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back to article E-book reader sales to boom as prices plunge

World shipments of e-book readers with electronic ink screens topped 6.5m in Q3 2011, market watcher IDC has said. That represents quarter-on-quarter growth of 27 per cent, and an increase of 165.9 per cent on Q3 2010's total. Expect even greater increases this quarter, IDC said, as the gadgets get cheaper. Not only did Amazon …

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FAIL

$79 / £89 for the Kindle?

I was going to buy one, but that's just ludicrous pricing. That's a 56% price increase for the UK version.

Suck a choad, Amazon. Guess i'll stick to my tree-killing ways.

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Facepalm

The USD 79 price is for a version with adverts.

The equivalent to the GBP 89 model sells for around USD 109. This has been mentioned before.

.

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YP
Thumb Down

Not completely your fault, but that's the comparison between the ad supported bottom end US version and the bottom end UK one that's not ad supported. Admittedly they are the entry points, but not the same thing. IIRC it's more like $119/£89 and then of course add your 20% to the US one for VAT.

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not quite

$79 is the ad-supported version, which isn't available in the UK.

The UK-matching version is $109. So that's a 29% price difference at current rates, most of which can be explained by being VAT@20% the US version of which, sales tax, doesn't apply to online purchases (I think. USians please do correct me if I'm wrong.)

So it's not all that bad.

I still bought the Sony. It's much nicer, imo.

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Stop

plus EU import duty

for non EU goods.

There are far too many idiots that think it's the manufacturers that are at fault for overpriced US-EU conversions, and think it's just a case of converting the exchange rate.

All the prices they quote are always US excluding sales tax, yet ours include it, and they also fail to take into account the taxes levied on companies that want to sell in the EU but manufacture outside of it. Both of these together are in the region of 30% of the selling price.

Still it's the easiest way to spot an idiot....

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Anonymous Coward

So not content with just changing the $ to a £ sign... Amazon and Sony are actually ADDING to the figure when converting to pounds too? I can't believe the shit we put up with in the UK when it comes to tech pricing - I'm getting a Kobo just to spite them.

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Me too...

I got a Kobo touch - mainly because of all the ebook readers I tested my first and oft repeated reaction (despite knowing better) was to touch the screen to make stuff happen, secondly the kindle touch wasn't available here, also the fact that the kobo touch is now £100 and supports epub and pdfs, oh yeah and because Sony is dead to me, have I mentioned that before? Yeah Sony, dead I tells ya... Amazon? You delete books so Meh!

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Megaphone

Bah, humbug

When they can sell me one for £20, I'll consider buying. Until then it's dead trees for me.

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Bronze badge

"Sony, for example, is currently selling its Reader PRS-T1 for just $99 - it's still £129 ($200) here, ahem - in the States, which is a real bargain."

And that ridiculous price could explain why they're not selling here in the UK. I know plenty of folk who own a Kindle and not a single person who owns the Sony.

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Paris Hilton

Maybe if they were free

After all they still rip you off for the e-books, why should you have to pay up from for the priviledge!

Paris, because if she coudl read she would have one.

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??

"After all they still rip you off for the e-books, why should you have to pay up from for the priviledge!"

Most Kindle books are well below the paper cost, and they have at least one deal a day @ 99p.

This of course is not the same for ePub books for the Sony readers, which are often the same price or slightly dearer that the paperback equivalents

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Do your homework...

before spouting rubbish....After all they still rip you off for the e-books,

Amazon Kindle free classics... currently over 4,500 free books. Top 5 of those by popularity.. The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes , A Christmas Carol , Pride and Prejudice, Dracula and Jane Eyre ... you may have heard of them?

If nothing else, buying one for someone who is studying literature would save a fortune, picking up numerous Shakespeare, Dickens or Twain books for free.

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and you can pick up all of those free, for any reader via the Project Gutenburg.

Amazon still rips you off, is a common complaint, since despite the fact they advertise that you can send books to friends after you have read them, over 90% of them cant due to the deal they have with the book publishers. When you then look at most recent releases, which are the same price as printed or $1 less at best, it starts to seem a little rude.

Tom Clancy, Locked On, for eg, is actually more expensive on Kindle than the hard cover (ok, by only 19c) but you cant pass it on to another kindle user after you have read it.

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Stop

Tripe.

Sony, Kobo, Nook and the other 176 EPUB based readers all use EPUB with Adobe Digital Editions DRM, their content is interchangable.

That means you can buy books form

Kobo store

Google Books

WH SMiths

Waterstones

and many more. Many of these also have deals. There is also 4x the content on EPUB (3m books), Kindle has about 750k according to Amazon.

Really I don't understand why anyone with a brain would buy a Kindle, as the Kobo is not only cheaper, it's better, it's more open and has more content.

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Stop

Re: $79 / £89 for the Kindle?

The $79/£89 comparison is not really valid since the $79 US version is the version that displays ads and special offers on the screen savers etc ... the version which doesn't (and thus is equivalent to the UK version) is $109 - which is £70 at todays exchange rate ... add on 20% VAT and you get £84 so then its pretty close to the UK price.

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Silver badge

My books

Come each with its own reader - 100% solar powered, great contrast, nice interface, VAT-exempt too, for good measure... :-)

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Meh

Everyone I know who has a Kindle speaks very highly of them, never heard anyone say a bad word about them.

Personally, I like the idea of being able to carry all those books with you in one device, but I'm not keen on the idea of being tied to one store,or the vendor having the ability to take books that I have purchased back.. whether I get refunded or not. If I ever get one (and they're way down on the list for me, after new computer, etc) then I would choose it carefully.

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Holmes

It's been said a few times on here...

...that you are not tied to sourcing books from Amazon if you have a Kindle. Freeware such as Calibre will convert in seconds other eBook formats into one the Kindle can handle.

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A very good point

but out of principle, I would still choose one of the more open ones, IF there was not too much difference in the price/build quality, etc.

If the software is easy enough to use and buying one of the other devices would be a case of cutting my nose of to spite my face, then I probably would give in a buy the Kindle.

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Anonymous Coward

What else have they tried?

I mean I know plenty of Xbox owners that say they are fantastic, but the one I owned was utter shit.

Perhaps they don't know how much better the competing products are?

The Kobo is a better allround budget reader

The Sony is a better luxury reader.

Both have Z-Touch screens on them both support EPUB, and I wouldn't touch an E-Reader that didn't meet these two requirements

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Silver badge

It's not the price of the device matters

But the price of the books. And the problem is the books cost WAY too much.

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Anonymous Coward

In extreme ripoff cases

Like the Pratchett book a while ago which was £8 hardback or £22 drm-encumbered ebook, I have been known to buy the treeware version and then format-shift to electronic via the internet.

Much like doing the same with music, it's not strictly legal, but the creator still gets paid so I don't feel bad.

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Happy

Who pays for their books...

"After all they still rip you off for the e-books, why should you have to pay up from for the privilege"

I have the Sony PRS-T1 use the library service. Don't even need to hook up to the PC either... it's brilliant.

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Silver badge

Displays adverts?

I would root it anyway so thats not a problem.

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Silver badge

SADLY I HAVE

Agreed to a kindle as a Christmas present, the smell and touch of paper will be a distant memory. Is it waterproof and will it survive stopping the table wobbling?

Will it provide kindling for a fire when I am marooned on an island. Will it provide paper for a self rolled cig?

Book are so muchmore versatile than e readers.

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Anonymous Coward

If you really want to cry

I'm surprised no-one has moaned about the DX pricing so far (approx. USD380), given that it's the only Kindle worth buying if you want to read technical books. That, along with the uninformed bitching about the US/UK pricing difference of the entry level Kindle merely confirms my suspicions concerning the ever dwindling quality of The Register readership.

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Bronze badge

apples, oranges, et al.

johnnytruant, here in the States, there’s no national sales tax; each state can set its own sales tax rate, or do without a sales tax. Some states allow their counties and municipalities to add on their own local sales taxes. For jurisdictions that have sales taxes, in-state online sales of taxable goods and services have sales tax due, just like offline sales. For these jurisdictions, regarding online purchases of taxable goods and services from out-of-state merchants, it is typical for a “use tax” to be charged that replicates the sales tax rate; but for the use tax, it is the purchaser rather than the seller that needs to forward the tax to the state, since the state has no jurisdiction over a merchant with no legal presence in the state. However, enforcement of use tax payments is typically more difficult than enforcement of sales tax payments, since it largely depends upon the honesty of the taxpayer to report how much use tax is owed.

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before you buy an eBook reader...

... check the prices on some of the eBooks you think you want. If they don't choke you, then go ahead. Otherwise you might end up like me - with a Kindle I seldom use, because eBook prices are too high.

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Anonymous Coward

i said it before

when ebooks reach the masses and the market grows there will be compertition between ebook retailers, but that will only happen when its cost effective to do so, ie, when the increase in sales outweighs the lost margin

as for cost of them, ive been slowly browsing through the 1,000,000 free ebooks i can get and there are actually some really good ones in there, i dare say that unless i wanted a new release book, i wouldnt need to "buy" another book again.

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Cost of entry matters.

Cost of entry is a huge issue in getting uptake of a new product that relies on software sales for its profits. I imagine Amazon has played with the idea of giving them away with an obligation to make a certain minimum number of purchases, like so many book club enticements to get people to join.

Peter Hamilton had a recent novel, 'Misspent Youth,' that was a bit of a clinker but had a excellent subplot regarding the future of creative arts when you can buy a multi-terabyte flash drive to go on your keychain for a few bucks. His projection is that authors will become far more dependent on the good will of their readers as nobody will pay in advance for the material but will rewards those who please them at varying levels.

The trick for Amazon is to keep themselves in the loop and earn rewards by helping connect people to worthy new items to read, view, or listen to.

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Anonymous Coward

Ha, you think they're expensive in YK

Here in the socialist utopia of Denmark, where the former head of the Communist Party and Staliinist lackey is now minister of Industry, the cheapest Sony PRS-T1BC I was able to find was a dazzling DKK 1.306,00 (incl. DKK 86 shipping) - which according to xe.com equates to a price of GBP 147.32

Not that I blame Sony, really. I don't think anyone here can read, so the market is limited.

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Silver badge

2nd hand trade

I can take old paper books to Oxfam, or to that most perfect of human endeavours, the second-hand book shop. I can exchange them in traveller's libraries in nicer hotels.

When I can do that with eBooks I will be interested.

I'd like to commend Scarthin Books, in Cromford. The Reader's Rest in Lincoln, and Robert Humm in Stamford.

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