Get your *Free* Kindles: Amazon makes extreme offer

Sections: ebooks, Gadgets / Other

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Finally, Amazon has either read a few of my posts or looked into some economics: Amazon is offering free Kindle ebook readers to some pre-qualified customers. These customers are enticed to purchase the Kindle, then if they find it not to their liking, request a refund and keep the Kindle. The endgame is content, not hardware.

It appears that Amazon is being extremely selective, choosing only folks who have a history with Amazon of buying books over the years. A couple of books a month seems to be the common thread between those who’ve seen this offer. It seems that being a Prime member helps as well.

Amazon is hedging it’s bets: by picking folks who love books, chances are good they’ll love the Kindle. If they are a loyal Amazon customer, the time and effort to call or email for a refund might be too much. Even if these screen users get a refund, their buying habits suggest they’ll keep buying books, perhaps for the Kindle and Amazon recoups the outlay.

I’ve been suggesting a similar scheme for some time. We Americans seem to dislike big upfront payments. We can justify smaller monthly payments a lot easier. The MPAA should have spent their money on buying iPods for every man, woman, and child rather then on lawyers; as their fortunes would have risen more by providing everyone a way to get content. Amazon is getting over the early-adopter tax and moving on to mass adoption.

Is this all about Apple’s imminent tablet perhaps taking a bite out of Kindle’s niche? Perhaps, but I see this as a better way to reach the masses, rather than just loyal Applites gobbling up the latest shiny thing. At least for the first few iterations.

Read [TechCrunch]

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  • Sam

    I like the idea of offering the Kindle free to certain users. They would have to be heavy book buyers. But offering them for free to all Prime subscribers doesn't look to be profitable.

    <a href=""&#62; Free Kindle good idea, but will it be profitable?