New York Times Hikes Kindle Subscription Price

New York Times has recently announced that it is raising the price for Kindle subscriptions from $13.99 to $19.99 – a rise of whopping 43 percent. There is some respite for current Kindle subscribers, who will continue to be billed at $13.99 for the next six months. The Kindle edition of New York Times app has been very popular and allows readers to get news coverage of exceptional depth and breadth, as well as opinion that is thoughtful and stimulating.

The timing of this announcement is very interesting and coincides with the launch of Apple iPad in United States. In a related move, an iPad application for New York Times hit the iTunes App Store yesterday. The current NYT iPad app is free and offers a limited selection of automatically updated news, features, videos, etc. laid out with a newspapery feel and offline reading capability; it’s sponsored exclusively at launch by Chase Sapphire. It is expected that a full-fledged paid NYT app for iPad would be launched soon.

The New York Times subscription on the nook is also going up from $13.99 to $19.99. Like with the Kindle, existing nook subscribers will get 6 months at the old price. Many print media veterans have argued that digital subscriptions should be less than their analog counterparts, however the prices for digital editions continue to rise. I wonder if the Kindle vs. iPad battle will help the customers or will it further aggravate this pricing war?

Kindle app for iPad goes live

Though Amazon Kindle and Apple iPad are touted to be arch rivals in the e-Reader segment, it hasn’t stopped Amazon from building a Kindle app for iPad. Amazon previewed the Kindle iPad app a couple of weeks ago and yesterday, the app made its way to the Apple iTunes Store. The Kindle app for iPhone has been around for a while now and is very popular amongst iPhone users. The iPad Kindle app is a logical extension of the iPhone Kindle app and its release was on the cards after Apple announced the launch of iPad on April 3. However, there’s one major limitation of using Kindle on iPad – Books bought through Kindle app must be read within the app itself. These books will not be viewable in Apple’s iBooks app.

The Kindle app for iPad lets people enjoy the best of both worlds – easy to use Kindle app interface and supreme performance of the iPad. Further, it gives the users a choice to read books from either Amazon or Apple. Customers always want more choices and e-Readers are no exception to this rule. I’ve come across many voracious readers who are addicted to kindle interface and therefore, they are reluctant to try out the iPad. The Kindle app for iPad is welcome news for all such readers.

While a lot of people have been debating the fortune of Amazon Kindle after the launch of Apple iPad, I believe that Amazon will emerge as the major e-Book provider for iPad. Since iBooks is not pre-installed on Apple iPad, many users might prefer to install Kindle app for iPad as compared to iBooks.

I’ll publish a review as soon as 3G-capable version of iPad hits the stores that I intend to get for myself.

Amazon Kindle 2 Growing in Popularity in China

Amazon Kindle is gaining immense popularity in China these days even though Kindle and Kindle 2 are not officially shipped there. While buying a Kindle online on Amazon Store, if you enter the location as ‘China’, it shows a regret message – ‘Unfortunately, we are unable to ship Kindles or offer Kindle content in China’.

However, Chinese are known to be avid technology lovers and true gadget freaks. Therefore, it is hardly surprising that Kindle is selling in large volumes in Chinese Gray Markets, stalls in Beijing electronics bazaar and other Chinese websites including Taobao.com, an auction site similar to eBay. PC World reports that Kindle 2 was on sale for 2,600 yuan (US$380) and the Kindle DX for 4,300 yuan ($630) at the Beijing bazaar. In fact, many people in China get the Kindle through their friends and family in United States by ordering the Kindle online, having it delivered to an address in United States and then having it mailed to them in China. e-Readers are quite popular in China these days and it is expected that sales of e-readers could reach 3.5 million units in China this year, up several fold from around 400,000 last year. Though there are numerous Chinese e-Readers in the market, Amazon Kindle stands its ground against one and all.

It is not hard to imagine that as and when Amazon Kindle starts shipping in China, it is bound to be a monumental success.