Amazon may give away free Kindles

Techcrunch rumours it up that Amazon might give a free Kindle to people who take a subscription to its Prime service.

A lass using a Kindle, from Kindle web siteIt certainly should. We’ve argued over and over again here on TechEye that e-readers should be considered as a means to an end, not the end itself.

The model is Hewlett Packard, the ink company that creates very complicated printers that it practically gives away because it knows the real gold dust is that people come back again and again to buy its so-called consumables.

Yesterday we saw that the bill of materials (BOM) price for an Apple iPad was a mere fraction of the price Apple will sell the gizmos for. But the ideal situation is when electronic paper really comes into its own and the technology looks and feels to much like paper and costs so little that you pay for what the publishers are offering, not for an overpriced gizmo.

The Kindle costs money to make, sure, but the European mobile phone firms practically give away their phones just so that you can enjoy their tariffs.

A book is the equivalent of a tariff, and if Amazon could persuade the publishers to give it a little bit more margin, then that wouldn’t be a problem at all, and everyone would be happy.

Well, Steve Jobs wouldn’t be happy. But hey.