Retail in Asia

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Price cuts electrify e-reader market

Two leading makers of e-book readers, threatened by the success of Apple Inc.’s iPad, slashed prices on Monday in a move that could further drive e-readers into the mainstream.

Early Monday, Barnes & Noble Inc. cut the price of its Nook e-reader to USD199 and introduced a wi-fi-only model for USD149. Hours later, Amazon.com Inc. lowered the price of its Kindle e-reader to USD189. Both the Nook and Kindle previously sold for USD259.

The moves aren’t likely to end the gyrations in the nascent e-reader market. In coming weeks, both Amazon and Sony Corp. plan to unveil new versions of their devices, said people briefed on the matter. Analysts believe the new products also will emphasise lower prices.