Someone at Amazon must have figured out that things aren’t looking good for the middle class, because the four new Kindle models announced today are all ridiculously cheap, both compared to previous Kindles and the competition.
Before the end of this year, someone shopping for an ereader device will be able to choose from five price points for a Kindle, from $80 to $200, with the top end offering a decent low-cost alternative to a Nook Color or an iPad. Actually, the $80 option is available starting today.
You should know, however, that all of the E Ink Kindles come with the “special offers” screensaver ads; expect to pay at least $40 extra if you don’t want to see advertising. The Kindle Fire tablet doesn’t include the screensaver ads and is only offered at one price.
$79 – Kindle – Wi-Fi only, dpad navigation, no physical keyboard. (It’s the middle device in the trio above.) Available today.
$99 – Kindle Touch – Wi-Fi only, touchscreen navigation, no physical keyboard. (Device on left in trio above.) Ships in November; U.S. only.
$149 – Kindle Touch 3G – Physically the same as the $99 model, but includes free 3G wireless access. Ships in November; U.S. only.
$199 – Kindle Fire – Color 7″ touchscreen, runs Android apps, designed to display all types of entertainment content, including games, music and video. Ships in November; U.S. only.
Here’s an in-context shot of the Kindle Fire so you can get a better idea of how small it is.
Does it upset you that all the new Kindles lack physical keyboards? Don’t worry—for now at least, what we know as the Kindle 3 will still be available in Wi-Fi and 3G flavors for $99 and $139.
I’m not sure anyone thought we’d break the $100 barrier so quickly and by so much, but I think this demonstrates just how closely Amazon is following Apple’s successful iPod strategy—with iPods, Nanos and Shuffles at multiple price points—from last decade.