How Amazon Could Offer Free Kindle Readers (think Amazon Prime)

Back in the days when Amazon’s Kindle was priced at $350 and even when it was lowered to $250, I said that the single function ebook reader was too expensive for casual readers. I noted back then that Amazon’s real core business was selling ebook content and that the device should be priced under $100 to bring casual readers (people who read less than one novel per month) into the ebook market. One reader chided me saying how ridiculous this suggestion was. Late last summer Amazon lowered the price enough, $139, for a WiFi-only model that convinced me, as a casual reader, to buy a Kindle. I still believe that the entry level WiFi-only Kindle price should be under $100. provides an interesting scenario that might result in a Kindle for under $100.

Free Kindle This November

The idea is that a Kindle ebook reader would be given free to Amazon Prime customers who pay $80 a year to get free two-day shipping for every purchase. This makes sense as it would encourage people who might normally buy a physical paper book to buy a Kindle ebook instead. It would also tie in nicely with Amazon’s recent move to tie their streaming video service to Amazon Prime customers.

The drawback for some of us is that Amazon Prime is only available to people who live in the continental U.S. So, if you live in Alaska or Hawaii, you would be out of luck.