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Amazon, Barnes & Noble cut e-reader prices

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Everyone slap on your helmets, grab your rifles, and dive into your foxholes, it’s a price war! Amazon has cut the price of its Kindle e-reader down to $189, a $70 slash from the $259 it was previously charging. This came only a few hours after Barnes & Noble announced the new price for its e-reader, the Nook: $199. Ouch.

The battle between the retail giants has raged for a while now, and it will open up on yet another front when Borders releases its e-reader, the Kobo, in July. One likely impetus for the dual price drops was an attempt to preemptively take the wind out of Borders’ sails by shortening the distance between the three e-readers’ costs before the Kobo hits stores. All this scrambling and fluctuating is really just evidence that these companies are still trying to get their footing in a market for a technology whose future is somewhat unclear. The launch of the iPad earlier this year only made things murkier; it has been difficult to assess just how much Apple’s tablet will affect e-reader sales. But regardless of which company ends up on top, the one clear winner here is the consumer. The new prices are significantly better than $259, and much, much cheaper than the iPad’s $499 sticker.

What do you think, Shelf-Lifers? Is this price cut enough to make you want to switch over to e-reading? Or will you hold out for even lower prices?

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