Peter Kafka

Recent Posts by Peter Kafka

It’s an E-Reader Price War! Amazon Trumps Barnes & Noble With $189 Kindle.

That didn’t take long. This morning, Barnes & Noble (BKS) dropped its low-end Nook e-reader to $149 and its 3G model to $199, giving it an edge (pricewise, at least) over Amazon’s Kindle.

Not any more–Amazon (AMZN) just cut the price of its 3G Kindle model from $259 to $189.

The 27 percent price drop was no surprise–everyone who follows the market assumed the Kindle would drop below $200 soon. There is still a belief that Amazon will add more bells and whistles soon as well to help the device compete with the iPad from Apple (AAPL). But I have a feeling that Jeff Bezos and company will resist the urge to pile on features for features’ sake.

The choice for consumers now is clearer than ever: Get a single-purpose reading device for less than $200 or pay much more for a computer that also has e-reading software.

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Just as the atom bomb was the weapon that was supposed to render war obsolete, the Internet seems like capitalism’s ultimate feat of self-destructive genius, an economic doomsday device rendering it impossible for anyone to ever make a profit off anything again. It’s especially hopeless for those whose work is easily digitized and accessed free of charge.

— Author Tim Kreider on not getting paid for one’s work