There have been many rumors about Amazon’s “alleged” plans to offer Kindle for free to Prime customers. Some have suggested that Amazon could offer free Kindles to everyone with the right subscription plan. We keep hearing about these rumors hoping they will come true some day. While they might not, there does seem to be a lot of momentum behind this idea.
Geekwire has done a wonderful interview with Seattle venture capitalist Scott Jacobson, who has worked with the Kindle team in the past, about Amazon Kindle. While Mr. Jacobson suggests he does not have any inside information, he makes some great points why Kindle should be free:
- E-book sales: it is a no brainer that giving away free Kindles to everyone will lead to a huge surge in e-book sales for Amazon.
- Market domination: Amazon is already dominating the e-book market. Its market-share will only grow if it starts giving away e-readers to people.
- Locking in customers: Amazon Kindle is a closed platform. That means people will have a hard time leaving it once they are on-board. It does help that Kindle is the best e-reader on the market at this point. Why wouldn’t people want to use the platform and save money on e-books?
- The temptation of free products: you don’t have to do too much selling to get free products in people’s hands.
- Cost – benefit: there was a time when Amazon did not afford to offer Kindle for free to its customers. These days its costs may be low enough to make this plan feasible.
Will we ever get free Kindles? Amazon could still offer its upcoming Android tablet and Kindle DX for a premium. This could be a very risky decision by Amazon but could pay off big time in the end.