updated 05:00 pm EDT, Mon October 25, 2010
Borders drops Kobo to 99, Velocity Reader to 170
Borders said it would start up multiple deals, beginning October 31, in what's already considered a bid to recover sagging sales. The company dropped the price of its core readers, the Kobo eReader and the Aluratek Libre, down to $100; the Libre deal lasts until November 15. It should also be giving away five free books with each Kobo Wireless eReader at its usual $140 price, and Sony Readers will get a free cover and light combo.
Despite having been launched just weeks earlier, Velocity Micro's two Android tablets are also getting steep discounts. The starter Cruz Reader is dropping $30 to $170, while the $300 Cruz Tablet will stay the same but will get a $25 Borders gift card.
The combined cuts suggest Borders has been struggling to compete with Barnes & Noble as well as retailers that have a significant e-reader presence, including Best Buy, Target, Walmart and even Apple. The tablets' price cuts so soon into their lifespans suggests that the low pricing and smaller sizes wasn't enough to draw customers away from the iPad or to have them trade up from dedicated e-readers.
Kobo has had more favorable reviews but has had to compete with not just tablets but multiple price cuts from Amazon and Barnes & Noble that forced a drop from the original $150 price tag for the basic model and a low starting price for the Wi-Fi edition.