Why no Kindle Oasis Without a Cover for $199?

Kindle Oasis Covers

I think most people are a bit shocked by the price of the new Kindle Oasis that Amazon unveiled this morning.

Starting at $289 for the Wi-Fi model and $359 for the 3G model, it’s a lot more than most people were expecting considering the fact the Oasis has the same E Ink screen as the Kindle Paperwhite 3 that frequently goes on sale for $99.

The high price of the Kindle Oasis all comes down to the snazzy leather charging cover that for some odd reason is mandatory to purchase.

Amazon places a premium price on their Kindle covers and they always have. The regular leather cover for the Voyage sells for $60 and the premium cover sells for $85.

Considering that, it’s not much of a stretch to assume about one third of the overall price for the Kindle Oasis is for the cover alone. Adding 12 magnets, an internal battery, and charging components certainly has to account for at least $90 of the overall cost.

The most puzzling aspect of forcing people to buy the cover is the fact that almost every single picture at Amazon shows people using the Kindle Oasis without the cover!

It’s an odd marketing strategy for Amazon not to sell the Kindle Oasis without a cover for $199, the same price as the Voyage. They’d certainly sell a lot more of them. But then again Amazon has so little competition in the ereader space they can do pretty much whatever they want.

16 Responses to “Why no Kindle Oasis Without a Cover for $199?”

  1. They force people because nobody in their right mind would pay $85 for a premium leather cover. I figure they might eventually sell it without once reality kicks in and sales are low.

  2. they used a small battery, i think 250mah is the capacity of the internal battery and 1250mah for the cover’s battery.
    which mean without a cover your gonna get a 4 maybe 5 days of usage (1 hour/day)

    bad idea

    • Makes sense, but why did they make it that thin to begin with? Not a single poll i saw throughout the past year stated people demanded thinner. I don’t understand this obsession with thinner and 6″.

      • Agreed with both of you. No $199 Oasis standalone because of the thin unit and very small battery. Maybe they’re right and the unit will be so much comfortable and the screen with 10 LEDs will be so uniform that it makes the Oasis worth it. We’ll have to see when people get their units. But from afar, it doesn’t look good.

  3. i can’t understand it either

  4. This trend of squeezing down gadgets to a desirably smaller footprint, and then correcting the reduced operating time (due to the squeezed-down battery size) by supplying portable charging cases, is becoming more common. E.g., these tiny bluetooth gadgets, the Motorola Hint bluetooth headset ( https://www.motorolastore.com/hint.html ) and the Soundhawk combo bluetooth headset and hearing amplifier ( http://www.soundhawk.com/#how-it-works ).

    To my mind, this makes more sense in a wearable than in a book replacement. The market may be limited to the too-rich and people with hand problems.

  5. Price is way too high for an e-reader. People complained about the Voyage price! Yes, I understand it includes a charging cover, but please, $300 for an e-reader? They need to offer this without the cover for maybe $140 or less to get my attention. Otherwise, I am perfectly happy with my Paperwhite.

  6. With any luck, they will now reduce the Voyage. I was holding out for something good, but this isn’t it.

  7. I think $99 is the magic number for people who are willing to pay for an e-reader. Any higher number will drive people away as they can get a tablet instead.

  8. Why? Because the entire design revolves around that dual-battery system. Because the only thing “premium” is the cover. Because three-quarters of the battery is in the case. Because the stand-alone device isn’t on par with the Voyage (and the Voyage is overpriced anyway).

  9. Nathan — Sometimes you create a product line with different levels, and different price points. You’re really not expecting the customer you buy the high end (flagship) product. What Amazon really wants is people to buy more paper whites. This is actually a common business strategy.

    That being said I do think the price for the Oasis is amazingly steep. I agree with you they should have tried to hit the $199 price point.

  10. This is what happens when silicon new rich 500k+ detach themselves from reality. But sure it is going to look good and everybody around “them” is going to have it. Why not?

  11. I am someone who likes to buy different covers for my readers and switch them out for the different books I read. I do tend to go overboard with my covers so with the Oasis it will be saving me money in the long run. The Voyage is 200 the Oasis is 290. If you were to add the origami cover to the Voyage at 59.00 dollars and then a good back up charger (Amazon has one for 30) you are right at the cost of the Voyage or not much below it. The Oasis provides it all. I have never liked the Voyage – cannot really pinpoint why. I did not like the haptic page turns and the adaptive light never really worked right for me and would flicker. I am looking forward to the actual page turn buttons and am glad they got rid of the adjusting light. I can’t wait to get back to a wedged device. Amazon has created several devices to try to meet all people’s needs. You pick and buy the device that closely meets yours and you don’t trash talk the ones that don’t especially when it isn’t out in the world yet.

  12. Sorry, you are close to the price of the Oasis😄

  13. I tried charging and using the Oasis without the official cover. The battery lasted for less than a day. Guess the cover is integral to the charging and battery life