Wednesday, May 4, 2011

Kindle to be available at Walmart. Is ad-supported Kindle a primary focus?


The Editors of The Kindle Daily Post (national or international editions), which is always clickable at the top right-hand corner of the Kindlestore, announced yesterday (all emphases mine) that "...starting this week, Kindle will be available in over 3,200 Walmart stores nationwide.  Most stores will have a Kindle on display so you can check out all the features before you buy.  Walmart stores will be selling both Kindle 3G and Kindle with Special Offers.

Walmart is the latest in a growing list of retailers offering Kindle, including Target, Best Buy, and Staples, among others.

  Note they mention "both" the "Kindle 3G" and "Kindle with Special Offers."
  But they don't mention a third possibility, the Kindle3 WiFi-Only Without Special Offers

  Is it possible there'll be no $139 WiFi-Only model at Walmart?

  That would be of interest insofar as the Non-Ad WiFi-Only Kindle may be getting less production interest.
  Or, it could be that the Kindle Post mention of 'both' Kindles was unintentional on the editors' part, but that'll be interesting to watch.  The latest Youtube video has emphasized the "from $114" price point.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   K3 Special, $114   DX Graphite

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. I suspect the stores themselves may like the $114 price point. It's getting close to the supposed $99.95 magic number. Even if they offer the $139 model, they may use the $114 price to attract customers. What I'd like to see are stores undercutting Amazon's prices.

    There's also a possibility that the Kindles being sold are tagged (at least by serial number) as to where they're purchased. I can see WallMart, Best Buy and others preferring to target their ads to Kindles purchased at their stores. It'd be a good way to distribute sale offers cheaply and just to those who live near a store and might be interested.

    Amazon is being quite up front about letting special offer purchasers tailor their ad profiles, likes and dislikes. But we shouldn't forget that Amazon knows quite a bit about their customers, including what they look at but don't buy. Someone who didn't buy a BBQ grill from Amazon last spring might get a special offer for one on sale at a nearby WallMarts this year. If they buy, Amazon could get a kickback.

    All this is in our future. Technology is allowing giant corporations to know more about people in large cities than the neighborhood grocery in a village knew about our ancestors a hundred years ago.

    Of course, judging by how horribly wrong Amazon's Vine program has classified my reading interests, that may not mean much. They seem to confuse titles I look up while researching something I'm writing with titles I'd actually read and review for them.

  2. We should probably expect a steady decline in ereader prices:

  3. Gordon,
    Didn't Forrester and assorted columnists predict the end of the Kindle itself by the end of 2010 due to the popularity of the iPad and other tablets?

    Also, never in a truly idiotic presentation of the premise for the death of dedicated e-readers does the article mention Forrester speaking to the issue of E-INK (which they may have and it was columnist idiocy instead that produced the gist re the death of dedicated e-readers).

    Or, it may have been Forrester's. They've been wrong about the popularity of e-reader devices before, asking bad questions in their surveys.

    I have a NookColor and I intend to get the Amazon tablet if it comes, for the color magazine capability and for portable web-browsing but with Amazon features that I hope will be better done in software than is the B&N tablet-reader.

    I would *never* give up the e-Ink for an LCD tablet for reading books. And there are voluminous notes on forums that say the same thing. From people who own tablets or semi-tablets.

    If years from now they have non-LCD and e-paper-type capabilities for relaxing reading (eye care for many), along with color on a par with vibrant color in LCD tablets, then the dedicated e-reader may not be needed (though they'll always be lighter), but not mentioning e-Ink here at all is sheer ignorance on their part. It reminds me of the idiot who placed a picture of a tombstone at the head of his column last summer with the wording that the Kindle would die and be buried as of 2010.

    There is a wish there that is ugly and speaks to a special kind of stupidity that has to do with THEIR disliking the "drab" or "retro" *look* of e-ink readers.

    But you're right in your own emphasis that e-reader prices will go down. But I thought most people have seen this with ALL electronics.

    The FLIP camera? GOD. It has the same end result as a fine in-camera HD movie thing. It is not remotely like e-ink vs color.

  4. Good rant, Antrys!

    I don't think anyone's wishes--ugly or not--will matter much as this sorts itself out. Market forces will decide the future of the ebook and I have to agree with Forrester on one point: devices tend to consolidate various functions.

    As a Kindle 3 and iPad owner I'm with you on the advantages of e-Ink. For now.

  5. Gordon,
    No. Wishes didn't work out for tombstone photoshoppers last year, certainly.

    Market forces and the reasons behind them will be what counts, as you point out.

    "For now" is always the main thing. As I mentioned in today's blog post, "Everything in life does change."

    Thanks for alerting us to the analyses in that article.


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