eReaders and Tablets: Peaceful Coexistence?

Borders has extended its $99 Kobo eBook reader sale through Thursday. I wonder what this means. Does it mean that they received such a favorable bump in sales that the embattled bookseller wants to build on it? Or does it mean just the opposite, and they need to quickly clear inventory and raise cash to pay publishers?

I’d like to think that it is the former rather than the latter. Successful Kobo sales mean more eBook sales for Borders which hopefully offset any losses they take discounting the hardware. Not only that, I’d like to think that maybe they are establishing $99 as a permanent opening price point for a high quality eBook reader. This lower price would also further position eReaders versus tablets like the iPad.

Since the appearance of the iPad, I’ve wondered whether dedicated eReaders stood a chance of surviving in a market of more capable tablets. The falling prices of the Kindle, and Nook since that time will certainly help their survival. And the introduction and reported success of the Nook Color at $249 demonstrates that a middle ground between eBook readers and tablets may exist as well. Still, I think most consumers are thinking of getting one or the other. But if the impulse buy price point of $99 is established for eReaders, then I think buying both becomes an option for many.

So I hope that the $99 Kobo is not just a fleeting blip on my sensors.

This entry was posted in eBooks and tagged , , , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Both comments and trackbacks are currently closed.