Amazon marketed Kindle as a revolutionary device that not only allows you to take many books with you on the go, but one that could save you money as well. After all, most e-books in Kindle store were expected to be sold for $9.99. The recent developments regarding some of the top publisher companies has forced Amazon to cave in and allow them to set their own prices. So it’s not a surprise that many expect e-book prices to go up in the near future. Publishers have been struggling to make a decent amount of money from their works in the past couple of years or so. With more e-book readers released to the market, these publishers now have more bargaining power, and they are using it to its fullest.
Many of us can probably deal with price hikes as far as e-books are concerned. But could Amazon and other e-book reader makers do the unthinkable and charge for the wireless service as well. AT&T is struggling to keep up with all the load that devices such as iPhone are putting on its network. The iPad is expected to make it worse. So Amazon and B&N could technically start charging for the wireless service that we all currently get for free with our e-book readers. Amazon certainly has left the door open in its Kindle terms and conditions:
Amazon provides wireless connectivity free of charge to you for certain content shopping and downloading services on your Device. You may be charged a fee for wireless connectivity for your use of other wireless services on your Device, such as Web browsing and downloading of personal files, should you elect to use those services. We will maintain a list of current fees for such services in the Kindle Store. Amazon reserves the right to discontinue wireless connectivity at any time or to otherwise change the terms for wireless connectivity at any time, including, but not limited to (a) limiting the number and size of data files that may be transferred using wireless connectivity and (b) changing the amount and terms applicable for wireless connectivity charges.
I don’t really expect Amazon to suddenly start charging for Kindle wireless service. But it all depends on how its deal has been worked out with AT&T. If e-book readers are going in the direction of iPad, then wireless fee can be in the cards. As long as we are just dealing with e-books, a wireless fee is unlikely. But downloading video and dynamic content could cost e-reader owners. Let’s hope we will never have to deal with this issue.