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You Could Get Paid for Reading This: Interested in Trading Up for a New Kindle Touch or Kindle Fire Tablet? Pull Your Clunker In to Amazon’s Super Lot!

This is fascinating. But even better, you could get paid for reading this post. Sort of.


Back in May, we ran an article entitled “Amazon Prepares the Way for the Kindle Tablet by Accepting iPad Trade-ins.” At the time Amazon was offering $245 for my first-generation 32GB, wifi-only iPad, and we called it “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 associated 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.

Now Amazon has taken the logical but equally brilliant next step by extending the buyback deal to just about every ebook reader and tablet that we have ever owned or dreamed of owning — except, at this early writing, the Nook — beginning with that first Kindle 1 for which you may, like me, have paid $399. As you can see at the right, Amazon’s algorithms initially set a “like new” trade-in price of $29 along with $26.25 (Good) or $18.50 (Acceptable), but those didn’t last long. It may be a good indication of how popular the trade-in program is the Kindle 1 trade-in offer has already, as of this morning, fallen to less than half the original levels at $12/$10.75/$7.

These prices are set not by humans but by what Amazon’s algorithms make of the marketplace, and by Amazon’s formula for balancing the need to pay low enough that it can profit reasonably on a refurbished resale and high enough to make you want to unload the first-generation Kindle and buy a new model. But make no mistake, it’s all about setting you up with one of the new models if at all possible, because those new models — and especially the Kindle Fire tablet — are the ideal content- and commerce-delivery system for just about everything that Amazon sells.

As any auto dealer can tell you, there is a tremendous amount of market power involved in having what is effectively a two-way market, and of course Amazon is far more knowledgeable about relative price elasticity and inventory control than most auto dealers and manufacturers have proven themselves to be. For everyone who has been feeling that very common feeling of buyer’s remorse over having purchased less advanced but higher priced models in the past, even the prospect of a nickels-to-dollars trade-in transaction has to sweeten the appeal of purchasing a new Kindle Fire or Kindle Touch.

Meanwhile, for those who love to watch the ebook reader market and compare the popularity of various devices, it will be fascinating to watch the rising and falling offer prices for over 140 devices (including dedicated ebook readers, tablets, and smart phones) that Amazon has tagged with a “kindle” keyword in its trade-in department.

And meanwhile — as if this is something new — Amazon apparently has it all:

  1. the most popular ebook readers ever;
  2. the best value proposition for any tablet;
  3. the best trade-in spot, unless you are an eBay seller, for a growing list of electronic devices including dedicated ebook readers, tablets, and smartphones; and
  4. what is almost certain to become a very popular off-price secondary marketplace for the same devices.

Naturally, thus far we’ve all focused primarily on #1 and #2 above. But we should not underestimate the importance of #3 and #4 in influencing the economics, the retail pricing, and perhaps even the share price of some major competitors, including eBay and Apple.

But more on that in another post.

They’re Here, and They’re Gamechangers! Amazon Announces Four New Kindles at Stunning Prices, Including a $199 Kindle Fire Tablet, a $99 Kindle Touch and a New $79 Kindle Base Model

Kindle Family


By Steve Windwalker

September 30, 2011

Amazon held a press conference in New York Wednesday morning, and Kindle Nation was well represented by correspondent Len Edgerly of The Kindle Chronicles, who provided our readers with a live blog of a truly dazzling event marked by the launch of four brand new Kindles — include the new Kindle Fire tablet — at prices that shocked us all.

There’s a lot of information to share with you, but we’re going to try to strip it down and proceed from the simple to the sublime, with links in this week’s Kindle Nation WEEKENDER to more information and video for those who want to read more.

In that spirit, let’s begin with a very simple comparison chart for the hardware Kindle models that were unveiled Wednesday:



Model Kindle* Kindle Touch* Kindle Fire
Price $79.00 $99/$149 $199.00
Connectivity Wi-Fi $99 Wi-Fi Only; $149 Free 3G+Wi-Fi Wi-Fi
Release Date Available now 11/21/2011 11/15/2011
Covered by 30-day no-hassle return policy Yes Yes Yes
Content Millions of

books, newspapers,

magazines, games,

and docs

Millions of

books, newspapers,

magazines, games,

and docs

18 million movies,

TV shows, apps,

games, songs,

books, newspapers,


magazines, and docs

Web browser Experimental




Amazon Silk



Display 6″ E Ink Pearl 6″ E Ink Pearl 7″ Vibrant Color IPS
Text-to-Speech No Yes No
Battery Life 1 month 2 months 8 hours continuous reading or

7.5 hours

video playback

Cloud storage Free for all

Amazon content

Free for all

Amazon content

Free for all

Amazon content

Dimensions 6.5″ x 4.5″

x 0.34″

6.8″ x 4.7″

x 0.40″

7.5″ x 4.7″

x 0.45″

Weight 5.98 ounces 7.5/7.8 ounces 14.6 ounces
Interface 5-way controller multi-touch multi-touch
*Models with Special Offers Kindle Kindle Touch Not yet
*Prices with Special Offers $79.00 $99/$149 Not yet
*Models without Special Offers Kindle Kindle Touch Kindle Fire
*Prices without Special Offers $109.00 $139/$189 $199.00

Great Expectations and Kindle Fire: What to Look Forward to with Wednesday’s Kindle Tablet Press Conference

“More and more, over time, people are going to be buying from tablet computers. They’ll lean back on their sofas…. That’s very exciting for us. It gives us a new environment to experiment and invent in. “

–Jeff Bezos

By Steve Windwalker

First, we’re very pleased and excited to announce that we’ve arranged for podcaster extraordinaire Len Edgerly of The Kindle Chronicles to live-blog Amazon’s 10 a.m. Wednesday press conference announcing the new Kindle Tablet, a.k.a. the Kindle Fire, for Kindle Nation readers at http://bit.ly/LEN-LIVE-FROM-NY-ON-KTAB. Len promises to start posting as he travels to New York via Amtrak later today, and the action will really heat up shortly before 10 a.m. Wednesday, which is when we expect Jeff Bezos to take the stage at Stage 37 in New York.

So we’ll be covering the big announcement from multiple vantage points. You can follow Len’s live blog here, we’ll be gathering all the key information on our Kindle Nation Daily blog, and we’ll send out an email to our thousands of opt-in email subscribers when the Kindle Fire is available for pre-order.

Here are some of the questions we expect to see answered, and you can count on us to pass the answers on to you as soon as we have them. The “best guess” answers below come from a variety of sources and our own brain cells, but they will all be replaced with hard information tomorrow morning.

  • What is the new Kindle tablet called? Best guess: the Kindle Fire.
  • How much does the Kindle Fire cost? Best guess: $299, with a “Special Offers” version for $249.
  • When is the Kindle Fire available for pre-order? Best guess: at or about 10 a.m. Eastern on Wednesday.
  • When will the Kindle Fire ship? Best guess: Thursday, November 17.
  • Will it sell out before Christmas? Best guess: We won’t be surprised if it sells out this week, but if that happens it should be available again within a few weeks.
  • How should one balance one’s reservations about buying version 1.0 of the Kindle Fire with the fear that one may be left behind if it goes out of stock. Best guess: Amazon’s no-hassle, no-questions-asked 30-day return policy makes this a no-brainer. Grab it, test-drive it, and make your decision at the 25-day mark. We’ll be very surprised if you don’t want to keep it, but if you don’t want it and Amazon does sell out, you might even end up being able to decide whether to return it to Amazon or to sell it for a profit on eBay.
  • Is the tablet the only product that is being announced with this event? Best guess: No, Amazon may also announce a $189 e-Ink Kindle with a touch screen and a $99 base model e-Ink Kindle with Special Offers, but these might not be available for pre-order until later this fall.
  • How large is the Kindle Fire display? Best guess: 7 inches on the diagonal, and yes, it is color and backlit with capacitative touch.
  • How much does the Kindle Fire weigh? Best guess: 12.8 ounces.
  • What’s the battery life? Best guess: It may be a little hard to get a handle on this given the different effects on battery life of reading, listening to music, watching streaming video, websurfing, and other uses, but if you are going to get full enjoyment from the Kindle Fire you’ll probably find yourself charging the battery at least as often as you charge your cellphone.
  • Does it come with 3G? Best guess: Doubtful; it may be wifi-only this year, but we won’t be surprised to see a 3G or 4G option in 2012.
  • If Amazon is selling a tablet for $250, a touch Kindle for $189, and a base model Kindle for $99, how can it possibly make a profit? Best guess: Covers, content, e-commerce, and special offers sponsorships.
  • What are the most important accessories for the Kindle Fire? Best guess: a power adaptor and USB cable, a cover, and — if it is enabled — a micro SD card.
  • As a content delivery system, what are the Kindle Fire’s areas of strength? Best guess: the Kindle Fire will allow seamless, wireless delivery from the cloud of Kindle books and periodicals, Amazon MP3 music files, Audible.com books, streaming movies and television programs with Amazon Prime Instant Video, and a wide range of Android-compatible Apps available from Amazon’s own AppStore for Android.
  • What about YouTube, email, VOiP, Angry Birds, Facebook, Twitter, texting, web browsing, word processing, spreadsheets, presentations, blog posting, gaming, Groupon, LivingSocial, Woot, Windowshop, Amazon Mobile, Amazon Local, Amazon Fresh, and everything else you’ll ever want to do on the Kindle Fire? Best guess: there’s an app for that.
  • Is the Kindle Fire essentially a closed environment controlled by its manufacturer, like the iPad and the Nook? Best guess: essentially yes, but operationally it may be far more open than those competitors, given selection and pricing in Amazon’s content platforms, the growing scale of Amazon’s AppStore for Android and the easy access that content providers have to platforms such as Kindle Digital Publishing and, ultimately, Amazon’s MP3 and video platforms. 
  • What’s the unlikeliest word that we can expect to hear repeated by Jeff Bezos as he describes the Kindle Fire? Best guess: “Sofa.” As in shopping on the sofa, reading on the sofa, watching movies on the sofa, etc. This is probably not a good thing for the future of laptops, notebooks, netbooks, and even some other tablets.
  • What special “value proposition” features might be bundled with the Kindle Fire to entice buyers. Best guess: free or cheap Amazon Prime, a $79 a year value that would underline importance of the Kindle Fire as the sofa shopper’s favorite gadget.
  • So which is it, a content delivery device or a sofa shopping portal? Best guess: both, but if the Kindle Fire’s primary uses list too much away from ebooks and toward shopping, a nice countervailing value proposition would involve the offering of some form of a Netflix-type bundling of free ebooks to steer folks toward reading.

But here’s the bottom line for the Kindle Fire:

There is an understandable tendency, when new products like the Kindle, the iPad, and the Kindle Fire are launched, for many of us to focus too narrowly at first on hardware specs and feature sets. It is important to remember that it wasn’t only hardware features that set the Kindle Revolution aflame, it was Amazon’s remarkable edge in each of the 4 C’s of customer base, catalog, convenience and connectivity. The Kindle capitalized dramatically on each of those unfair edges, and so will the Kindle Fire. 

No single competitor can touch Amazon in more than one of these areas.

What are some of the other questions you’d like to see covered?

Wall Street Journal Reports: Kindle Tablet, Kindle Touch, and Kindle Basic to Ship in August or September

By Steve Windwalker

The Wall Street Journal’s website is reporting this evening that Amazon will release three new Kindle compatible devices between now and the end of September, including:

  • an Android-based tablet with a screen that will be close in size to that of the Kindle DX and the iPad;
  • an e-Ink Kindle with touch screen; and
  • a new base model e-Ink Kindle with a new low price.

The K-Tab, which is the name we at Kindle Nation have given to the tablet device for which we have projected a late July announcement and a late August ship date, “will allow Amazon customers to easily watch videos, read electronic books and listen to digital music they purchase or rent” from Amazon, the Journal piece said.

WSJ reporters Stu Woo and Yukari Iwakani Kane take an authoritative tone in a report whose anonymous sources are “people familiar with the matter,” suggesting that Amazon planned the leak.

“The new tablet will intensify a growing clash between Amazon and Apple,” the Journal opined. “The two tech-industry titans are already fighting for customers for their respective digital book, music and video businesses. Now Amazon will have a device that will compete closely against Apple’s popular iPad, as well as other tablets such as Samsung Electronic Co.’s Galaxy Tab.”

Amazon announced earlier today that its KINDEAL 3G – the 3G+wi-fi Kindle with special offers, is now available for $139 due to sponsorship or subsidy by AT&T. As Amazon attempts to clear out existing inventory prior to the launch the aforementioned new devices, we expect to see a base-model wi-fi Kindle offering at $99 for the first time in time for the back-to-school market in late August or September.

As Jeff Bezos said a few weeks back when asked about a new Kindle tablet launch this year, “Stay tuned.”

We Select a Kindle Tablet Sweepstakes Winner, and Just in the Nick of Time, We Have Rumors of 4 Million Kindle Tablets Slated for Production!

By Steve Windwalker

The fun continued yesterday at Kindle Nation as we closed out our month-long Kindle Tablet Sweepstakes by selecting the name of grand prize winner Linda Ronne at random from the names of 4,233 Kindle Nation citizens who entered.

Although we have already given out two brand-new Kindles to Kindle Nation citizens who won our earlier sweepstakes in May and June, this one was a little different because, well, the grand prize does not actually exist yet! You may recall that this is the first sweepstakes involving a Kindle Tablet, and we went to considerable pains to make sure that our Grand Price winner would have plenty of peace of mind while waiting for Amazon to announce a Kindle Tablet. (See the legalese at the end of this post for the details of how we worded things to be fair to all concerned.)

Here’s what we said to Linda yesterday when we told her she was the winner:

“So now comes the tough part — waiting patiently for Amazon to announce its tablet. Our totally speculative guess is that they might announce it in late July for shipment in late August, because that worked so well with the Kindle 3 in 2010. But we shall see!”

But timing is everything, right? We just received word via a key member of our development team, Mark in Thailand, who shared a post from the UK about a report from Yenting Chen and Adam Hwang at DIGITIMES stating that “Amazon is poised to step into tablet PCs and will launch models as soon as August-September, with targeted global sales of four million units for 2011, according to Taiwan-based component makers.”

Sounds right to us, and we like the timing a lot! The only thing that doesn’t ring true for me is the projection of four million units for 2011. I’m thinking that if Amazon only gets 4 million units produced this year, the Kindle Tablet will be sold out for most of the last six weeks of the year, and we wouldn’t like to see that.

If you’re reading this, you may well be among over 4,000 Kindle Nation citizens who have signed up to receive our notification email when Amazon makes the Kindle Tablet available for pre-orders. We’re already preparing that email with all models and purchasing options spelled out, so that you aren’t among those who’s left waiting if the Kindle Tablet does go out of stock.

And, oh yes, here’s the small print from our sweepstakes rules:

Grand prize

There is one prize, total value estimated at between $200 and $750, consisting of a base model Kindle Tablet electronic device, which the sponsor expects to be manufactured and offered for sale by Amazon.com at some unknown time in 2011. If a base model Kindle Tablet electronic device is not manufactured and offered for sale by Amazon.com by December 18, 2011, the sponsor will allow the winner to substitute any existing Kindle product valued at $400 or less, or an Amazon.com gift certificate for $400. The phrase “base model Kindle Tablet electronic device” herein refers to the lowest-priced Kindle Tablet electronic device offered by Amazon at time of the device’s launch announcement. The winning prize will be shipped to the winner directly from Amazon.com at the sponsor’s expense, and the winner will have sole discretion as to whether she wishes to return the prize either for an account credit or for an upgrade to a higher-priced model.

We’re Giving Away a Free Kindle Tablet! Here’s All the Information You Need to Enter!

I promise: it is not a goal of mine in life to become known as Crazy Eddie, or Crazy Steve, or Crazy Anybody.

But you may have noticed that we’re really getting a kick out of these Kindle give-away sweepstakes that we have been having. So far during the month of May we have given away two Kindle 3Gs and two Kindle gift certificates ($100 and $50), and we’re just getting warmed up.

We’ve just opened up a new Kindle Nation Sweepstakes in which we will be giving away a brand new Kindle Tablet when it is launched … sometime this year!

That’s right: Amazon hasn’t even announced or launched the Kindle Tablet yet, and we are giving one away — as soon as Amazon announces it (or when our Sweepstakes closes on June 21, 2011, whichever comes later). You can enter and read all the rules by clicking on this link — http://bit.ly/Win-a-Kindle-Tablet. (There’s a screenshot of the entry form at the right, but to actually fill out the entry form you will have to click on it or on http://bit.ly/Win-a-Kindle-Tablet and check to make sure that you “Like” our Kindle Nation Facebook page.)

And just in case you don’t win, every entrant will also be added to a notification list so we can alert you when the new Kindle Tablet is officially announced and available for order.

And one more thing – please share this news on your Facebook page and tell your friends, family, colleagues, and the guy sitting next to you on the train and trying to read your Kindle book over your shoulder, because we promise to hold another Kindle Tablet giveaway if we reach 5,000 entries in this one!

Here’s the small print in which we discuss tiny little details like what we will do if Amazon doesn’t actually launch a new Kindle Tablet device by the week before Christmas.


1. How to Enter: This is an online sweepstakes only, sponsored by Kindle Nation. The Sweepstakes is open to new or existing fans of Kindle Nation’s page and is administered entirely within an appropriate App created for this purpose. To become (or verify your status as) a fan of Kindle Nation, go to www.Facebook.com/KindleNation and “like” the page if you have not already done so. To enter the sweepstakes, submit your name, email address and birthday as indicated on the entry form. Merely liking or becoming a fan of Kindle Nation, commenting on its page, or sending an email message of your interest does not constitute entry into or participation in this sweepstakes. Sweepstakes entry is limited to one entry per person and no more than one entry per email address. Submission of multiple entries may result in disqualification from the sweepstakes. Sponsor will not verify receipt of entries. Automated entries are prohibited, and any use of such automated devices or programs in association with this Sweepstakes will cause disqualification. Sponsor and its advertising and promotion agencies are not responsible for lost, late, illegible, misdirected or stolen entries or transmissions, or problems of any kind whether mechanical, human or electronic.

2. Eligibility: Open to residents of all countries except: Belgium, Norway, Sweden, India, Côte d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan and Syria. If you win and you reside in a country where Amazon does not ship the base Kindle Tablet Device, you will receive an Amazon Gift Card in lieu of the base Kindle Tablet Device. Participants must be 18 years of age or older. Employees of Kindle Nation and its affiliates, advertising and promotion agencies, the judging organization, and immediate families in the same household are not eligible. All federal, state and local laws and regulations apply. This promotion shall only be construed and evaluated according to United States law. You are not authorized to participate in the Sweepstakes if you are located within and a legal resident of Belgium, Norway, Sweden, India, Côte d’Ivoire/Ivory Coast, Cuba, Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iran, Republic of the Congo, Somalia, Myanmar, North Korea, Sudan, Syria, Puerto Rico or any other place where the Sweepstakes is prohibited or restricted by law.

3. Prizes: See section 4 for prize details and value of the prize being offered. Odds of winning the prize depend on number of eligible entries received. Value of the prize is estimated at between $200 and $750. The prize cannot be transferred or substituted except at Sponsor’s sole discretion. Sponsor will pay any sales tax due for domestic delivery in the United States, not to exceed 10 percent of the value of the prize; otherwise prize winners are responsible for all taxes and import duties. Neither Sponsor nor its affiliates or subsidiaries will be responsible for any loss, liability or damages arising out of the winner’s acceptance or use of the prize.

4. Drawing and Awarding of Prizes: Winner will be determined by a random drawing from all eligible entries received online per the drawing schedule outlined. The winners will be notified by email from kindlenation@gmail.com and must respond directly via email to kindlenation@gmail.com within 24 hours to receive the winning prize. If a potential winner cannot be contacted within 24 hours of first attempt, prize will be forfeited and an alternate winner will be selected. There is one prize, total value estimated at between $200 and $750, consisting of a base model Kindle Tablet electronic device, which the sponsor expects to be manufactured and offered for sale by Amazon.com at some unknown time in 2011. If a base model Kindle Tablet electronic device is not manufactured and offered for sale by Amazon.com by December 18, 2011, the sponsor will allow the winner to substitute any existing Kindle product valued at $400 or less, or an Amazon.com gift certificate for $400. The phrase “base model Kindle Tablet electronic device” herein refers to the lowest-priced Kindle Tablet electronic device offered by Amazon at time of the device’s launch announcement. The winning prize will be shipped to the winner directly from Amazon.com at the sponsor’s expense, and the winner will have sole discretion as to whether she wishes to return the prize either for an account credit or for an upgrade to a higher-priced model.

5. Notification of Winners. Winners will be notified by email using the email address with which they have entered the sweepstakes. Email notification will come from kindlenation@gmail.com.
It is the sole responsibility of each participant to ensure that they will be able to receive, read, and respond to email notifications from kindlenation@gmail.com in a timely fashion.

6. Waiver of Responsibility or Liability. As a condition of entry and participation each entrant or participant releases Facebook and Kindle Nation from any and all responsibility or liability in association with the sweepstakes promotion and acknowledges that this sweepstakes promotion is in no way sponsored, endorsed or administered by, or associated with, Facebook. Entrants or participants are providing contact and entry information only to the sponsor, Kindle Nation, and to the company administering the sweepstakes, and not to Facebook.

DISCLOSURE: All entries will receive a special notification email from Kindle Nation when the Kindle Tablet electronic device is announced and available for order from Amazon.com. All entries will also receive a free subscription to the Kindle Nation email newsletter and/or the BookLending.com email newsletter, from which they may opt out at any time. No other use will be made of participants’ contact and entry information, which will be held confidentially by the sponsor and the company administering the sweepstakes.


Kindles Galore! From $89.99 to $379.99, and Don’t Forget the Chance to Win One Free from Kindle Nation or Sign Up for a Kindle Tablet Alert!

There are some great ways to get a Kindle cheap these days, just in case you’re on the lookout….

What’s the Woot deal all about? Well, if Amazon were announcing a new Kindle-compatible product sometime in the next three or four months, it would be natural to want to clear out the “refurbished”inventory of everything but the latest-generation Kindle. Not only do we think that Amazon will announce a Kindle tablet in June or July (for shipment sometime before Labor Day), but we’re set up to send you a personal email alert when the K-Tab is ready for order — all you have to do to get on the list is send an email to kindlenation+KTab@gmail.com.

Meanwhile, don’t forget to check today’s Free Book Alert to make sure you have plenty of good reading to look forward to any or all of your present and future KIndles!