On Monday, Amazon cut the price of its Kindle 2 e-book reader by $70, bringing its cost down to $189—likely in response to a similar move by rival Barnes & Noble, whose Nook Wi-Fi + 3G now costs $199.
This is the third price reduction in the span of a little over a year: when it launched in February 2009, the Kindle 2 cost $349, but Amazon reduced the price to $299 in July 2009, and then to $259 in October 2009.
The price change comes as Amazon, which once had a virtual monopoly on e-book sales, has come under increased pressure from several competitors, including Barnes & Noble (whose Nook now comes in a Wi-Fi-only version priced at $149) and Sony. And, of course, from Apple, whose iBooks app, according to company CEO Steve Jobs, accounted for as much as 22 percent of all e-book sales for the largest publishers that distribute books through it after only two months in the market.
In addition to the Kindle device itself, Amazon also offers free software versions of its e-book reader for a variety of platforms, including OS X, Windows, and iOS-based iPads, iPhone, and iPod touches.