Barnes & Noble came out with a WiFi-only NOOK for $149 and dropped the 3G-capable NOOK from $259 to $199. I mentioned in WiFi NOOK: $149, 3G NOOK Price Drops to $199 that I look forward to more affordable e-book readers soon, but this is quick: Amazon has responded by slashing the price of the Kindle from $259 to $189 bringing it $10 under the 3G NOOK (affiliate link to Amazon’s Kindle page). Will Amazon introduce a WiFi-only Kindle? Probably not since it doesn’t have a brick-and-mortar presence like Barnes & Noble where a WiFi-ony device could be used to view and purchase books, magazines, etc.
Everyday the cost of manufacturing one of these E Ink-based e-book readers is forced down and eventually we will get to $99 and at that point e-book readers based on E Ink technology will become widespread and will cease to be a tool loved only by avid readers. At that point, I can imagine those who already have iPads getting an e-book reader, which will become synonymous with the book you carry to read on the subway, bus or plane. The iPad will eventually replace the netbook but E Ink e-book readers will eventually replace the book.