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Amazon May Give Free Kindles to Combat Apple

TechCrunch reports that Amazon is gearing up to offer free Kindles. The tip comes from a "reliable source," and follows a previous program in January that refunded the money of consumers who were dissatisfied with the Kindle device (while also allowed to keep it).

According to the source, Amazon is currently determining how to provide the free Kindles to its Amazon Prime subscribers without losing money. For $79 per year, the subscription-based service offers free two-day shipping and free standard shipping, and also offers a discount when subscribers choose to upgrade to overnight shipping. The program is designed mainly for heavy users who purchase items from Amazon on a frequent, monthly basis.

The latest Kindle model sporting the 6-inch display costs $259 USD. To make the free offer work, Amazon may need to implement a required contract spanning a certain number of years. Another option would be to enforce a book club-like system that requires the user to purchase a number of ebooks per year in addition to the yearly Amazon Prime subscription fee.

The supposed free Kindle offer may be Amazon's attempt to take on Apple's prettier iPad, perhaps to sway ebook readers into choosing Amazon's cheaper option as well as giving them an incentive to sticking with Amazon's own book store.

  • karenskym
    that is a great plan actually. People who want e-books but don't want to pay the steep price of the kindle and definitely not the ipad, would begin to purchase the complements.

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  • gorehound
    I would not care if this is free or not cause I own books...real paper books and many 1st editions.In all I must have over 1200 books.
    I swear never to buy a digital file I can not resell and that is not 1st edition.
    Reply
  • haunted one
    I don't like contracts. There's usually a hook in there somewhere.
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  • plattyaj
    I'm not buying any e-reader until I can get most books from the library in e-format.
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  • thackstonns
    Yeah like buy 60 books get a free kindle. Except didnt they increase the price of them book by 50 percent. 9.99 to 14.99. They did it once they will do it again. So who is to say that kindle wont end up costing you an arm and a leg.
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  • thackstonns
    What were the cameras down that day. Seriously though with all the Big Brother that is coming out of England these days its kinda scary.
    Reply
  • Dirtman73
    I'll pass on the Kindle and wait for the Nook's price to go down. BTW, Amazon Prime is a ripoff. I had the free trial for about three months, and all they did was hold the items I bought for as long as possible before shipping them out. The result was wait times as long as their standard shipping usually takes. Not worth it.
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  • Camikazi
    thackstonnsYeah like buy 60 books get a free kindle. Except didnt they increase the price of them book by 50 percent. 9.99 to 14.99. They did it once they will do it again. So who is to say that kindle wont end up costing you an arm and a leg.They didn't wanna raise the price, they were pretty much forced too by greedy publishers.
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  • What is a Kindle and an iPad? Some sort of wanna-be Skiff ripoff?
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  • JohnnyLucky
    Read an interesting article in this mornings' Wall Street Journal. If I understood correctly, iPad users will not actually purchase e-books. Instead, individuals will rent e-books. If that is correct, they can't really keep the e-books and they can't sell them or give them away to someone.
    Reply