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Is Amazon harming the E-reader category?

October 17th, 2015 |  Published in Amazon, Devises


17 October 2015 – There is an interesting piece from TeleRead which argues that Amazon is doing harm to the e-reader category of devices it helped create. The company has been aggressively pushing adoption of its Kindle Fire brand of tablets, dropping the price for the cheapest model down to $50. Compare that to the basic version of the e-ink Kindle: $80 if you don’t want it cluttered with “special offers.” If you care enough about an e-ink screen, you might still buy it, but most of those people probably already have e-readers. The general populace, when looking at the tablet’s color screen, app ecosystem, and access to forms of entertainment beyond books, will probably consider the tablet a no-brainer.

This is in Amazon’s best interest; if you buy an e-reader, you’re only going to be buying books for it. If you buy a tablet, they can sell you videos and software, too. Amazon has succeeded in pushing several competing e-readers out of the market. They also refuse to experiment or innovate on the design; there have been no significant changes since the Paperwhite’s backlighting technology in 2012. Given that ebook sales are no longer growing explosively, this could be a sign that the e-reader category of devices is stagnating.

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