Slashed prices for refurbished Kindles could be the latest sign that a new version of Amazon’s popular e-reader is imminent.
This week, Amazon dropped the price of refurbished, third-generation Kindles to $99 for a Wi-Fi model and $139 for a model with 3G and Wi-Fi. If purchased new, the same Kindles cost $139 and $189, respectively. Amazon has also slashed prices on Kindle accessories.
Reading the tea leaves, SlashGear‘s Chris Davies thinks new Kindles are about to land, because the last time Amazon cut prices for refurbished e-readers and accessories, it launched the Kindle 3 a month later.
This wouldn’t be the first talk of new Kindles in 2011. Last month, the Wall Street Journal reported a rumor that Amazon was working on two new e-readers in addition to its oft-teased tablet. One model will reportedly be a budget reader, and the other would sport a touch screen, much like Barnes & Noble’s new Nook.
Despite the deals on refurbished Kindles, TechCrunch‘s Matt Burns writes that now is a terrible time to buy. With new Amazon e-readers likely around the corner, he argues, buying soon-to-be outdated hardware isn’t worth saving a few extra bucks.
But I wouldn’t rule out a purchase if you’re in the market for an e-reader. The Kindle 3 is a fine device, and $99 is a great price. (And as the success of Amazon’s ad-supported Kindles have shown, people love cheap e-readers.) Having the latest technology is great, but so is finishing up the summer with a good book or two.
Besides, if Amazon does launch a budget e-reader in a month or two, there’s no guarantee that it won’t be a superfluous upgrade. We’re talking about the simple task of reading text on a page, after all.