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jaw04005
Feb 12, 2010, 11:13 AM
In January Amazon offered select customers a free Kindle of sorts – they had to pay for it, but if they didn’t like it they could get a full refund and keep the device. It turns out that was just a test run for a much more ambitious program. A reliable source tells us Amazon wants to give a free Kindle to every Amazon Prime subscriber.

Just as soon as they can work out how to do it without losing money.

Amazon Prime is a subscription product that gives customers free two day shipping on everything they buy from Amazon. The current fee is $79/year.

These are Amazon’s very best customers – the ones who tend to make multiple purchases per month. And they are also likely to buy multiple books per month on their Kindle devices. If those users buy enough books, and Amazon gets the production costs of the Kindle down enough, Amazon can get Kindles into “millions” of people’s hands without losing their shirt. At least when the goal is to break even or better over the course of a couple of years, the expected lifetime of a Kindle.

http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/12/amazon-wants-to-give-a-free-kindle-to-all-amazon-prime-subscribers/

Wow, ballsy. I’m a Prime member and I would probably just sell the free Kindle on eBay. :D

GoCubsGo
Feb 12, 2010, 11:16 AM
Interesting. I had not heard of the freebies in January. I make numerous purchases a month and I'm a prime member. Perhaps this will come true but it seems like BS.

rdowns
Feb 12, 2010, 11:29 AM
Give me one. I'll sell it. :D

I don't see it happening. Even if it did, I don't see it working.

Given a choice between a multi-purpose device like the iPad and a single purpose device line the Kindle, most would opt for the iPad.

ChrisA
Feb 12, 2010, 11:39 AM
http://techcrunch.com/2010/02/12/amazon-wants-to-give-a-free-kindle-to-all-amazon-prime-subscribers/

Wow, ballsy. I’m a Prime member and I would probably just sell the free Kindle on eBay. :D

How much could you sell your Kindle for if people can get them for free. It would be worth maybe $40

mkrishnan
Feb 12, 2010, 11:50 AM
I don't see it happening. Even if it did, I don't see it working.

The way I could see it working in the long term, possibly, is if eBooks really take off, the price of the hardware is eventually going to go way down and/or become subsidized, much in the same way that, in principle, people who don't care about handset features can get a "free phone" from any major cell carrier in the US pretty much whenever they want. Now you and I wouldn't touch that free phone to call 911 because we found R. Kelly trapped in our closet, but....

In that same vein, I would guess that if eBooks really finally work, in the sense that the vast majority of book sales switch over someday, by then, I would expect the device cost to be minimal, either through some kind of subsidy or just through economizing the device itself.

But I see giving everyone who has Prime a free $260 Kindle basically eliminating Kindle sales, unless they did it in some devious way that prevented people from getting Prime just to get Kindles.

jaw04005
Feb 12, 2010, 12:06 PM
How much could you sell your Kindle for if people can get them for free. It would be worth maybe $40

Prime is not exactly free. I believe it’s $79.99 per year.

But I see giving everyone who has Prime a free $260 Kindle basically eliminating Kindle sales, unless they did it in some devious way that prevented people from getting Prime just to get Kindles.

Just a guess, but I would imagine you would have to be a Prime member for so many years, purchase so many things per month, etc.

I think there is a larger markup on the Kindle than we know. If Apple can make an iPad for less than $250, Amazon should be able to make a Kindle for less than $150.

On the other hand, I believe Amazon has admitted that Prime is not really a money maker for them.

Prime kind of reminds me of the days of the dot com bubble where you could order a shiny new iMac DV (weighing 50 lbs) from Outpost.com at 10 p.m. and have it delivered to your door the next morning at 10 a.m. with free overnight shipping. It’s just magical. :D

yg17
Feb 12, 2010, 12:32 PM
So with this news out, what's stopping everyone and their brother from signing up for Prime and getting a free Kindle? I think if it was happening, it's not now. Or they're going to require you to have been a Prime member for a long time.

cantthinkofone
Feb 12, 2010, 04:03 PM
DO IT!!!!

Man, best $80 i ever spent if this comes true. Depending on what selection of books they have, i might actually use it to read books.

TheOnlyJon
Feb 13, 2010, 12:50 AM
Saw this on Gizmodo from Techcrunch. This would be pretty sweet. I 'accidentally' got Amazon Prime when I signed up for a month trial last summer and forgot to uncheck the auto-renew box.

Still trying to figure out how I didn't notice $79.00 missing from my account :confused:

Needless to say, it's been entirely worth it. A free Kindle would be pretty sweet too :rolleyes:

pukifloyd
Feb 14, 2010, 02:49 PM
free kindle would be awesome...
i am sure they'll cover their costs in 3-4 years if they are taking $80 per year already...it will be a good reason for more people to take the membership...