Amazon Planning to Give Away Free Kindles?

That crazy Amazon, always trying some new silly promotion in the hopes of making more money. On a day that’s heavy with minor Amazon news, TechCrunch reports that Amazon may be scheming to give a free Kindle to every one of its Amazon Prime customers (Amazon prime is a service anyone can sign up for: you get free shipping on everything you buy for $79 per year).

Here’s more from TechCrunch: “These are Amazon’s very best customers–the ones who tend to make multiple purchases per month. And they are also likely to buy multiple books per month on their Kindle devices. If those users buy enough books, and Amazon gets the production costs of the Kindle down enough, Amazon can get Kindles into “millions” of people’s hands without losing their shirt. At least when the goal is to break even or better over the course of a couple of years, the expected lifetime of a Kindle.”

Of course, for Amazon, the Kindle is most probably just a fancy, portable bookstore, and the b books are the real goldmine. But maybe someone out there can explain how Amazon is going to make money on eBooks if they’re taking a loss on each book they sell, and they’re giving away the hardware.