Amazon to Release Cheaper Kindle in August

Amazon.com plans to release a cheaper Kindle e-reader next month, said Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, laying out a strategy to go “mass market” with an inexpensive gadget designed to do just one thing: sell digital books from Amazon. The new Kindle features a screen with increased gray-scale contrast, a battery that lasts for a month, and a slightly smaller size. It will come in two flavors: one with Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections selling for $189, the other with Wi-Fi only for $139. The latter will be among the cheapest wireless-equipped e-readers on the market, at least for now.

“We developed this device for serious readers. At these price points, it may be much broader than that,” said Mr. Bezos in an interview. “People will buy them for their kids. People won’t share Kindles any more.”

Amazon will begin taking orders Thursday and the new models will begin shipping Aug. 27 to customers in 140 countries.

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