The extraordinary success of the iPad has forced specialist ebook readers Kindle and Nook to cut their prices.
Barnes & Noble, producer of the Nook, yesterday offered the 3G version of the device at $189 (€153), $70 off its previous price, and unveiled a Wi-Fi only reader for $149.
Rival Amazon responded hours later by also knocking $70 off the price of the Kindle to $189.
Other makers of e-readers, like Sony Electronics, may also have to cut their prices, a Standard & Poors analyst told Reuters.
However, by playing both the software and hardware sides of the street, Amazon’s Kindle, the original e-book reader, looks the strongest-placed in the market.
As with Barnes & Noble, Amazon’s e-readers sales are just a tiny fragment of its total business. But it has also created a Kindle e-reader app for the iPad, the iPhone and Android platforms, which is driving sales from its digital bookstore.
GigaOm’s Om Malik blogged: “Unlike Amazon’s Kindle store, iBooks is going to be limited to the iPad/iPhone platform - which is not good enough for me. I like the flexibility of the Kindle app, even if it offers books to me in somewhat of a less attractive format. In other words, Amazon should be thinking about Kindle as a platform that leverages other people’s hardware.”
Apple has sold more than 2 million iPads since the lightweight multimedia tablet was launched in early April.