Retail giant Staples (s spls) will play a role in the e-reader war as it will start selling Amazon’s (s amzn) Kindles in its retail stores. The office supply chain will offer three models: the $139 Kindle, 3G model and the Kindle DX. This move puts the Kindle e-reader in two major retail outlets — Target (s tgt) and Staples — while Barnes & Noble (s bks) is selling the competing Nook e-reader in Best Buy (s bby) in addition to its own stores.
The move to retail stores coupled with Amazon’s recent price drop of the Kindle shows how competitive the e-reader (and thus the e-book) business has become. The three major players (Amazon, B&N and Borders) are using e-readers to sell e-books to consumers through the online stores. The pressure is on all of the players, as Borders (s bgp) just dropped prices on two of the e-readers sold in its store, the Kobo and Aluratek, to $129.99 and $99.99 respectively. The e-reader is well on the way to becoming a commodity as prices keep lowering. Is a free e-reader on the horizon for consumers?
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub. req’d): Irrational Exuberance Over E-Books?