Now that Amazon has the Kindle Scribe on sale at its lowest price ever, starting at $289 for the 16GB model, it makes me wonder why the Kindle Scribe is the least expensive 10-inch ereader and eNote on the market, by a wide margin at that.
Most people that see the price of the Kindle Scribe probably don’t think that it’s cheap, but compared to all other similar E Ink devices on the market it costs a lot less than the alternatives.
Going back a few years, you pretty much had to spend a minimum of $550 to get a 10-inch E Ink device with a Wacom touchscreen. The Sony DPT-CP1 was one of the earlier models back in 2018 and it sold for $599, and it was a lot more limited than the Kindle Scribe.
Onyx’s first 10-inch Note from 2018 sold for $549, and the latest Note 5 still sells for the same price. But those devices use flexible E Ink screens, whereas most newer eNotes use cheaper glass-based screens. Even still, Onyx’s devices sell for a lot more than the Kindle Scribe. Their Note Air 2 sells for $479, their upgraded Tab Ultra sells for $599, and even their 7.8-inch Nova Air 2 sells for as much as the Kindle Scribe when it’s not on sale.
The Kobo Elipsa is another 10-inch model that’s comparable to the Scribe, and it sells for $399. It was just on sale for the lowest price ever at $349, but somehow the Scribe with superior hardware still manages to undercut that by another $60.
Not only is the Kindle Scribe significantly cheaper, especially while it’s on sale, but it also has the best screen and the best frontlight of all the 10-inch eNotes. So far Amazon is the only company using the upgraded 300 ppi screens, while all other eNotes are using 227 ppi screens.
There are a few 10-inch ereaders that have been cheaper than the Kindle Scribe, like the PocketBook InkPad Lite, but it has a massively outdated 150 ppi screen and no notetaking capabilities, so it’s not really in the same class. There’s also the Meebook P10 for $339 but it only has a 200 ppi screen and it has an inferior capacitive stylus pen that you have to purchase separately.
The Remarkable 2 can be had for as little as $299, but that’s without a stylus, which adds another $79 to the price, and that’s for the basic pen. Plus there’s the fact the Remarkable doesn’t have a frontlight, and frankly, it’s a terrible ereader that doesn’t even support DRM’d ebooks so it’s really just a notetaking device and a basic PDF reader.
So why is Amazon selling the Kindle Scribe for considerably less than other 10-inch eNotes? It’s not like they make more money off of people taking notes. They don’t sell templates or cloud storage or anything like that for the Scribe. The only extra they’re really making off of the notetaking aspects of the Scribe is selling replacement pen tips in packs of 10 for $14.99. That doesn’t exactly sound like a gold mine.
Frankly, I’m still surprised Amazon decided to release a 10-inch Kindle at all. The economics of the situation don’t really make sense. Personally, I really like the Kindle Scribe and I’m glad Amazon sells it for less than competing devices, but they probably could’ve upgraded the Kindle Oasis and sold just as many or more at a slightly lower price than the Scribe. I don’t understand how Amazon plans to make money on a note-oriented Kindle when they clearly aren’t making much off of hardware sales.
Are they planning take over the academic books market too?
Probably not. They don’t even advertise reading academic books on the Scribe now.
Maybe they are waiting its software to be more polished
Anything to increase book sales. But also it helps sell covers and other accessories. I’m glad they sell it to and hope to get one when they finally have it here in Mexico.
It’s weird that they still don’t sell them there.
The options of kindle options in general are limited here in Mexico. Even the features available if you register your kindle to a Mexican account. It makes no sense. If they are worried of a language barrier, that is a poor excuse because so many people here in Mexico also speak at least some English. And the people who would be purchasing a kindle generally are people with money, which means they have some form of education, which means they have learned English. English is almost a requirement here in Mexico for international commerce. You can watch movie in English in the theater here. Netflix streams in English. There is a lot of English here in Mexico. Anyway, my point is I don’t get why they limit the options here in Mexico. Their marketing dept must see something I don’t, I suppose.
Do you think it is fair comparison of Kindle and Kobo in this particular case? After all Kobo is bundled with case and proper stylus and 32GB of storage…
It’s not a comparison of features or a comparison of storage space, it’s a comparison of price, what each company sells their 10-inch eNotes for, and the 32GB Scribe with the premium pen is only $329 right now anyway. If Kobo wants to force people to buy a cover with their ereader than that’s their choice, but the price is going to be higher because of it.
It may look like a convenient thing to do to include a case for the device, but in the end I think it is poor marketing as people like to have some choice to customize their device. Maybe they did it as they did not think there would be any 3rd party cases support at the launch of the Elipsa?
Fair enough, basically it should be rounded up to idea of having a choice and entry point to these kind of devices… hmmm
Isn’t this Amazon approach the same as they used for the original Kindle’s. Sell at the lowest barely possible price to take market share and drive out the competition.
Khalid el-Sheikh says
Anyone knows when it will be available in Arabic countries?
The main idea is to get more Kindle store traffic. Amazon sells their devices super cheap so that more people buy them and get on their digital services. On the contrary, they lose money on device sales. It’s the same as printers, they sell you the printer at a loss knowing that will make it so you need to buy their ink for the rest of the time you own it, allowing them to turn a profit over time. It’s the same deal but Amazon makes their money through ads and digital purchases. Even though there aren’t locks screen ads on the scribe, they do advertise books right on your home screen. You only own the top row of content on your home screen, the rest of it is suggesting you to buy stuff that people have payed for to be advertised like that. It makes sense once you’ve looked at all the ways they make money why they get to sell the device so cheaply.