We’ve been paying some attention lately to the increasing likelihood that Amazon will launch a “Kindle tablet” some time this year. We’ve felt since last fall that it is on the way, but the signals have gotten much stronger lately, as we reported in this post last week. To summarize where we tried to be a little coy last week, I think Amazon will announce in June or July that it will ship a Kindle tablet in July or August, and while there may be more expensive models, I expect there to be a viable base model priced under $300. The new Kindle tablet will be a perfectly good ebook reader for people who don’t prefer e-Ink. Equally important, it will be a great color touch tablet that will not only work almost as well as a laptop for many purposes and serve as an exquisite delivery system for Amazon’s fast-growing MP3 and Instant Video services for music, audiobooks, films, and television programs. It will, in many respects, be defined both by the ways in which it is like the iPad and also by all the ways in which it is the anti-iPad.
More to come on all of that, but today Amazon took an absolutely brilliant step that only it could have taken as a way of preparing the path for the Kindle tablet.
It extended its relatively unknown Buyback program, previously assoicated mostly with textbooks, movies, and video games, to include a wide range of electronics products including the iPad, the iPhone, the Samsung Galaxy, the Motorola Xoom, and all kinds of other devices that might — if you could trade them in for a decent sum — prepare the way for you to buy a Kindle tablet, both in terms of the need to replace functionality and the financial wherewithal to make the purchase. Click here to visit Amazon’s Trade-in site.
As many of our readers know, I was one of the gazillions of early adopters who forked over about $700 for an iPad last Spring. And I had a lot of company among the citizens of Kindle Nation, judging from the results of our Kindle Nation Citizen Surveys since then. I was certainly interested in what I could do with an iPad, and I also felt that it was important for me to have one in order to do my job. I’ll be trading my iPad in for $245, which means that my cost for using the iPad for 14 months and being an early adopter will have been about $350. But more important, that $245 make up the lion’s share of what I pay for the new Kindle Tablet, whenever it comes out.
Here’s the guts of the Amazon press release:
Amazon Trade-In Program Expands With Thousands of Electronics
Great Trade-In Values on Used Textbooks, Video Games, Movies and now Electronics Ship For Free, All in One Box
SEATTLE, May 18, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — Amazon.com, Inc. (NASDAQ:AMZN) today announced the Electronics Trade-In Store, offering customers a new way to conveniently trade in used electronics for Amazon.com Gift Cards. The Electronics Trade-In Store enhances Amazon’s existing Trade-In program, giving customers great value on everything from video games and DVDs to textbooks and now electronics, without visiting multiple stores. Starting today, customers can trade in electronics, including tablets, cell phones, MP3 players, cameras, GPS devices and more. With Amazon Trade-In, only one box is needed to ship multiple items and shipping is free. Simply visit http://www.amazon.com/tradein and start searching for items to trade in.
“Technology is constantly evolving and newer, better versions of consumer electronics are introduced all the time,” says Paul Ryder, vice president of Electronics for Amazon.com. “We want to give customers the opportunity to get great value from their used electronics. Hundreds of thousands of customers have already received millions of dollars in gift cards from the other products in our program. The Electronics category is a natural extension and we are delighted to offer our customers more trade-in options.”
Regardless of where electronics and other products may have been purchased, customers start by simply searching for items to trade in. If the product is listed as eligible for trade-in, then customers can click the Trade-In button to add items to their trade-in shipment. Amazon’s Trade-In program offers a variety of condition types including “Like New,” “Good” and “Acceptable,” giving customers an easy way to view multiple trade-in values. Once customers have added all the items they would like to trade in to their trade-in shipment, they can print a pre-paid shipping label and ship everything for free. After the product is received and inspected, an Amazon.com Gift Card will be deposited into the customer’s Amazon.com account, generally in less than 48 hours. There are no claim codes or waiting for a check in the mail. Amazon.com Gift Cards can be used on purchases towards millions of items on Amazon.com.
Amazon’s Trade-In program (http://www.amazon.com/tradein) offers great value on used products, and starting today, customers can now trade in used electronics.