As soon as the story hit, tech news outlets were scrambling to make sense of the move, not taking at face value Amazon's explanation that an increase in production volume has allowed them to pass savings on to the consumer. After all, the Kindle 2 was only just released five months ago, and such an early price drop seems unusual.
Channel Web's Chad Berndtson, in two posts about the announcement, reminded us that this is the first price drop in the Kindle's history. He also speculates that sagging sales and the crowded e-book market have caused Amazon to make the cut to better establish itself as the first name in e-books. (But Amazon hasn't disclosed sales figures for the Kindle or its larger-screen Kindle DX, making such claims hard to substantiate.)
PC World's Melissa J. Perenson agrees. "Amazon knows that it must push its price down fast in order to establish itself as a leader in the category going forward and to remain competitive as competing models emerge," she writes. "No longer is the Kindle the only practical option for reading digital books, and if Kindle doesn't quickly achieve iPod-like traction and even dominance, more-splintered approaches to digital reading may gain ground."
Harry McCracken over at Technologizer touches on the mythical price that lulls the masses into buying: "I’m not sure if there’s such a thing as a magic price point that makes the Kindle an iPod-like breakout hit, but if there is, $299 probably still isn’t it. But a $199 Kindle might appeal to a much broader audience."