AT&T has agreed to "sponsor" the recently introduced 3G Kindle with Special Offers (AKA ad-supported), reducing its price still further, from $164 down to $139.
This places the 3G Kindle with Special Offers at the same price at the wi-fi Kindle. The ad-free Kindle 3G is $189, and the wi-fi Kindle with Special Offers which is currently Amazon.com's best-selling Kindle, is $114.
Sponsorship of the Kindle is just what it sounds like: AT&T will get sponsored screensavers among the ads on the ad-supported 3G Kindle. As we noted before, the ads on the Kindle with Special Offers are really unobtrusive; they only appear as sponsored screensavers or on an end user's home screen. The ads never interfere with reading.
Kindle's 3G connectivity has been provided by AT&T for some time (although the initial Kindles used Sprint as the 3G provider). One interesting tidbit from the press release, was this statement from AT&T President and CEO Ralph de la Vega:
"Kindle 3G is by far the fastest-growing connected device on the AT&T network. We consistently hear from customers how much they enjoy the freedom of not being tied to a Wi-Fi hotspot and instead being able to download and read new books anytime, anywhere on AT&T's fast, reliable network. We are excited to sponsor Amazon's best Kindle - Kindle 3G with Special Offers - at the new lower price of only $139."
So, are they saying that the Kindle is growing faster than, say, the iPad 2? If true, that's amazing.
These moves are good for the Kindle, but since it recently lost its "No. 1 e-book reader" ranking to the NOOK color, it's clear that Amazon.com needs to release those color Android tablets, and soon.