Is the new $139 Kindle still important for publishers?

Wall Street Journal
Amazon will release an updated version of its popular Kindle e-reader next month, and the online retailer is pricing the device to move.

The WiFi-only model will cost $139 and the 3G-capable model $189, making them each considerably cheaper than the $499 iPad. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos said the Kindle is now ready to go “mass market” at the new prices, “People will buy them for their kids. People won’t share Kindles any more.”

Geoffrey Fowler writes that Amazon is focused on differentiating the Kindle from multi-purpose tablets such as the iPad, and that may be good for book readers, but it does leave news publishers wondering if the device is still suitable for distributing news as part of a mobile strategy.

Bezos seems to answer that question:

” ‘There are going to be 100 companies making LCD [screen] tablets,’ he said. ‘Why would we want to be 101? I like building a purpose-built reading device. I think that is where we can make a real contribution.’ “

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