The WiFi-only Kindle 3′s $139 price really set off a chain reaction. One ebook reader, from Aluratek (who?) is under $100 now ($99.99) while Kobo’s ebook reader comes in at $129 just under the Kindle 3.
These ebook readers have to drop a lot more to compete with the Kindle 3 and the perceptually “free” Kindle apps for general computing devices like the iPad, iPhone and Android smartphones. The larger screen Android devices may be just about the right size for ebook reading for a lot of people. I know I’ve read three novels on my iPhone and considered that to be a good reading experience.
eBook reading devices, including the Kindle, will probably follow the subsidized phone model and be free or very close to free with the hope the future ebook purchases will cover the cost of the device over time. This probably won’t happen, however, until periodicals (newspapers and magazines) figure out how to provide a desirable subscription modem for e-publications that can fund both themselves and the “free” ereader devices they subsidize.