Fri Feb 12 12:21:06 EST 2010

your daily dose of Amazon chicanery

"Amazon Wants To Give A Free Kindle To All Amazon Prime Subscribers"

Amazon Prime is a subscription product that gives customers free two day shipping on everything they buy from Amazon. The current fee is $79/year.

These are Amazon's very best customers-- the ones who tend to make multiple purchases per month. And they are also likely to buy multiple books per month on their Kindle devices. If those users buy enough books, and Amazon gets the production costs of the Kindle down enough, Amazon can get Kindles into "millions" of people's hands without losing their shirt. At least when the goal is to break even or better over the course of a couple of years, the expected lifetime of a Kindle.

So what will be the proximate result of this story? Thousands of people signing up for Amazon Prime in the hopes of getting a free kindle. The comments section is packed with these people, fretting that they might be disqualified for not signing up early enough.

On the basis of a completely unsubstantiated rumor on a industry news site, a rumor Amazon will have no trouble denying, and not living up to.

That dry rattle you hear is Jeff Bezos cackling from atop his obsidian throne.

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