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Waterstones and the paperwhite Trojan


Less than an hour ago I was on one of my regular plundering missions to my local Waterstones book store. I check what is new and download the books I want to my iPhone. It was ever thus, at least over the past three years.

This time I noticed a difference. There, right in front of me, was a large display of Kindles and Kindle accessories on an Apple-Store-like table. The Kindle Paperwhite was prominent at only £109, including free 3G. I confess I was sorely tempted to an impulse buy. The only thing that stopped me was the impending arrival of the iPad mini, a device that I fervently hope will fulful all my bookreading needs.

I had read about Waterstone’s decision to stock Kindles but hadn’t thought much of it until today. That large display table of Kindles is nothing less than a paperwhite Trojan. Every Kindle sold means at least 50 lost book sales to Waterstones. I am not sure how this makes financial sense, except as an exercise in if-you-can’t-beat-’em-join-’em.

by Mike Evans, 25 October 2012

The Paperwhite 3G is listed as £169 on the Apple website while it was clearly on display at £109 at Waterstones. A misleading caption, probably, and perhaps I should have bought one. The mystery is explained here.


  1. Yes, You should have instantly bought it, even if you didnt really want it you could always have them sold it on Ebay for a price between what you paid and what it should have cost you.. Missed opportunity I feel.

    • I am about to rush down this morning and see if it is still displayed at the lower price. Almost certainly they will discover the mistake when they scan the box, so I don’t hold much hope of being successful.

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