Target To Remove Amazon Kindles From Shelves This Spring

Target will stop selling all Kindles, including the Kindle Fire this Spring. Photo: Victor J. Blue/Wired.com

Amazon might make America’s number one e-reader and Android tablet, and that’s a powerful position. But for all its brand equity, Amazon can’t stop one of America’s largest brick-and-mortar retailers from pulling its hardware from store shelves.

The Verge reported last night that Target was phasing out its Kindle inventory. After the story broke, Target released a statement saying it would be removing all Kindle devices and accessories in spring 2012.

But the retailer isn’t getting out of the e-reader space entirely: “We will continue to offer our guests a full assortment of e-readers and supporting accessories including the Nook,” said Target’s statement.

The Verge reported that a source said Amazon devices were being pulled from stores because of a “conflict of interest.” Whatever that conflict may be, Target isn’t saying.

The most plausible scenario is that Target is concerned about selling a device made by a direct competitor in the retail market. Currently, Amazon has an app that allows consumers to price-check items within brick-and-mortar stores. So, if an item is cheaper on Amazon’s site, customers can quickly purchase the item from Amazon while standing in a Target shopping aisle.

Wired contacted Amazon about Target pulling its products, and had not heard from the company as of press time.

Roberto is a Wired Staff Writer for Gadget Lab covering Augmented Reality, Home Technology, and all the gadgets that fit in your backpack.

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