Waterstones and the paperwhite Trojan

Posted on by Mike Evans

Less than an hour ago I was on one of my regular plundering missions to my local Waterstones book store. I check what is new and download the books I want to my iPhone. It was ever thus, at least over the past three years.

This time I noticed a difference. There, right in front of me, was a large display of Kindles and Kindle accessories on an Apple-Store-like table. The Kindle Paperwhite was prominent at only £109, including free 3G. I confess I was sorely tempted to an impulse buy. The only thing that stopped me was the impending arrival of the iPad mini, a device that I fervently hope will fulful all my bookreading needs.

I had read about Waterstone's decision to stock Kindles but hadn't thought much of it until today. That large display table of Kindles is nothing less than a paperwhite Trojan. Every Kindle sold means at least 50 lost book sales to Waterstones. I am not sure how this makes financial sense, except as an exercise in if-you-can't-beat-'em-join-'em.

by Mike Evans, 25 October 2012

The Paperwhite 3G is listed as £169 on the Apple website while it was clearly on display at £109 at Waterstones. A misleading caption, probably, and perhaps I should have bought one. The mystery is explained here.

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