I recommended this idea last year…it is similar to the concept behind free mobile handsets in Japan…if you have the latest handset you will use more data and those spend more money with the carriers…
E-books are revolutionizing the publishing industry and reader preferences, and Amazon might be in a unique position to hasten that change — if they decide to start giving away their popular Kindle e-reader for free.
Here’s why they might want to do that.
Last year, nearly $1 billion in e-books were sold, according to Forrester. By 2015, this is expected to jump to $3 billion. That’s an awful lot of money to be made selling e-books.
At that point, selling e-readers at any price might just become an obstacle to selling more e-books. So why not just give away some e-readers for free?!
Back in October 2009, blogger John Walkenbach noticed that the Kindle price — currently $139 — was falling steadily. By June 2010 this rate was so consistent that he projected that by November 2011 the Kindle price should be ZERO!
In a way, Amazon has already been giving away Kindles for awhile — in the form of the free Kindle smartphone apps. Right now, about 6 million U.S. adults own e-readers — but this field is getting much more crowded.
According to recent research from Changewave, Kindle currently holds 47% of the e-reader market. Apple’s iPad (which is much more than an e-reader, so I’m not sure that’s a fair comparison) holds only 32% of this market. Sony’s Reader, at 5%, is just barely leading the Barnes & Noble Nook, at 4%.
The Kindle’s core business model has always been to sell books, not devices. So a free Kindle seems like a potentially savvy business move.
Forrester analyst James McQuivey recently noted, “Just 7% of online adults who read books read e-books. But that 7% happens to be a very attractive bunch: they read the most books and spend the most money on books. And here’s the kicker: the average e-book reader already consumes 41% of books in digital form.
McQuivey believes the e-book market has plenty of room for growth and will, by conservative estimates, reach $3 billion by the middle of the decade.
We want free Kindles…now.