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Amazon releases ad-supported Kindle

The e-book wars are heating up, and Amazon is doing everything it can to make sure it takes the top spot. Today the internet giant announced that it will sell an ad-supported version of the Kindle for a price of US$114.00. Thankfully, Amazon is being rather tactful with the ads. They will not appear within the e-books themselves but will be relegated to the Kindle home screen and screensavers. Still, the $114 price point seems a little silly; $99 would be a much better psychological buy-in point.

While an ad-supported iPad is unlikely, it would be interesting to see Apple offer ad-supported e-books in the iBookstore. Apple does hold quite a few patents on advertising options related to video advertising and hardware subsidization through ads, as well as its iAd platform. It wouldn't be much of a stretch to think that Apple could offer publishers iAds support for their books, which would allow them to sell e-books more cheaply, yet still bring in sufficient (and recurring) revenues.

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