Price Misperceptions: eBook Readers Versus iPod

I just read a post somewhere that again brought up the issue of an eBook reader’s price, stating that even $139 for the Kindle WiFi is “too high.”

And yet, when the iPod was finally made available to PC users (with USB syncing) in 2002, it cost a whopping $299!

Compact Discs were anywhere from $7-$10 or so back then (for pop rock). Less expensive than hardcover books.

Sure, people had collections they could rip, but if they wanted new, they’d have to pay that price for a physical platter or spend 99-cents at the iTunes Music Store (as it was then called) for each song (which could duplicate the $7-$10 platter price if compiling an album via iTMS).

So why was spending $299.00 on a device where the “software” was $7-$10 not expensive?

Why is spending $139 on a device where the “software” (printed books) is anywhere from $7-$35 seen as “too high”?

The iPod basically kept music at the same price.

eBook readers have led to a dramatic reduction in a book’s price. I can buy a new Stieg Larsson book in eBook form for $9.99 — it costs $27.95 in printed form! That’s a $17.96 discount!

Somehow the word needs to get out that buying an eBook reader can pay for itself in less than ten new eBook purchases (high-end $17 discount times a little over eight).

eBook readers allow people to read more for less.

Unless someone is engaging in widespread music piracy, that’s just not true for the iPod (especially with some tracks now $1.29)!

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