Amazon.com's Kindle e-reader will be available in Best Buy starting this fall, giving the online retailer another sales channel as it competes against the Apple iPad and Barnes & Noble's Nook.
Amazon.com's Kindle will be available at Best Buy starting this fall, giving
the online retailer an offline channel for its popular e-reader. Barnes &
Noble's Nook, perhaps the Kindle's highest-profile competitor, is already
available at Best Buy in addition to the bookseller's bricks-and-mortar
The Kindle will also retail at Staples sometime in the fall timeframe.
In a Sept. 9 press release, Best Buy offered no firm date for the Kindle's
release, but indicated that all three devices in the e-reader line-the
WiFi-only Kindle, the 3G-enabled version and the larger-screened Kindle DX-will
eventually be available.
Amazon has claimed that the third-generation Kindle, which it announced July
28, is on track to outsell its predecessors. The newest device features a
higher-contrast e-ink screen, longer battery life, Wikipedia access, support
for password-protected PDFs and a more lightweight body. It retails for $189,
while the WiFi-only version costs $139-the latter undercutting Barnes &
Noble's Nook WiFi by $10.
Barnes & Noble and Amazon, along with smaller e-reader manufacturers, have
been engaged in something of a price-cutting and software-adding war over the
summer. In June, hours after Barnes & Noble dropped the cost of the
original Nook to $189, Amazon followed suit.
Meanwhile, Sony has followed a different strategy, offering its
refreshed e-readers with additional features at a higher price
. The devices
feature slimmer and lighter bodies, e-ink screens with higher contrast and
clarity, and the ability to make annotations.
Despite their battles with each other, both the Kindle and Nook face
possibly their biggest threat in the Apple iPad, which includes an e-reader
application. Although both Amazon and Barnes & Noble have remained
tight-lipped about their overall unit sales, some outside analysts have
estimated Kindle shipments at a number already surpassed by the iPad.
"Last night, Apple stated it has shipped 3.27 [million] iPads since the
April product launch, surpassing our estimate for an installed base of [around
3 million] Amazon Kindles to date despite supply constraints," Marianne
Wolk, an analyst with Susquehanna Financial Group, wrote in a co-authored July
21 analyst report. "As [Apple's] supply constraints ease, Apple iPad
shipments should ramp and it could ship as many as 12 to 15 [million] iPads in
2010-a compelling base for publishers to consider."
Additional retail outlets, of course, will offer the Kindle an additional
way to maintain-and perhaps grow-its overall market share.