Amazon Touts Free Mother’s Day Shipping for Kindle in a Release That Invites Comparison with the (iPad)

Amazon’s pulling out all the stops to maintain brisk Kindle sales in the second quarter. In addition to the usual prominent presence all over Amazon’s main website, the company has collaborated with Target to make the Kindle available in over 100 South Florida Target outlets with more to come, it’s spending significant dollars on TV ads like the one I saw during Letterman last night, and today we received a news release offering free two-day shipping on the $259 Kindle and the $489 Kindle DX until Mother’s Day.

I’m not sure how newsworthy the Mother’s Day offer is, given that we’ve seen similar offers around earlier holidays, but I did check and was a little surprised to find that there wasn’t a similar pre-Mother’s Day news release in either 2008 or 2009.

I was also interested to see some significant differences in the way Amazon chose to describe the Kindle in today’s release, as compared with the description in an otherwise fairly similar holiday news release just four months ago. In the release last December 22, the Kindle was marketed with this paragraph:

“It’s easy to get busy during the holidays, so we’ve decided to make it easy even for procrastinators to order Kindle, the #1 most wished for gift on Amazon, and get it delivered for free and in time for Christmas,” said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. “With Kindle, you can give the gift of choosing over 390,000 books and more than 100 top newspapers and magazines from around the world and begin reading in less than 60 seconds.”

In today’s release, it appears we are being prompted to compare the Kindle specifically with a certain relatively new electronic device that goes, and here will go, unnamed: 

“Every year it seems like a challenge to find that perfect gift for Mom,” said Jay Marine, director, Amazon Kindle. “We wanted to make it easier for customers to give Mom the gift they know she’ll love. Kindle is the #1 most gifted product on Amazon and available for free two-day shipping. Kindle weighs just 10.2 ounces, has a crisp electronic ink display that makes it easy to read whether she’s indoors or in bright sunlight, and comes with free 3G wireless access to a massive selection of over 500,000 books.”  [Emphasis added]

I’m also struck by the significance of the fact that today’s release continues to tout the Kindle’s #1 status in the hearts, minds, and pocketbooks of Amazon’s base of 114 million active customers by referring to the Kindle in the present tense as “Amazon’s most gifted, most wished for, and #1 bestselling product”. As a publicly traded company that must comply with clear mandates regarding the veracity of any material statements made by its representatives, Amazon is in no position to fudge the truth on such matters. It is hugely significant that even after the launch of that unnamed new electronic device, Amazon is still — this quarter, this month, this week, and presumably today — selling more units of the Kindle than of, for instance, the latest bestseller by Charlaine  Harris, Michael Lewis, or Stieg Larsson.


Here’s the guts of today’s release:

Give Mom the Gift of Reading This Mother’s Day with Free Two-Day Shipping on Kindle

Kindle, Amazon’s #1 Gift, comes with access to over 500,000 books and free 3G wireless access


SEATTLE, Apr 27, 2010 (BUSINESS WIRE) –Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ: AMZN) today announced a Free Two-Day Shipping offer for Kindle, Amazon’s most gifted, most wished for, and #1 bestselling product, just in time for Mother’s Day. Customers who want to share their love of reading with Mom on this special day can order Kindle or Kindle DX anytime before May 6 and receive two-day shipping within the continental United States for delivery on or before May 8, compliments of Amazon. Kindle is available today for $259 and free shipping at www.amazon.com/kindle.

“Every year it seems like a challenge to find that perfect gift for Mom,” said Jay Marine, director, Amazon Kindle. “We wanted to make it easier for customers to give Mom the gift they know she’ll love. Kindle is the #1 most gifted product on Amazon and available for free two-day shipping. Kindle weighs just 10.2 ounces, has a crisp electronic ink display that makes it easy to read whether she’s indoors or in bright sunlight, and comes with free 3G wireless access to a massive selection of over 500,000 books.”

The Kindle Store is the perfect place to find some of Mom’s favorites, such as “Major Pettigrew’s Last Stand” by Helen Simonson and “The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks” by Rebecca Skloot, both available for $9.99. The Kindle Store includes over 500,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including New York Times Bestsellersand New Releases from $9.99. Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are also available to read on Kindle, including classics such as “The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes,” “Pride and Prejudice” and “Treasure Island.”
Thousands of Kindle customers have sent us feedback emails about Kindle, and in the spirit of Mother’s Day here are some examples from moms who love their Kindle:

  • “I spent months agonizing over whether or not to get the Kindle.As a mother of three, spending [money] on oneself is a rarity. Finally, I got one.I am not a “techno” person and was afraid it would be complicated, a hassle or problem prone.I have had mine since December and I love it!The free Whispernet, the amazing selection and the screen clarity are just wonderful.Thank you for this invention!” -Judith
  • “I just got the Kindle for my birthday and so far I LOVE it.I find it super easy to use, and I am very impressed.I asked for the Kindle because I thought maybe if I could find something easy to fit in my purse, I could read whenever I had a few minutes.With 3 kids under the age of 9, I have to spend my time very wisely.This has proved to be VERY convenient and takes up way less space in my purse (This way I have more room for diapers and wipes!).” -Lisa
  • “I LOVE IT!!When I first heard about the kindle I thought I wouldn’t ever want one because I love books and enjoy collecting them…My grown kids gave it to me for Christmas and I heard my daughter say to a friend the other day, ‘Every time I call Mom now on the phone she says she has to get off the phone because she’s reading her Kindle’!” -Darlene

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