Amazon.com just announced two things:
- There is a “new” Kindle 2 called the “Kindle U.S. & International Wireless” that now works internationally (3G GSM wireless coverage in over 100 countries; uses the ATT 3G network. “When travelling abroad, you can download books wirelessly from the Kindle Store or your Archived Items for a fee of $1.99.” This device sells for $279.
- The “old” Kindle 2, now called the “Kindle U.S. Wireless” has dropped in price from $299 to $259. This version uses the Sprint CDMA 3G network (which is why it only works in the US).
A few thoughts:
- Amazon’s product naming is getting as bad as Microsoft’s (during the day I work for Microsoft and have been in meetings where product naming was discussed, so I’m well aware…).
- I suspect the “old” Kindle 2 will survive just long enough for Amazon to run out of inventory. The $20 delta between the “U.S. & International” and the “U.S.” version is just stupid and confusing. Once Amazon runs out of the latest production run of the Sprint based devices they will switch exclusively to the ATT based devices.
- I’ve never had an issue travelling abroad with my Kindle other than to make sure I load it up before my trip. I don’t subscribe to magazines or newspapers on mine so I rarely even have the radio on.
Anyway, the Kindle can no longer really be considered “expensive” at $259 (or even $279). That’s not quite the magical $199 or $99 price point, but close enough that I predict continued brisk sales for Amazon.