This has been one busy week for ebooks and related news. Perhaps most welcome was the announcement by Amazon that it was lowering the price of the Kindle 2. Does this herald a round of price cuts by other ebook reader manufacturers? So far not, at least as far as I can find. Is it possible that the purchase of E-Ink last month by Prime View International has resulted in lower manufacturing costs? If so, other ereader makers may be able to lower their prices as well. Prior to this price cut, the Bebook at $279, or the more basic but quite functional Cool-er reader at $249 were good alternatives if one didn’t want to spend $359 for a Kindle 2. But at $299 with its wireless connectivity, the Kindle 2 is now the clear winner.
In other news, Amazon was reported as having patents for a method of including advertising on an ebook reader device. This would, if implemented, have some pretty obvious pros and cons: for one thing, advertising could subsidize the price of readers and/or ebooks. On the other hand, if not implemented correctly, it could be very annoying. I would at least hope that a choice would be offered to consumers: cheaper products with ads, or pay more for ad-free. You can read more about this at www.mediapost.com and www.geek.com.
A new ebook reader was introduced in the UK. The Elonex eBook 600EB is made by Elonex for Borders. It comes preloaded with 100 classic ebooks and sudoku. There is an SD card slot, and the device comes with a one year guarantee. This reader seems to be pretty basic but functional and its main competition will probably be the Sony ereaders, as the Kindle is not available in Europe.
Speaking of the Sony ereaders; if you have one of these and your computer is a Mac, you will be happy to hear that Sony has apparently announced upcoming official Mac support for the Sony eBook Store. You can read more here.