updated 05:10 pm EDT, Wed April 7, 2010
Target seen carrying Kindle by April 25
A screen capture of Target's inventory system today has suggested that the retailer will be the first to carry the Amazon Kindle at retail. The six-inch model is listed as arriving on April 25th and would carry the same $259 price as it does online. It's not clear from the Engadget tipster whether there would be any functional changes, although that isn't expected.
Neither Amazon nor Target has confirmed a retail deal as of this writing.
The move would be a rare one for Amazon and a likely reaction to Apple's new presence in the e-reader market with the iPad. Unlike virtually every other e-reader maker in the US, Amazon has relied almost exclusively on its website and word-of-mouth to drive Kindle sales since the reader launched in late 2007. Officially, this has resulted in "millions" of sales, but the company has also had problems creating awareness due to its limited reach. Until now, Amazon could never let customers try the Kindle in a store before they bought it, and it only just recently began advertising on TV in addition to the web.
Apple, meanwhile, has both its own stores and a strong presence at chains such as Best Buy. It isn't alone as Barnes & Noble has had the luxury of marketing the Nook at its own bookstores, and Sony's Reader line has for months had a footprint in Best Buy in addition to self-run stores.