By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

Summary: It's almost undeniable. By next year, it looks like -- for at least one model -- the Kindle will be free.

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Despite my best intentions, I let myself get talked into buying a Kindle Fire. My ancient bedroom-reader iPhone is finally giving up the ghost and I really do enjoy reading using the Kindle format. I don't like e-ink, but I thought the Fire might both let me read my novels and have some other uses.

This, despite my own set of well-thought-out reasons not to buy a Fire:

See also: 12 reasons you might NOT want to buy a Kindle Fire

I guess I am a tech junkie after all. But pulling the trigger on the Fire got me thinking. Kindle prices have dropped a lot. After all, the Fire was $199, and the original Kindle was twice that. How far have they dropped?

This chart shows it all:

Notice the trend line for the blue bars, representing the base Kindle model. It's almost undeniable. By next year, it looks like -- for at least one model -- the Kindle will be free.

Have a great weekend!

Topics: Smartphones, Hardware, Mobility

About

David Gewirtz, Distinguished Lecturer at CBS Interactive, is an author, U.S. policy advisor, and computer scientist. He is featured in the History Channel special The President's Book of Secrets and is a member of the National Press Club.

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47 comments
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  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    Free is the only way I will ever have one. Actually, if they really want adoption, they (Amazon) would offer the Kindle for $99 and give you a $99 ebook credit for books.
    khess
    • You don't like their shiny icons?

      @khess Let me guess, you like the Apple shiny icons over the Kindle or Android shiny icons. Its a silly argument whether you side with Android or Apple. They both have good software, each works well as a reader, each has the same store. Even if it were free, I doubt you'd take one. You're a product of marketing, as most of us are, and cannot stomach using anything other than what you find precious. When you choose style of cost, you simply pay more for something that is nothing more. That's the brilliance of marketing and why some of us make a fortune off people like you. Thanks.
      A Gray
      • <a href="http://www.tran33m.net/vb/">Ù?Ù?تدÙ?ات</a>

        @A Gray I really think $99 is the break through price needed for someone to sew up a vast retail market with a quality product. I think Kindle Fire is poised to be that tablet. Look at how the HP's sold when they were fire-saled at that price. Kindle is in a position to make it work because of the content sale side and at $99 would be the perfect coffee table companion in every home.
        alasiri
    • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

      @khesI wonder how you got so good. This is really a fascinating blog, lots of stuff that I can get into. One thing I just want to say is that your Blog is so perfect!<a href="http://www.ayimpex.com/FAQ/Pellet-Burning-Fireplace.html">pellet burning fireplace</a>
      smile520
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    I got mine nearly a year ago and I'm reading more than ever. Also takes care of my "shelf space" problem.
    MikeR666
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    I might snag a Kindle if it was free or if they use the "adoption plan" that was mentioned above... I am still enjoying using my Nook Color.
    athynz
    • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

      @Pete "athynz" Athens I also using Nook Color . And buy the way this is the great news.Do the have also and <a href="http://love-meter.org/">love meter</a> as before? tnx
      TimPeris
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    Except that graph clearly shows that it isn't a linear decline. The price decreases are getting smaller every year.
    SleepyBob
    • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

      @SleepyBob Yes you are right. By looking at the changes it appears to be approaching $40 asymtotically .
      misceng
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    Plus it's missing 2008. But if that is included and the line actually touched the top of the 2009 and 2010 points then the line would curve and it would be more like $50 and not that great of a headline.
    SeedlessMango
  • chart is (slightly) wrong

    the low prices are only if you want to have advertisements on your kindle. I bought a Kindle 3 for $189 and love it. The same Kindle, or latest version, that has 3g, wifi and no advertisments, still costs the same.

    I do not want any advertisments while I read. I do not want advertisements for my "off" picture.

    Please revise your chart and include the honesty of the advertisment kindles and the non-adverstisment kindle.
    DadsPad
    • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

      @DadsPad According to Amazon the ads only show up when the reader is idle, not while you're reading. I could probably deal with that.
      boomchuck1
    • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

      @DadsPad

      I got the $79 Kindle for my wife and it has the advertisements but they are only at the home screen where your list of books are at and the screensaver, there is no advertisement shown when you are reading a book.

      In the home screen it is a small ad on the bottom that is really easy to ignore and the screensaver is no biggie, at least it is different than the same few screensavers that I have on my Kindle DX
      greywolf2k5
      • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

        @greywolf2k5 and boomchuck1

        I am glad to see that the adds do not interfere with your reading pleasure, and I do hope Amazon does not change this policy in the future.

        I still think the most fair thing to do is for the chart to be changed to reflect all the pricing stucture on Kindles from Amazon, not just the ones with advertisements. His chart is misleading.
        DadsPad
      • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

        @DadsPad

        I actually like the ads on the Kindle. The stock pictures on idle get tiresome after they scroll through a few times.
        athaki
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    And by free I think you mean, no longer relevant and off the market.
    laferra2
  • Kindle

    I think too many people are missing the point. ipads of any kind are just data consumption. Like a newpaper or magazine. True they are more interactive but until they can truly replace the productivity of a PC they are all destined to get cheaper and cheaper. Its just the modern day Sony Walkman.
    mterry@...
  • You need to go back to high school math and re-learn

    how to do curve fitting.
    baggins_z
  • Umm... no?

    If you were to have done the same estimate last year by simply placing a line on the graph points than it should have been free this year. Just saying.
    brent@...
  • RE: By next year, the Kindle will be free (chart)

    For page to page reading, books are still superior to me. Also, I use a lot of reference books and the ability to quickly flip back to an index, quickly scan through several pages and being able to approximate the page placement and flip their instantly is better as well. Using the Kindle and other readers you often have to select a bookmark to jump there and that process alone can take several more seconds than would been taken if I had a paper book in my hands. Until there's a reader that can duplicate the feel of a real book I'll steer clear of the market entirely, free or not.
    lollylollylollylolly