Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos cut the Kindle e-reader's price from $189 to $139 Wednesday in a move to defend against Apple's fast-selling iPad in the growing market for electronic readers.
Amazon introduced two new versions of the device Wednesday, including a $139 model that works with Wi-Fi. A second version, with 3G mobile technology as well as Wi-Fi to download books, costs $189.
Bezos says focusing on features that make it easier to download and read books will help distinguish its e-reader from Apple's multipurpose iPad. The Kindle is the centerpiece of Amazon's strategy to capitalize on growing consumer interest in digital books. By offering bestselling e-books for $9.99 that can be read only on the Kindle or its software, Amazon is seeking to lock in consumers while it's still the market leader.
"We're trying to build something that's great for long- form reading — something you'd use if you want to sit down and read for two hours," Bezos said in an interview this week. "Our mission on the device side of the business is to use the latest technology to make the very best purpose-built reading device. We think that's a mass product."
The iPad costs between $499 and $829, depending on the version.