EReaders – or more accurately, prospective eReaders – rejoice: Beginning on March 6, the 3G version of the Amazon Kindle will be available at AT&T outlets nationwide. According to AT&T, the price on the device will remain exactly the same as it does over at Amazon.com: $189, plus tax. But with the brick-and-mortar option you at least get some instant gratification. Walk in without a Kindle; walk out with a Kindle!
"As the first dedicated eReader offered in our stores, we are confident the Kindle will be an attractive addition to our in store connected devices lineup," Glenn Lurie, the president of "emerging devices" at AT&T said this week in a statement. Lurie has reason to be optimistic: EReaders, and especially the Amazon Kindle line, have sold exceptionally well over the past year.
On a related note, the tech blogosphere has itself all twisted up in a frenzy this morning over Kevin Kelly's suggestion that the Amazon Kindle could soon be free. (Not for everyone, of course. Just for Amazon Prime members.) More specifically, Kelly believes the Kindle could be free as soon as November of this year.
In August, Kelly spoke to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos about the possibility that Kindle eReaders would be made free. "Oh, you noticed that!" Bezos reportedly said, and smiled. And hey, what's so wrong with his theory? By dishing out free eReaders, a company such as Amazon could encourage a lot more eReading, which makes the company a lot more money. Of course, as the Boston Globe points out, Kelly is a little short on data.
Don't hold your breath, basically. Also: If you haven't already, you should sign up for our weekly Innovation newsletter. Which is also free! It ships every Wednesday.