01 March 2011

Rumor Mongering: Free Kindles by November 2011

Check out this rumor I found on kottke.org, who heard it from Kevin Kelly, who heard it from John Walkenbach:

Kevin Kelly forecasts that Amazon will soon be handing out free Kindles...perhaps to Amazon Prime members.

In October 2009 John Walkenbach noticed that the price of the Kindle was falling at a consistent rate, lowering almost on a schedule. By June 2010, the rate was so unwavering that he could easily forecast the date at which the Kindle would be free: November 2011.

Since then I've mentioned this forecast to all kinds of folks. In August, 2010 I had the chance to point it out to Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon. He merely smiled and said, "Oh, you noticed that!" And then smiled again.

The Kindle has never been knock-it-out-of-the-park great...it looks like Amazon's strategy is not to build a great e-reader but to build a pretty good free e-reader.

I can see this. My boss' wife got a free Kindle when she went to an Oprah show. He firmly believes she never would have bought one, but now that she has it, she gets books for it.

No comments: