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Not Everyone Wants a 9.7″ eInk Kindle DX, But If You Do, Here’s a Sweet Deal: 32% Off, Just $259!


For the past week or so, readers have been emailing Kindle Nation Daily, asking if Amazon would put the Kindle DX on sale for Black Friday.

Well, we have an answer: YES!

Amazon didn’t even wait until Black Friday. From now through Monday, November 28, the Kindle DX price has been reduced from 379 to just $259. (Click here to see it on Amazon.)

It seems obvious that this Black Friday deal amounts to the Farewell Tour for the Kindle DX, for a number of reasons, but Amazon’s experience with the Kindle DX may also provide the company with its own perspective on the ideal form factor for the Kindle Fire tablet.

Various Kindle models occupy most of the best seats on Amazon’s electronics bestseller list — #1, #2, #3, #5, #8, #10, #13, #14, #17 — but the Kindle DX has fallen all the way out of the Top 100. Lately it has suffered from weak support and vanishing software updates from Amazon, but the truth is that this most tablet-like of the eInk Kindles never caught on as a mass-market product due to price (initially $489, then $379, now $259), weight (18.9 ounces), and a failed effort to make it the device of choice for students and some professionals.

I got my Kindle DX the day it shipped, and there were some things I loved about it, but they didn’t outweigh the weight of the device, and I ended up selling my DX on eBay.

I’d be surprised to see Amazon come out with another DX-like product, at least until the advance of technology allows some sort of hybrid display that allows users to toggle back and forth between eInk and color.

But one thing this Kindle DX price cut does is provide some context for the far more successful Kindle Fire launch. I’ve found it interesting that some critics have claimed that the Kindle Fire tablet will fail because, they say, it’s a “tweener” device stuck between the “ideal” form factors of the 6″ dedicated eInk ereaders such as the Kindle and Nook and the 10″ iPad tablets.

My take is a little different. Having used the Kindle Fire for the past week, I’m convinced that its balance of 14.6-ounce weight and 6-inch display size is the ideal form factor for personal solo viewing of movies and TV shows and reading of magazines, newspapers, ebooks, and more. There are still some important things to fix or improve with the Fire, but a 9- or 10-inch display is not the answer.

So I’m ready now for the second time to sell a 10″ display device on eBay, and this time it will be an iPad. While I do expect Amazon eventually to come out with a 9″ Kindle Fire tablet, I wouldn’t rush it. It would be smarter for Amazon, having already gone to school on the failure of the Kindle DX, to invest its resources in perfect the sub-$200 6-inch Kindle Fire. That’s the device that is spanking the rest of the tablet market right now, and its advantage may not be price alone.

I’m envisioning a commercial that would be too snarky for Amazon ever to make, where one consumer is looking at another’s Kindle Fire and saying “Yeah, it’s awesome, but I’m just not sure it’s big and heavy enough for me.”

With New AT&T Sponsorship Deal, Amazon Announces a Price Cut for KINDEAL! “Kindle 3G with Special Offers” Reduced to $139!

New price for Kindle 3G with Special Offers is $139 – still no monthly fee or annual contract
Never pay for or hunt for a Wi-Fi hotspot

Amazon announced today that AT&T has agreed to sponsor Kindle 3G with Special Offers — the 3G version of the device we like to call the KINDEAL — and that it is now available at a new price of $139. Kindle 3G with Special Offers is the same as the $189 Kindle 3G, plus money-saving special offers and sponsored screensavers.

(However, if you are in the market for a brand new Kindle 3G, don’t miss out on Kindle Nation’s latest Kindle 3G giveaway sweepstakes, co-sponsored by bestselling novelist M.J. Rose. Just click here to check out her novel THE HALO EFFECT, the first book in the Butterfield Institute series, while it is priced at just 99 cents, then click here to enter our Kindle 3G sweepstakes! This will be the fourth Kindle we’ve given away this year at Kindle Nation.)*

“Kindle 3G is more convenient – customers never have to hunt for or pay for a Wi-Fi hotspot – they simply download and read books anytime, anywhere. Kindle 3G customers read 20 percent more books, and take advantage of twice as many special offers,” said Jeff Bezos, Founder and CEO, Amazon.com. “A big thank you to AT&T for helping to make the new $139 price possible.”

“Kindle 3G is by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network. We consistently hear from customers how much they enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a Wi-Fi hotspot and instead being able to download and read new books anytime, anywhere on AT&T’s fast, reliable network,” said Ralph de la Vega, President and CEO, AT&T Mobility and Consumer Markets. “We are excited to sponsor Amazon’s best Kindle – Kindle 3G with Special Offers – at the new lower price of only $139.”

Kindle 3G includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling e-reader in the world:

  • Free 3G wireless, no annual contracts, no monthly fees
  • Global 3G coverage means books in under 60 seconds in over 100 countries and territories
  • Paper-like Pearl electronic ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
  • Lightweight body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
  • Kindle Store with over 950,000 books – largest selection of the most popular books
  • Seamless integration with free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps for iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, Android, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone

Here’s a link to Amazon’s complete press release this morning.

*No purchase is necessary to enter any Kindle Nation sweepstakes.

Amazon Reduces Kindle 3G Price $25 to $164 with New KINDLE 3G+WI-FI WITH SPECIAL OFFERS

“KINDEAL 3G” – Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi with Special Offers – $164

It’s not the Kindle Tablet, but there’s a new member of the Kindle family this evening!

You can now buy a 3G+Wi-Fi 6″ Kindle for just $164. It’s what we call the KINDEAL, and what Amazon calls the Kindle with Special Offers.

I’ve owned the $114 Wi-Fi KINDEAL  for several weeks and it has already paid for itself with special deals for things that I would have purchased even without the deals. The $114 Wi-Fi KINDEAL is already the #1 bestselling product at Amazon, but don’t be surprised if it gives way soon to this new $164 3G + Wi-Fi KINDEAL.

For the record, the sponsored screen savers on the KINDEAL are no more bothersome than the old literary portrait screensavers had become, and otherwise I never see an ad unless I choose to see an ad. When Amazon offers me books, music, and other products at prices significantly less than I was prepared to pay, I choose to see those ads, just as I tend to grab the supermarket circular when I walk into the supermarket.

You can order the new “KINDEAL 3G” – Kindle 3G + Wi-Fi with Special Offers – $164 now for immediate shipment and have it, depending on when you read this and where you live, on Thursday or Friday.

Here’s Amazon’s press release:

Introducing the Lowest Price 3G E-Reader – Kindle 3G with Special Offers for Only $164

Same features as latest-generation Kindle 3G – free 3G wireless, Pearl E Ink display, up to two months of battery life and more – plus sponsored screensavers and money-saving special offers

SEATTLE, May 24, 2011 (BUSINESS WIRE) — (NASDAQ:AMZN)–Last month, Amazon.com introduced Kindle with Special Offers, a new member of the Kindle family that gives customers access to money-saving special offers. Just five weeks later, Kindle with Special Offers became the bestselling member of the Kindle family in the U.S. Today, Amazon announced that it is now making special offers available for Kindle 3G. Kindle 3G with Special Offers is available starting today for only $164 and ships immediately. At just $164, Kindle 3G with Special Offers is the lowest price of any 3G e-reader, and includes the latest Pearl electronic ink display. Learn more about the entire Kindle family, including the $114 Kindle with Special Offers and the new $164 Kindle 3G with Special Offers, at www.amazon.com/kindle3G.

“Kindle is the bestselling e-reader in the world. It’s been just six weeks since we introduced the new $114 Kindle with Special Offers, and already customers have made it the bestselling member of the Kindle family,” said Jay Marine, Director, Amazon Kindle. “In response to customer requests, we’re now making these money-saving special offers available for Kindle 3G. You will get all the features readers love about Kindle 3G – free 3G wireless, global wireless access, Pearl electronic ink display that’s easy to read even in bright sunlight, access to over 950,000 ‘Buy Once, Read Everywhere’ Kindle books – all for just $164 – the lowest price for any 3G e-reader.”

Special offers that will be available in the coming weeks include:


  • $10 for a $20 Amazon.com Gift Card – customers loved this offer, so we’re making it available again in time for Father’s Day
  • Save up to $500 off Amazon’s already low prices on HDTVs with a unique 20% discount on 200 HDTVs from brands including Sony, Panasonic, LG, and VIZIO
  • $1 for a Kindle book, choose from thousands of books including Water for Elephants and the Hunger Games trilogy
  • Spend $10 on Kindle books and get a free $10 Amazon.com Gift Card

Kindle 3G with Special Offers includes all the same features that helped make the third-generation Kindle the #1 bestselling product in the history of Amazon.com:


  • Free 3G wireless , no annual contracts, no monthly fees
  • Global 3G coverage means books in under 60 seconds in over 100 countries and territories
  • Paper-like Pearl electronic ink display, no glare even in bright sunlight
  • Lightweight 8.7 ounce body for hours of comfortable reading with one hand
  • Up to two months of battery life with wireless off eliminates battery anxiety
  • Kindle Store with over 950,000 books – largest selection of the most popular books
  • Seamless integration with free “Buy Once, Read Everywhere” Kindle apps for Android, iPad, iPod touch, iPhone, PC, Mac, BlackBerry and Windows Phone

Kindle 3G with Special Offers is available for immediate shipment to customers in the U.S. at www.amazon.com/kindle3G.

Learn more about the new Kindle 3G with Special Offers at www.amazon.com/aboutkindlespecialoffers. Advertisers and agencies interested in learning more about Kindle sponsorship opportunities can contact kindle-sponsorships@amazon.com.

On the New $114 Kindle with Special Offers, The World is Made Up of Two Kinds of People

The world, or at least the Kindlesphere, may be made up of two kinds of people:

If you are a fan of Groupon, Living Social, Woot, or the Amazon Deal of the Day, but you also love to read and you don’t want to be distracted by advertising while you are reading an ebook, the Kindle with Special Offers could be just right for you.

But if you have ever spent a significant amount of time getting yourself on “Do Not Call” lists or filing spam reports or complaining to your public radio station that you don’t want to send their expensive roses to anybody on Valentine’s Day, it might be best for you to choose another Kindle or stick with the Kindle you already have.

Actually, there are probably still plenty of people in the “undecided” column, and I can say from personal experience that there are probably quite a few people in both of the camps I tried to describe above. There will be plenty to sort out with this latest Kindle, which is a good reason why we have been listening to our readers’ views and making our own notes over the past few days in an effort to share some useful information and perspective.

First, let’s make it clear what we are talking about here: On Monday afternoon, Amazon announced what it called a “new” Kindle, at a new (and rather strange) price of $114. The hardware and wi-fi connectivity is identical to the $139 latest generation Kindle Wi-fi model. The “new” $114 unit will do everything that the $139 model will do, but it will also include what Amazon calls “offers.” The somewhat ungainly name that Amazon has given the $114 unit — which will not ship until May 2 or May 3 — is the “Kindle with Special Offers.”

Here’s a link to the bulletin post that we ran at the time, which included Amazon’s press release:

Like many of Amazon’s business innovations, regardless of whether they are Kindle-related, the new offering has generated significant controversy in the early going among bloggers and visitors to various online forums. Much of the controversy revolves around just what Amazon means by Special Offers:

  • Do special offers mean advertising, or do they mean deals?
  • If they mean one thing now, will they come to mean another thing later?
  • Whatever these special offers are, where will they show up on the Kindle — on screensavers, on the Home screen, or — Heaven forfend! — in our Kindle books? (For the record, despite some mischievous disinformation in the blogosphere on this issue, Amazon has made it clear that there will be no encroachment into books).

The day after Monday’s announcement I posed this question on the Kindle Nation Facebook page:

What do you think of the new Kindle for $114? Do the “special offers” make it more, or less, appealing? If you already have a Kindle, do you wish you had waited for this one?

We had about 30 responses in the short period of time the question was front and center on our Facebook page, and I felt they did justice to the things that large numbers of people were thinking.

  • Melanie R. I think it is an intriguing concept. It is the first technology I know of that gave a choice regarding accepting advertising. My initial reaction was to reject it; but after reading more about it, I wish that it was available in 3G. I don’t want a wifi only kindle, but I would like to take advantage of the special offers.
  • LaToya A. I think the special offers may be more appealing to some, but besides the $20 giftcard for $10, I don’t care for much else. The sponsered screensavers does intrigue me and I am wondering if it will be available on all Kindles…
  • Eddie N. Less appealing. Savings isn’t worth the hassle of ads, sponsored screen savers, etc. For $50…maybe. For a small fraction less…and wifi only…I’ll pass. But thanks for trying ?:^)
  • Lennette W. I love my WiFi+3G Kindle 3 just the way it is!!! As for the Special Offers, I hope that they offer it to the rest of us! They sound very interesting!!!
  • Connie E.The ads are a turnoff. Wouldn’t be worth it to me. I LOVE my Kindle 3 just as it is.
  • Juana L. This is a BAD idea. When I read on my kindle, I want to enjoy my books. Not ads. For ads, I could be watching tv.
  • Marianne S. Oh no! I want that part of my life ad-free!! Would never EVER consider it for money!
  • Donna D. I LOVE my Kindle but I don’t know if I could put up with the ads as I don’t like them on my TV. My Kindle takes me away from all of that!
  • Sarah H. I would pay money not to have to look at Emily Dickinson again. I vote for screensaver bundles we could buy. I would do that in a heartbeat. Or give us the option of making book covers of the books we purchase our screensavers.
  • Mike D. No ads for me thanks … but I’m in favor of the idea. For many people the price of a Kindle is a deal breaker, and I’m all for anything that softens the blow.
  • Wendy H. I’ve already got a Kindle, but I think it might be a nice way for people to save a little money on one. I personally wouldn’t care if there was an ad on the screen saver/ home page as long as I could get to my book without delay. I’m with @Sarah H. above – I’d love some new screen savers. John Steinbeck is starting to give me the creeps…
  • Ruth N. With so much advertising all around us every day, I am so glad my Kindle DX is AD FREE. worth the extra $$ not to be sold to all the time.
  • Dwight J. As long as the ads never show up while I’m reading or playing a game, I don’t mind ads on the screensaver and home page. If this was available when I got my Kindle, I’d have jumped at the savings.
  • Jaime A. Too small of a price break for ads, which would be a huge disruption in a book.
  • Bill T. Not interested in ads. Think this devalues the Kindle.
  • Debbie S.the ads are just like the screensavers, it’s no big deal. It’s not going to interrupt your reading with a commercial. The price cut just made this more affordable to a lot more people and thats a good thing. Screensaver bundles to buy…maybe, but when I pick up my Kindle I have it switched on before the cover is all the way open so I never really see much of the screensaver at all.
  • Debbie T. I would like new screensavers for my kindle, tired of the ones that keep showing up, how about some different bundles, themed art or how about book covers of the books we have on the kindle, they could be screensavers and the more we buy the more screensavers we have
  • Pat M. If someone bought this for me as a gift, I wouldn’t be very happy especially when I know there is a perfect Kindle without advertising that they could have purchased for me. A gift of this Kindle just tells me how cheap the person giving the gift really is.

As for me, I’m inclined to think of the Kindle with Special Offers as sort of “half brilliant.”

I guess that I see kind of a strange fault line in public sentiment on marketing. All of us boomers who grew up on commercial-cluttered network TV have managed to train ourselves and each other to hate spam with evangelical fervor, but the successes of eBay and Amazon Marketplace and Groupon and Woot and LivingSocial all prove pretty clearly that there are also huge numbers of us who loooooove deals, especially deals that dress us up in some sort of “Members Only” jacket. It can be hard to keep the distinctions straight — for instance, the old prohibitions against advertising by public radio and television stations and doctors and lawyers certainly can’t be said to exist in the same ways any more.

Groupon has certainly proven there’s a business model there, so now Amazon’s taken the natural next step after investing in Living Social and Woot, and come up with a Kindle offering that — whatever else it may be — is a delivery system for such offers. I do believe that part is brilliant in terms of the total concept, and I expect that within a year we owners of all the other Kindles will be given a chance to opt in to special offers. And many will opt in. After all, as a member of Groupon and LivingSocial I can say that once or twice a week or so I see deals offering 50 to 60% off of what I would willingly pay for things that I actually want.

But the flip side here is that Amazon has been a little tone deaf in the roll-out.

  • First, a lot of existing Kindle owners are understandably upset because they have been asking Amazon to allow personal screensaver selections without forcing people to hack their Kindles to get there (under threat of warranty revocation), and now Amazon is doing something on screensavers that has little if anything to do with what folks were asking for.
  • Second, there’s too much stumbling language in their description of the new Kindle with Special Offers and Sponsored Screensavers, as if they don’t really want us to know what they are doing here. Any time a product name is seven words long, or even four words long, it’s a pretty good sign that there’s a problem.

But I understand that there’s a delicate balance that Amazon is trying to achieve here. As is evident from some of the responses above that people posted on our Facebook page, there will be plenty of people who buy this new Kindle in order to save $25. Some of them will be fine with the special offers and sponsorships, and some will quickly become fed up.

There are plenty of smart people who are saying “Maybe I would bite if the discount were $50.” And a lot of us wondered why Amazon hadn’t dropped the price to $99, which would obviously be a much more appealing price point.

But that’s exactly what Amazon did not want to do, at least not right off the bat. If they get a lot of people buying the “new” Kindle only because of the price break, those folks will have a higher resistance and a more negative response to the special offers. If, on the other hand, most of the people who buy the “new” Kindle are interested in or intrigued by the deals, and Amazon starts out with a fantastic array of specials in the first couple of weeks, the Kindle with Special Offers is likely to be a great success in at least two ways:

The “new” $114 Kindle with Special Offers won’t ship until May 2 or 3, and that three-week shipping gap will give Amazon a chance to pay close attention to the response and tweak the user experience if they are so inclined. But for all of us who are wondering where this will lead, we’ll just be guessing until customers actually have the “new” Kindles in their hands.

As for me, I tend to be a grumpy curmudgeon with respect to most advertising. I am channeling Mr. Ashley, whose lawn I used to mow on Saturday afternoons when I was 12. He was a great guy, well into his 70s, and it seemed like he popped Nitroglycerine every 20 minutes for his angina. When I finished his lawn he’d give me $1.25 and invite me for a cold lemonade and a few innings of the Red Sox game. I had never seen a remote control device before and I was amazed to see him mute the beer ads between innings. And the car ads, andsoforth. Like Mr. Ashley, now, I game the system, mute the ads, use the DVR, try to block out ads when I am at the movie theater, block pop-ups on my computer, use the spam filter on the Viagra ads, etc.
But I know quite a few smart, serious people who are addicted to Groupon and LivingSocial and scarf up more coupons than they will ever use. What they love are deals that are suited to them, I guess. They don’t think of them as ads or spam, and they don’t spend much time fine-tuning the analogies with respect to what is or is not like TV advertising or NPR underwriting or whatever. It’s just beyond most of our bandwidth to worry much about that.

And what most of us do with ads and spam and deals and offers is define our own boundaries, and since the “new” Kindle is opt-in, I’ll be surprised if many actual customers end up being upset with their actual experience, as opposed to what they fear it may be leading to, or what they hear about it in the media, etc.

Which is why I still think it is half-brilliant. And I’m intrigued. And I haven’t ruled out pulling the trigger on one. After all, if I’d had the “new” $114 Kindle with Special Offers in hand this morning, it probably would have told me about the Amazon Deal of the Day … the today-only price cut from $379 to $299 on the latest-generation Kindle DX!

Kind of makes you wonder what’s coming next month, doesn’t it? Which may be the biggest cause of friction for Amazon’s efforts to sell either the $114 Kindle or the $299 DX.

Bulletin: Amazon Cuts Price of Kindle DX from $379 to $299, Today Only

Major Price Cut Today Only on Latest Generation Kindle DX! Marked Down from $379 to $299 Until Midnight Tonight – This is the 9.7″-inch display model, Graphite, with Free 3G – And did I mention it is today only? (Because it is Amazon’s Deal of the Day)

Click here to get the Kindle DX for $299 – Today Only — April 15, 2011

All New, High Contrast E Ink Pearl Screen: Our graphite Kindle DX display uses the latest generation E Ink Pearl technology with 50% better contrast for the clearest text and sharpest images

Beautiful Large Display: The 9.7″ diagonal E Ink screen is ideal for a broad range of reading material, including graphic-rich books, PDFs, newspapers, magazines, and blogs

Read in Sunlight with No Glare: Unlike backlit computer or LCD screens, Kindle DX’s display looks and reads like real paper, with no glare. Read as easily in bright sunlight as in your living room

Slim: Just over 1/3 of an inch, as thin as most magazines

Books In Under 60 Seconds: Get books delivered wirelessly in less than 60 seconds; no PC required

Free 3G Wireless: No monthly payments, no annual contracts. Download books anywhere, anytime

Long Battery Life: Read for up to 1 week on a single charge with wireless on. Turn wireless off and read for two to three weeks.

Carry Your Library: Holds up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents

Buy Once, Read Everywhere: Kindle books can be read on all your devices. Our Whispersync technology saves and synchronizes your Kindle library and last page read across your Kindle(s), PC, iPhone, Mac, iPad, Android device, and BlackBerry device

Share Meaningful Passages: Share your passion for reading with friends and family by posting meaningful passages to Twitter and Facebook directly from your Kindle

Global Coverage: Enjoy wireless coverage at home or abroad in over 100 countries. See details. Check wireless coverage map.

Built-In PDF Reader: Carry and read all of your personal and professional documents on the go. Now with Zoom capability to easily view small print and detailed tables or graphics

Auto-Rotating Screen: Display auto-rotates from portrait to landscape as you turn the device so you can view full-width maps, graphs, tables, and Web pages

Read-to-Me: With the text-to-speech feature, Kindle DX can read newspapers, magazines, blogs, and books out loud to you, unless the book’s rights holder made the feature unavailable

Large Selection: Over 900,000 books and the largest selection of the most popular books people want to read, including 107 of 112 New York Times® Best Sellers, plus U.S. and international newspapers, magazines, and blogs. For non-U.S. customers, content availability and pricing will vary. Check your country.

Out-of-Copyright, Pre-1923 Books: Over 1.8 million free, out-of-copyright, pre-1923 books are available to read on Kindle, including titles such as The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes, Pride and Prejudice, and Treasure Island. Learn more

Low Book Prices: New York Times Best Sellers and New Releases from $9.99.

Free Book Samples: Download and read first chapters for free before you decide to buy


Amazon reduces Kindle price $100, with a catch….

Now here’s the price break you’ve been waiting for!

You can save another $100 off that $359 Kindle, and still get it sent directly to you by Amazon.com with free 2-day shipping!

Just click here and you’ll find the following paragraph:

Get the Amazon Rewards Visa Card and Get $100 Off Kindle
Thanks to Chase, you get $100 off Kindle when you get the new Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card. Limited time only. Here’s how this works: 1) Apply online. Get a response in as little as 30 seconds. If you’re approved, we will instantly add the card to your Amazon.com account and you’ll get $30 back on your credit card statement after your purchase. 2) Add a Kindle to your cart. 3) Place your order using the Amazon.com Rewards Visa Card and enter this promo code: VISACARD to get the additional $70 savings at checkout. Additional restrictions apply.

And that’s not all — I hate to be a cheerleader for plastic in these hard times, but that Chase card will continue to provide you with cash back on all your Kindle (and other Amazon) purchases. Watch out, or Jeff will be sending you money!