Amazon Strikes at Kobo – Drops Kindle Prices in Canada

A reader has just tipped me to a new price cut for the Kindle Paperwhite and the basic Kindle. Amazon’s Canadian customers can now buy either Kindle model for $10 less than they cost last week.

While the new price is still about $10 more than the prices charged in the US, the Canadian models don’t come with ads. That means that the price in Canada is actually better than the US price.

When Amazon first started selling Kindles in Canada in January 2013, they took the smart step of matching the Canadian price to the US price of the ad-free Kindle models.  While this may have made it look like the Canadian prices were higher, this was not in fact true. Amazon was offering their customers the same price as in the US, so what Amazon really did today was to give Canadians a better price than Amazon’s US customers can get.

That’s a pretty big deal, and I wonder what it says about Amazon’s market share in Canada.

Canada is the home ground of Kobo, which has been selling ebooks there since late 2009. While Amazon did take the Kindle Store international in 2009, it wasn’t until December 2012 that Amazon launched a local Kindle Store in Canada.

All in all today’s price cut is probably a sign that Amazon isn’t satisfied with their market share in Canada. Does this mean Kobo still dominates the ebook market?

There’s a good chance that this is the case.

According to the latest survey data, Kobo accounts for 46% of the ereaders owned in Canada. Amazon is in a distant second place with a mere 24%, and Sony comes in third. This is a striking change from a year ago when the Sony Reader had a slight lead over Kobo and the Kindle (28%, 27%, 25% respectively).

That data only became publicly available last week, so it’s entirely possible read the report and responded with a price cut.

The above conclusion was based on a report originally dated April 2012. I had missed the year when I first read the press release.

The latest info is based on market surveys from June 2012 (released in October 2012) and puts the Kindle (25%) at slightly behind Kobo (27%) in terms of ereaders in use. But this info is 10 months old so it could be completely wrong.


Nate Hoffelder

View posts by Nate Hoffelder
Nate Hoffelder is the founder and editor of The Digital Reader. He has been blogging about indie authors since 2010 while learning new tech skills weekly. He fixes author sites, and shares what he learns on The Digital Reader's blog. In his spare time, he fosters dogs for A Forever Home, a local rescue group.


  1. Jason25 April, 2013

    So now the PW is priced the same as the Kobo Glo. Good news of course, but I just picked up an Aura so no more new gadgets for me.

    1. Gary25 April, 2013

      So… what do you think of the Aura Jason? It looks thick and clunky in the pictures… especially that strange back design. Give us a little review.

      1. Jason25 April, 2013

        I haven’t really had a lot of quality time as of yet, but first impressions are good overall. The Aura is built sturdy, but the plastic shell is very slippery. The new pattern on the back does make holding it feel a bit nicer. The process of setting up my account and updating went fast and flawless.

        I’m not much of a reviewer lol

        1. Jason25 April, 2013

          Oh, I’d just like to add that the pictures online do make it look more thick (chunky) than it really is. The edge itself isn’t too thick, but the new pattern does add to the size. From the little time I’ve held it, it seems like a decent trade-off as holding it feels better than with the Glo.

      2. ronelltom26 April, 2013

        I have managed to ‘brick’ mine already. Does anyone know how to return the thing back to its original state. Reset only returns it back to basic page and no further. There is no manual yet out for this model, so back in the box it goes. hay ho.

  2. Mike Frisco25 April, 2013

    So how can a US user buy an ad-free Canadian Kindle?

    1. AH25 April, 2013

      You do what Canadians have been doing for years. Cross border shopping. For example, before Christmas, the only way to purchase a Kindle Paperwhite for Canadians was to go to go to the US and purchase it there.

  3. Patrick25 April, 2013

    So they’re the same price only the paper white has ads? Not that I care much but I know a lot of people might not feel the same.

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