Thanks everyone for the explanations. Reading Nate's followup post (http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...appy-hardware/
), it just is not possible to create an e-reader for even $40 today.
The Kindle's screen costs at least $30, and its chips around $30 (at least according to estmates by ifixit). And the current $69 price for the Kindle is in itself subsidized. The price may have gone down somewhat since last year, but at the rate the Kindle is going down in price (around $10 a year?) it'll be a couple of years before it even gets to be under $50.