NEW YORK — A price war is heating up in the electronic reader market, as Amazon cut the price of its Kindle e-reader below $200 yesterday just after Barnes & Noble did the same with its competing Nook device.
The moves are fanning flames in the still-small but growing market that the book industry sees as a major part of its future.
Yesterday, Amazon.com Inc. slashed the price of the Kindle by $70 to $189, just a few hours after Barnes & Noble Inc. reduced the price of the Nook by $60 to $199 and said it would also start selling a new Nook with Wi-Fi access for $149.
Both the Kindle and the original Nook can wirelessly download books over high-speed data networks; the Nook also has Wi-Fi access. Amazon has lowered the Kindle’s price several times since it debuted in 2007 at $399. The Nook was released last year for $259.
Both e-readers are creeping closer to the price of bookstore chain Borders Group Inc.’s new $149 Kobo e-reader, which will be available in July. And the cuts mean the price gap between these products and Apple Inc.’s touchscreen iPad, which starts at $499, is getting ever wider.