AT&T is sponsoring a special version of Amazon's Kindle with a special deals. Amazon already has such a Kindle in the offering but this is the first time the 3G is being offered and the first a carrier is doing the deal.
According to MocoNews, the AT&T backed Kindle will drop to $139 - obviously, there would still be ads but it's a small price to pay for some users. On top of that, AT&T does get a huge mind-share for these Kindle users who likely are buying books. They can conceivable be buying other things like AT&T services or goods.
This can be a game changer for all concerned going forward. Amazon is rumored to be developing its own Android-based tablets to compete with Nook and the iPad. Future deals could know anywhere from tens of dollars to fifty or even a hundred given the right sponsorship for the life of the device.
It's not that bad of a deal for companies like AT&T, especially if future tablets require 3G data plans to use. It's likely to have an impact in ways that Motorola, Samsung, and other tablet makers has not given Apple's iPad's dominant position.
In fact, Microsoft could be interested in such deals if these devices are locked into using Bing as the default search engine and related services.
Amazon would also be in the best position to do these kinds of deals that mobile users and readers will benefit. And they are likely to be a dominant force with which Apple has to content with. Currently, Apple and Amazon are embroiled in a trademark lawsuit. Expect that to only be the opening salvo of a major war between the two to come.