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From the Kindle Nation Mailbag: Q&A About the New $114 “Kindeal”


Thanks to Kindle Nation citizen Kim for a great email with some smart questions about what to expect with the new $114 Kindle with Special Offers, prefaced by some very kind words about Kindle Nation, which of course we did not mind in the least.


As you may have noticed on our Facebook page, we’ve taken to using Kindle Nation citizen Roger K’s felicitous handle for the Kindle with Special Offers. We just can’t go with a four-word name, around these parts we will be calling it the Kindeal, which we personally consider positive rather than snarky or negative. But we digress, so here is Kim’s email:


Hey Steve and the KND team!
First let me say that you guys are awesome!  I subscribe to both your blog through my Kindle and your email newsletter… the information and deals provided are invaluable!  I recently purchased my first Kindle (ver 3, bought in Sept of 2010), and I just LOVE it!  Thanks for providing such a great service to the Kindle-sphere!!
I have a couple of questions about the new Kindle with Special Offers that is soon to be released.  While I know you may not have ALL the answers, you guys seem to have A LOT of the answers before we even ask the questions!  I tried to get information from the Amazon website, but the details about this new product are very vague.  I’m thinking of buying one of these, since I think it might “save” me money in the long run, but am still on the fence.  The answers to these questions might help me make up my mind:
1)  Will the deals offered have expiration dates?
2)  How often will new deals be offered?
3)  Since I’m assuming that this is an “experiment”, is it possible that sponsors will decide not to partner with this product and it will just become a “plain” Kindle in the future?
Thanks again in advance for any insight you can provide!
Kim, you’re right, neither we nor anyone else outside Amazon has “all the answers” on this, but Amazon’s current and past practices and partnerships conspire to make the answers to these three questions crystal clear — with the caveat that at least until the Kindeal ships on May 3, these will just be my opinions. I’ll take them at a time using your question numbers:
  1. Yes, all or nearly all the deals offered on the Kindeal will have expiration dates. I believe that Amazon will operate with the same definition of a “deal” that applies to the Amazon Deal of the Day, Groupon, LivingSocial, Woot, and the shortlived Kindle Deal of the Day program that ran for about a week as a beta before it was shut down very early this year: a deep discount for an expressly stated limited time that would usually be measured in hours and, at most, in days.
  2. At the very least, we can expect new deals to be offered every day on the Kindeal. These will always be accessed via a link at the bottom of the Home display, so that you have to choose to see them beyond a teaser line or two, although it is possible — but unlikely, I think — that deals might be introduced occasionally in the form of a sponsored screensaver as well.
  3. I think there is zero chance that the inventory of deals and sponsors will dry up so that the Kindeal would just become a cheaper Kindle. In addition to its own vast retail inventory, Amazon has as much access to retailers, manufacturers and publishers who will be drawn to this model as any company in the world, and has only strengthened that range through its active participation in Woot, LivingSocial, and its own Deal of the Day and GoldBox programs.
I’m sufficiently interested in the new Kindeal — and perhaps also that my job requires me to know how Amazon is pursuing this — that I have decided to spring for the Kindeal. If you’d like to join me at this $114 price, here’s a formal link with Amazon’s own terminology: Kindle Wireless Reading Device, Wi-Fi, Graphite, 6″ Display with New E Ink Pearl Technology – includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers.
Meanwhile, I’ve got to decide what to do with my old Kindle Wi-Fi. Shall I hold a giveaway? A charity auction? A Facebook Sweepstakes? Or should I give it to my personal assistant and her 8-year-old daughter, who are homeschoolers? I’ll let you know in next week’s weekly digest of Kindle Nation posts,, on April 29….



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