The not-overwhelmingly-bright but equally not-on-summer-vacation Ms. Miller at the New York Times characterizes the latest version of the kindle as:
"By firing another shot in an e-reader price war leading up to the year-end holiday shopping season"
This, despite a Bezos remark in the article to the effect that:
"“At $139, if you’re going to read by the pool, some people might spend more than that on a swimsuit and sunglasses,” Mr. Bezos said."
Mr. Bezos is being pretty mid-market here, saying $139 for the swimsuit _and_ sunglasses. Upmarket would have spent at least that on either.
I wouldn't call an August release of anything aimed at the holiday season. I would, in fact, be thinking that maybe it was aimed at back-to-school, with a bit of a slip. I wouldn't be the only one thinking that way.
or their preference:
This blogger (at a site devoted to consumer finance in an entertaining sort of way) points out that,
"Both models are available to pre-order and will be released on August 27th just in time for the start of school."
"Alongside the new Kindle, Amazon is releasing a Kindle case with a built in light that runs off the Kindle's battery so that you can read at night without bothering a roommate."
"The store contains more than half a million books for $9.99 or less and 1.8 million free, out=of=copyright books, which students may find tucked into their syllabi come fall. The Kindle also offers access to certain textbooks as well as newspaper and magazine subscriptions. Users can also upload their own pdf files to the device to handle reading assignments posted to course websites."
It's almost like Mr. Smith has really thought about this. And he's not the only one:
"Amazon is making the Kindle available in time for the back-to-school shopping season."
Mr. Gonsalves said little more of a student, school or parent of student nature, however.
Here's another article at Fast Company:
"which puts it right at the top end of many folks impulse-buy bracket, particularly if you're talking about gifts, or the back-to-school purchasing period."
What is conspicuously missing in all of these articles is sort of interesting all by itself. Yes, the cheap new kindle is a WiFi kindle -- no 3G on that one. And there are plenty of WiFi readers out there already, notably the Nook, which is $10 more than the point Amazon hit with the new one. Why is no one pointing out the absolute ubiquity of wifi networks on college campuses (campi?)? A college student would never need to use 3G on a reader, so why charge them for it.
Looks to me like this is intended to hit send-them-off-to-college market. And given what the kiddies spend on jeans these days? Definitely a no-brainer.