Want a free Kindle? You might start thinking about signing up for Amazon Prime.

TechCrunch’s Michael Arrington reports hearing from “a reliable source” that Amazon is trying to determine how it can economically give a free Kindle to every subscriber to Amazon Prime—Amazon’s $79/year expedited shipping program.

As Arrington points out, Prime subscribers tend to be heavy Amazon purchasers (they would sort of have to be, to feel they were “getting their money’s worth” from that $79 per year investment). So if Amazon can get the cost to make Kindles down enough, and entice people to buy enough books (and Kindle books), it could literally increase their user base by millions.

It’s a bit ironic, though, that you might have to be subscribed to a program that gives a price-break on shipping in order to get a free Kindle, given that Kindle e-books don’t need “shipping” at all in the traditional sense.


  1. Okay, who *didn’t* see this coming?
    (outside of the BPH execs?)
    “Forced” to take higher margins on ebooks, Amazon can now afford to go with a gaming console-style subsidized hardware model.
    Lots of options to grow the Kindle ecosystem with all that “extra” money now…
    I would hardly be shocked if they also were to consider setting up book clubs for Kindle users to sign up for.

    Let’s see the BPHs try to cartel reader hardware prices next. 🙂

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