Amazon to Unveil $139 Kindle Wi-Fi

amazonlogoed23.pngAmazon has fired the next shot in the eReader price war. This evening the New York Times broke the news that Amazon will soon offer a new edition of the Kindle eReader, a brand new $139 edition called “Kindle Wi-Fi.”

Here’s more from the report: “Unlike previous Kindles, the $139 ‘Kindle Wi-Fi’ will connect to the Internet using only Wi-Fi instead of a cellphone network as other Kindles do. Amazon is also introducing a new model to replace the Kindle 2, which it will sell for the same price as that model, $189. Both new Kindles are smaller and lighter, with higher contrast screens and crisper text.”

This morning, we reported that Amazon’s Kindle 2 was sold out and the eReader was listed as “Temporarily out of stock.” Many experts speculated that this news meant a new Kindle was on the way. For a complete breakdown of eReader price scales before this announcement, check out the Borders price chart.

UPDATE: Engadget actually takes a look at the new device: “Amazon is introducing a new reading device for e-book aficionados dubbed simply… the Kindle. The new handheld — slated to be released on August 27th — is 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than the previous model, has a 20 percent faster refresh rate on its E Ink (yep, still E Ink) screen, and will now come in two colors (graphite, like its big brother the DX, and the original white).”

UPDATE 2: What do you think? Mike Cane extended the battlefield metaphors, calling the $139 eReader “Amazon’s Scorched-Earth Win.” Don Linn offered a similarly fiery prediction: “$139 will soon become $99 and Amazon has in all likelihood just burned this mutha down.”

UPDATE 3: Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos will speak with Charlie Rose tonight.