By Siobhan O’Leary
German bookseller Weltbild will soon be introducing the Aluratek Libre e-reader to the German market, with plans to formally launch the device at this year’s Frankfurt Book Fair. Its most distinctive feature might very well be its price of €99.99. Borders, which sells the device in the US, announced last week that it will be lowering the price of the Aluratek Libre to $99 (the initial retail price in the US was $169). In an interview with Buchreport, Weltbild CEO Klaus Driever asserts that Weltbild is the “largest seller of e-readers in Germany” and claims that 2010 sales have well-surpassed the 10,000 devices Weltbild sold last year. To put that into perspective, Pricewaterhouse Coopers estimates that 50,000 to 80,000 customers in Germany own e-readers. Though Driever sees the low-priced reader as a means toward reaching the mass market, Weltbild’s digital business (e-books and readers) is expected to account for less than 1% of sales in 2010.