Amazon eBook Reader Enables Wireless Impulse Buys

More details are emerging regarding Amazon Kindle, Amazon’s late-to-the-party eBook reader that was announced yesterday.

The New York Times reports that Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos is aware of all the past failures in bringing electronic books to the marketplace, and looks to make this one different. “If you go back in time, the landscape is littered with the bodies of dead e-book readers,” Bezos said yesterday.

The difference with the Kindle is that folks can buy eBooks wirelessly, directly from the device, without having to sync up to a computer. The device has a built-in Sprint wireless connection that’s designed for browsing and downloading books.

Amazon is also only charging $9.95 for most books, which is significantly less than they’ve cost in the past. Industry analysts in the article reported that a $27 hardcover would normally sell for about $16 as an eBook, with a wholesale price of $10. With this as a guide, it appears that Amazon will make no money on new books and will also eat the cost of the Sprint wireless data transmissions, hoping instead to make money on older texts.

That still leaves the gadget’s high $399 entry price, however.

Amazon Reading Device Doesn’t Need Computer [NYT]