With Kindles back in stock, Amazon drops price of ebook reader

Amazon has struggled to keep up with orders for its Kindle electronic book reader since the device debuted just before Thanksgiving, but with inventory back on hand, the retailer has lowered the price by 10 percent.

Wait times for customers to receive their Kindle sometimes reached months, leading Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos to publish an open letter on the company's homepage in which he apologized for the delays. "We didn't expect the demand that actually materialized," Bezos wrote in March.

Inventory finally caught up with demand late last month and Bezos promised that shipments would start up again soon. Now, Amazon is reporting no further delays and has cut the price of the Kindle from $399 to $349 USD. The company is also offering free two-day shipping for all Kindle orders, which it has done since launch.

Because Amazon doesn't charge customers until their product ships, those who were waiting for their Kindle to arrive should be eligible to pay the lower price tag. The company also provides price matching for those who ordered within the past 30 days.

Even at $349, the Kindle is more expensive than Sony's $299 Reader device, however it does include free 3G wireless connectivity for purchasing books and surfing the Web. Amazon's ebooks also do not work with the Sony Reader unless they are first converted to PDF.

The Kindle features a 6-inch screen able to display 800x600 resolution, 256 MB internal memory, SD slot capable of holding up to a 4 GB memory stick, mini USB, keyboard cursor, full QWERTY keyboard, 3.5 mm headphone jack, and EV-DO connectivity for downloading books from Amazon's store.

Furthermore, the device measures 4.9" x 7.5" x 0.7" and weighs 10.2 ounces. Up to 200 titles can be stored using the 256 MB of internal memory, with countless other titles available using an SD memory card.

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