The Wall Street Journal notes Sony has dropped the price of its entry-level e-book reader to US$169 just in time for the arrival of Apple‘s US$499 iPad.

The story quotes an analyst predicting a US$99 e-book reader by next year, pointing out it costs more than $99 to build the devices.

I can see the arrival of free e-book readers linked to online book shops. There’s no reason e-books can’t follow the razor and blade business model used by game console makers (like Sony) to its logical extreme and give away the hardware to customers willing to commit to buying so-many books over the course of a year.

Let the E-Reader Price War Begin? Sony Drops to $169 – Digits – WSJ.

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