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Goliath charges in
Goliath charges in
Amazon's first Kindle looked clunky, but dedicated readers snapped it up anyway.

Amazon.com Kindle
Nov. 19, 2007
Launch price: $399
Current price: $139 for Wi-Fi version, $189 for Wi-Fi 3G version

Amazon.com helped usher in the Age of the E-Book with the debut of the Kindle e-reader in November 2007. The device sold out within five and a half hours, and Amazon.com didn't have more in stock until the following April. Reviewers speculated that the Kindle could do for the e-book what Apple's iPod had done for digital music: make it mainstream.

Although its steep price tag made it seem decadent at the time, the Kindle has steadily gotten better and cheaper. It's clearly the leader in the dedicated e-reader field -- though Amazon still won't say how many it has sold. Instead it keeps issuing press releases praising the sales "momentum" of Kindle 3, which began shipping in August.

Reviewers are on board. PC Magazine called the Kindle 3 "the best dedicated e-book reader you can buy," and Wired says that "its continued popularity bodes well for the future of single-purpose long-form reading devices."

NEXT: B&N takes the field
Last updated October 26 2010: 6:22 PM ET
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