bought a Kindle for Father's Day and was really angry @ the $$ drop; called/emailed and was given a refund. Restored my faith in Amazon.

  9. Just tried to get a refund for the refurb Kindle I purchased 1 week ago. I haven't even opened it yet - I bought it for $189.99 and the price has been lowered to $139.99. I figured I would get a refund of $50. Wrong...

    They are only refunding $30.99. I asked why -- and the rep said that since it was purchased from the Amazon Warehouse, that they were only authorized to issue that amount of refund. I told her that I would return the unopened Kindle (at their expense) and rebuy it at the lower price.

    Doesn't make much sense.


  10. If you go to, the Kindle Support page, use the gold button at the right for "Contact us" and then when you get to the form, look at the tabs at the top and use 'Phone" - then put in your country name and your phone number etc.

    They will call you back, and that's the best way to ask about this

    I think their phone support is much better than the email support.

    Good luck on this. Sometimes it's a matter of which customer rep you get but you can ask for a supervisor too.

  11. Tom,
    Glad you called them. They've always had this policy on price changes, so it's just a matter of letting people know.

    Now you can just enjoy it. I would have been upset too.

  12. Vic,
    No, it doesn't make much sense, but you were right to do what you did if you didn't want a smaller discount on the refurbished unit (the refurbished prices change from day to day) since they do offer a full refund within 30 days if you don't like it for any reason.

    It would have cost you $150, so for $40 more you'll have a new unit.

    The official Nook policy, to compare, is a refund only within 14 days and since they offered a $50 store coupon lately when the price was $259, they are giving a refund of only $10 for those who bought it in the last 14 days as the $50 coupon given already covered the rest of the new $199 price, they say.

  13. Called Amazon back about the price adjustment for the refurbished Kindle -- they have changed their policy and are now granting the full $50 credit if you find yourself in the same situation. Thumbs up for Amazon - though it did take a little perseverance.

    Thanks Andrys for your blog -- you keep me up to date on Kindle happenings!

  14. Vic,
    Thanks for this report and also your perseverence on the situation.

    Very good news too.

    And thanks for letting me know the blog is useful for you. Always good to hear :-)

  15. Too late for me. I'm a former Kindle 1 owner who now uses a Nook. I switched mainly because I didn't want to be constrained any longer by Amazon's restrictive DRM. Even though Amazon has now lost my "device" business, they can still recover my "content" business by eliminatimng the DRM and switching to a non-proprietary content format. I would like nothing better than to purchase e-books for my Nook from the superior Amazon website.

  16. Anonymous,
    All I know is that while Nookers can read Sony books, Sony can't read Nookers' DRM'd books.

    They all pay Adobe for the pleasure of that DRM. Apple won't play with Adobe so we have another DRM solo. So maybe don't get an iPad.

    Since we can read Amazon books on Macs, PCs, Blackberrys, iPhones, iPads, I'm not particularly worried.

    More important to me is a policy of refusing to allow a person to return an e-book for any reason whatsoever, including *missing pages* as Nook refuses to do. Amazon allows 7 days if you find anything below your standards for an e-book.

    I don't think you'll be able to let yourself buy Kindle content because the publishers don't allow non-DRM processes, and Amazon, like Apple, will not be jumping to pay Adobe for the pleasure.

    Personally, I love the looks of the Nook but find it has horrific software relative to what we're used to with the Kindle (though you're judging from Kindle 1 so it won't be as much of a drawback for you). Slow, ineffective (Search, Dictionary, annotations that are outrageously hard to re-find, etc.)

    But eventually the Nook will get enough updates so it'll be better.

    But you are happier with it so it's definitely better for your needs. The direct ePub reading and sometimes good e-book collection in the local library are nice. Not the lame lending feature though :-)

    Good luck. All the currently top e-readers (two because Sony is falling by the wayside these days) will keep improving. Oh, I like the screen contrast of the Nook better (but not that slow-response virtual keyboard).

    And now the Kindle has full free 3G mobile webaccess in something like 60 countries - and they sped up the software finally, with the new update...

  17. Thanks for that! I just got a refund on our two recent Kindle purchases.


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