Going against what seems to be the prevailing logic, the ad-supported Wi-Fi Kindle is now the best selling device on Amazon, the company's bestseller list indicates. The top three are all Kindles, with the Wi-Fi model coming in second and the Wi-Fi+3G model third.
Amazon sells the version of Kindle with ads for $114, $25 less than the $139 price of its sister ad-less Wi-Fi only model. The version that adds 3G connectivity retails for $189. The online retailer has been selling the ad-supported model for about a month, and the devices overall regularly top Amazon's bestseller list.
The achievement seemingly flies in the face of what many would expect. Typically it has been thought that consumers would shy away from products they pay for that include ads. Even though the discount is seemingly not all that impressive, and only applies to the device itself and not the content, it is apparently enough to draw consumers in.
Pricing the Kindle as low as possible may also be an attempt to draw people in from other tablet devices, even though it is not a tablet itself -- especially those not needing the more extensive functionality of devices like the iPad.
For frequent users, Amazon would likely recoup the $25 in profits it loses long before the consumer him or herself upgrades to a newer model -- whether it would be through book sales themselves or the amount of ads a user may view during the device's lifetime.
Is the $114 price low enough however? Some don't believe so. Would $99 be a better price point? Quite possibly. "It wouldn't be at all surprising to see it find a way to squeeze margins a little more to get the ad-supported model down to $99, which may help drive more impulse buys," Infopacket's John Lister opined on Monday.