updated 01:20 am EDT, Sun September 25, 2011
Amazon Prime eBooks to be subscription service
Amazon's at least proposed strategy for subscription e-book downloads was validated through a source code discovery in the Kindle management page. Mentions caught by MobileRead show code strings verifying whether devices are "Prime_eBooks_compatible" as well as references to checked out Prime books. It's implied that, rather than go strictly unlimited, Amazon would have users "borrow" a certain number of books for the $79 outlay of a yearly Prime subscription..
The finding arrives just a few days before the September 28 event where Amazon is presumed to be unveiling its Android-based tablet reader. With unlimited video streaming already attached to Prime accounts, it's possible if not very likely that Amazon will hope to trump Apple and Barnes & Noble alike by giving subscribers a whole slew of books, movies, and possibly more through one subscription.
Given the cost of the content, Amazon may be following its habit of price dumping, or selling below cost to build market share. Kindle books were often sold one at a time through this method until Apple arrived with the iBookstore and pressured the industry into an agency model, where the publishers set the prices. Their price hikes left Amazon without a direct way to challenge the price of a book on the iPad. [via The eBook Reader]