Effective Wednesday, Borders will lower the price of its two eReaders, the Kobo and the Aluratek. The Kobo is falling from $149 to $129. The Aluratek will drop from $129 to $100, putting it in the sweet spot for consumers.
Borders is leading the price war because its readers fall short on some major features – specifically, they lack both WiFi and 3G and need to be docked to a PC to download books. But in the current economy, price alone could turn some consumer’s heads.
Barnes & Noble’s nook device kicked off the price wars, when the bookseller unveiled a wifi only version in June that prompted Amazon to slash prices on the Kindle. Amazon upped the stakes last month with the new version of its device, which sells for $139 and is presently back-ordered through mid-September.
So far, neither Barnes & Noble nor Amazon has reacted to the price cuts.
Overshadowing all of these, of course, is the iPad, which continues to be a retail darling and whose iBooks offering is spreading fast to other Apple devices, including the iPhone and iPod Touch. While Amazon, Barnes & Noble and Borders all have apps for the iDevices, letting them make money on book sales, each is still betting significantly on their own device.