Kobo eReader Price to Drop to $99 by December?


The New Yorker is reporting that the Kobo ereader, sold by Borders, could see a price drop from $149 to $99 by Christmas. Their reporter recently attended a Kobo event and says:

I was playing fly on the wall at a company party thrown by Kobo, a.k.a. “The Kindle Killer.” Founded in Canada and now partially owned by Borders, Kobo is perhaps the scrappiest and most focused player in the e-book war. Its online store has a vast and rapidly expanding catalogue of e-books that can be read on almost any mobile device (notable exception: the Kindle). And its own e-reader’s simplicity and affordability (it will reportedly be down to ninety-nine dollars in time for Christmas) has spawned a cult following. In Amazon’s rear-view mirror, Kobo is quickly gaining ground.

The Kobo’s simplicity means it has relied on its low price to compete with other ereaders. However, now that you can get a Kindle for $139, Kobo is going to have to drop their price to stay competitive.

Some people are even predicting that will we see a $99 Kindle by Christmas. What do you think? Is $99 the price point that will convince you to buy an ereader?

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  • KoKo the Talking Ape

    When I heard the Kindle was dropping its cheapest model to $140, I immediately went to Kobo to look for their corresponding price drop. No joy. :-(

    But yeah, $99 would do it for me.

    Nothing about the Kobo reader is proprietary, as far as I can tell. If they don’t drop the price, some second- or third-tier Chinese manufacturer will undercut them with a a simple Android-based pad with e-ink that can read Kobo books, and also run the Kindle app.

    The era of vertically integrated book-app-store-device lock-in is over, if it ever existed. In a few years, readers will be universally compatible commodities that sell for dirt cheap and virtually no profit, like PC’s. Kobo should then get out of the reader business entirely, and leave the reader device business to China or India.