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Rather than clone Apple's iPad, Amazon sticks with e-ink for new Kindle

post #1 of 60
Thread Starter 
Instead of adopting a color touchscreen to compete with the Apple iPad, Amazon's newly redesigned Kindle will instead focus on price, sticking with a low-cost e-ink display and starting at just $139.

Soon after the iPad was announced earlier this year, Amazon purchased touchscreen maker Touchco. At the time, it was said that the bookseller planned to incorporate the technology from the startup company in a future Kindle e-reader device.

That may still come true in the future, but on Wednesday, Amazon announced that its next-generation Kindle will launch on Aug. 27 in the U.S. and U.K. and will keep a black-and-white e-ink display. The new screen has a contrast ratio that is said to be 50 percent better than its predecessor.

Like the iPad, the new Kindle will be offered in both Wi-Fi-only and 3G-capable versions. The Wi-Fi Kindle will cost $139, while the 3G version will run $189. It has a 21 percent smaller body than the previous generation, but still has the same 6-inch reading area. It's also 15 percent lighter and a third of an inch thin. With double the storage, the new Kindle can old up to 3,500 books.

The new Kindle also features quieter page turn buttons, an improved PDF reader, an "experimental" WebKit-based browser, and a voice guide that allows books to be read aloud.



After the iPad was released in April, Amazon lowered the price of its previous-generation Kindle to $189. While the device's e-ink screen allows battery life to be measured in weeks instead of hours, making it a strong e-reader, the display also means the hardware is not as capable at other multimedia functions as the iPad. Apple's touchscreen tablet starts at $499.

"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running. We lowered the price to $189 and sales growth tripled. Now, we are excited to introduce a new generation Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster, with 50 percent better contrast," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO.

"Readers are going to do a double take when they see Kindle's bright new screen and feel how remarkably light the smaller 8.7 ounce design feels in one hand. If you don't need the convenience of 3G wireless, we have an incredible new price point--$139 for Kindle Wi-Fi. Kindle Wi-Fi has all the same features, same bookstore, same high-contrast electronic paper display, and it's even a tiny bit lighter at 8.5 ounces. At this price point, many people are going to buy multiple units for the home and family."



Amazon and Apple began to compete in the digital reader space when the iPad and its accompanying iBookstore were released. Both devices allow instant downloads of bestselling titles for reading on the go.

Amazon, however, has hedged its bets and also offers e-book reading software for other platforms, including Apple's iPad. Using Amazon's "Whispersync" technology, users can begin a book on one device, like a Kindle, and then pick up right where they left off on another device, like the iPad.
post #2 of 60
Still a one trick pony.
post #3 of 60
The $139 price point is still a little awkward (but really good).

Bring it down to $99, and Amazon is golden. I am sure they can afford it too, since they will make most of their money on eBook sales anyways.
post #4 of 60
Smart move. They're never going to be able to compete with iOS or Apple hardware, so they might as well stick with doing something simple as well and as cheaply as possible.
post #5 of 60
If i didn't already own 400ish books (English Major) from 2nd hand book sales (the Symphony has a fund raiser and sells used classics for a dollar or so) then I would definitely consider this (and, I also already have a iPad).

the iPad works as a reader pretty well, but the Kindle is great for taking on trips (no need to bring a charger) and reading outside.

Good move my Amazon to keep their niche, because they won't compete with the iPad.
post #6 of 60
Well, I am not personally interested in a Kindle, but it is interesting to note that they dropped the price massively and introduced new features for less money in response to the iPad. Bezos said:

Quote:
"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running. We lowered the price to $189 and sales growth tripled. Now, we are excited to introduce a new generation Kindle that is smaller, lighter, and faster, with 50 percent better contrast," said Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO.

That doesn't seem likely unless there is an asterisk floating there as he speaks that we can't see about "compared to other e-reader devices for sale on our store." Sales growth tripling isn't the same thing as sales tripling.

Anyway, I guess in a couple of years we'll know what happened to the Kindle here today, lol.
post #7 of 60
I like the Kindle for reading and the iPad for email, web, pictures, etc. Kindle is much easier on my eyes than iPad for text though...
post #8 of 60
Also foot fungus cream, breakfast cereal, Apple iMacs, hair removing gel, hair enhancing gel, makeup, lipstick, perfume...

they also sell Kindles? Who cares, they have over 1,000,000 products from toothpicks to enema bags. They compete with Walmart, not Apple.

Quote:
Originally Posted by freethinker View Post

I like the Kindle for reading and the iPad for email, web, pictures, etc. Kindle is much easier on my eyes than iPad for text though...
post #9 of 60
Good job, Amazon!
Gonna buy graphite Kindle DX 2
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post #10 of 60
I hear a lot of comparisons between the two (iPad and Kindle). They really aren't competing at much. The iBooks app on the iPad is really JUST another app on the device. It's a great App, there's no denying that. But, since the iPad is soo much more than an E-Reader, you really can't compare the two. If you want an E-Reader, the Kindle/Nook are the way to go. If you want more than that, get the iPad. It's a pretty simple choice, really. I know a few heavy readers that returned the iPad to buy a Kindle/Nook simply because the reading experience is not as strong on the iPad and all they really wanted was a book reader.

As a couple side notes...I think Amazon should focus on bringing the Kindle to the classroom. Work with Educational Publishers and really push the idea that the Kindle could be the perfect classroom companion device. The low cost, light weight, extreme battery life and reading experience make this an ideal device for students. I think this would give Amazon the edge they need to truly compete. Adding an All-In-One email app would be the only thing I would add as well; perhaps a Wikipedia app too. They may already have these options but i'm not sure. Heck, they could even give an educational subsidy and drop the costs even more.

Also, working with public libraries to develop a loan program to the Kindle would really put an edge up in the E-Books market for Amazon. If they could develop a program/app that allows you to "whisper-sync" to you local public library and get a book on loan for a month or so, that would really be great for Amazon.

What about Newspapers? I think the Kindle already offers news subscriptions but they should work more with the papers to help develop a stronger marketing program for it. Over the next 5-6 years I think we are going to see more E-Reader devices come out, and the price will continue to drop. Getting the News out at WiFi Kiosks would be such an excellent way to do this. And with cost dropping on the Kindle, we may even see the price go as low as $49 by 2015, with larger screens too, perhaps.

Very exciting indeed!
post #11 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlink View Post

Still a one trick pony.

That's good enough for the avid reader which is a huge market. I know my mother would love a Kindle or any e-reader. She only cares about the text so black and white is fine.

The only flaw I see that my mother would run into is that the Kindle might not survive a dip in the bath where she likes to read. These devices need to be water resistant as people do read outside (i.e. near a pool and in light rain) or in the kitchen area.
post #12 of 60
"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running."

Give us the EXACT numbers, Jeff. The EXACT NUMBERS! If you're proud of your sales volume, SHOUT IT LOUD! (So we can compare it to other devices in the "same" category, OK?)
post #13 of 60
A Kindle with a color screen would be great. It would allow artwork to be seen as the artists intended. Photos within magazines and text books would look better. Even graphs would look better when seen in color instead of grayscale. Moving images would make it even better for apps such as the periodic table that is on the iPad.

Two years ago I read of a company making a screen that would work with both e-ink and regular color LCD images. It had the benefit of using very low power when the e-ink was in use. I was hopeful that the Kindle would adopt it. Now that the iPad exists the Kindle must compete by lowering its price. It also needs to update its technology.

Are any book publishers of text books working with the Kindle in a big way? I really would have preferred having all of my school books on one of those instead of hauling around ten pounds of books on the bus.

E-book prices still seem way too high. There is no shipping cost, no storage cost, nobody ever loads or unloads inventory, almost no fuel is used to store e-books, there is only a tiny place in an electronic device where the single copy to be duplicated is stored, and yet many e-books cost just ten to twenty percent less than a hard cover version. For example, today on Amazon the book Angels And Demons by Dan Brown hard cover edition costs $13.55 plus shipping if you don't order over $25 of books at one time. The Kindle edition costs $9.99. The mass market paperback version costs (ready for this?) $1.10 new from other retailers selling on Amazon. The Amazon price for it is still $9.99. The Amazon paperback and Kindle version cost the same.

On the Sony reader site they sell e-book novels for just about seven and a half percent less than the paperback versions.

Until I feel the value is there I won't be buying e-books from Amazon. Sure a Kindle is worth it for people who travel and read, but I don't travel. I can leave a paperback book laying around without any weight or space penalty.

I'm all for saving the environment but I'm also pragmatic. E-book prices need to reflect the total savings publishers and sellers have from distributing them. When that happens I'll get into e-books.
post #14 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running."

Give us the EXACT numbers, Jeff. The EXACT NUMBERS! If you're proud of your sales volume, SHOUT IT LOUD! (So we can compare it to other devices in the "same" category, OK?)

Why, so we can rage another imaginary war like we have between the iPhone and every other smart phone?
post #15 of 60
Despite my earlier comment, I do think the Kindle is still a dead end.

The right way to do things would be to carry your iPad, which has your instantly downloadable books, and carry a real book, which is the main one you are reading.

The problem that the iPad needs to overcome, however, is weight. Its still a little too heavy for eBook usage.
post #16 of 60
Not to be too snarky, but I wouldn't want a Kindle if they gave it to me....it belongs in the Windows world of clumsy blackberries, Zunes, clunky OS's/software and creaky, plastki laptops....

I take a more minimalist approach to electronics, less is more. I like my iPhone, iPad (future), Time Capsule, AppleTV, iMac, MacBook...and have only a HDTV flat screen/cable box because Apple doesn't make them. (Yet) I will replace my current battery charger with an Apple charger next payday.

I'm fed up with the myriad of cables, power bricks, USB connections, docks and crappy interfaces.

iPhone 3Gs (iPhone 4 on order) replaces a video camera, still camera, GPS, iPod, Nike+ system, FM radio, Alarm clock, wrist watch, stopwatch, calendar, maps, calculator, cell phone, land line, thermometer, note pad, digital voice recorder (yes, I had a few of those), address book, checkbook, photos in my wallet, guitar tuner, compass, cookbooks, CD's, CD players.

iPhone 4: with flash will replace Exlim camera and with 40% more battery life, will replace my 3Gs' Mophe battery pack!

MacBook: When it breaks it will be replaced with an iPad 3Gs when I can afford it. Going on it's 5th year. I wish it would break. Seriously thinking of giving up High Speed internet service ($40/mo) and just using ATT 3G at home. Currently grandfathered in to iPhone's unlimited data plan. I could then do w/o the cable modem/pwr brick.

iPad: will replace all my newspaper/magazine subscriptions and a digital picture frame. Love the origami slide show. It will also eventually replace the 2 super drives I never use in my MacBook and iMac.

iMac: When it breaks, it will not be replaced. Maybe a new MBA.

Magic Track Pad: replaces magic mouse!

AppleTV: replaces stereo/CD player (no speakers with wires strewn around the room) and boxes of CD's, radio, Digital picture frame/boxes of photos and photo albums, DVD player (to some degree) and boxes of DVD's.

Time Capsule replaces an external HD's power brick and firewire cable.

Brother 795CW all in one wireless printer: Replaces Fax, copier, scanner, no power brick!

Best/Cheers
post #17 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by antkm1 View Post

I hear a lot of comparisons between the two (iPad and Kindle). They really aren't competing at much.

while this is true from the Apple / iPad perspective, it's not at all true from the Amazon / Kindle perspective.

If you look past the hardware - Amazon is a massive bookstore at heart, and iBooks is trying to do what iTunes did to music stores.
post #18 of 60
The reading aloud thing would render audio books obsolete. That's pretty cool.
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post #19 of 60
Wow. This update as well as the price drop makes me very inclined towards buying this ereader. I've got an iPad and am an avid reader, even reading a lot of books on my iPod Touch before I had my iPad. The only thing really negative about the Kindle is that I've already bought my books through the iBookstore, because I can't stand the Kindle app. If I could read my iBooks on a Kindle, and I could buy it for $99, it's a done deal.
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post #20 of 60
I don't want to burst any bubbles or anything, but it's not clear that Amazon's moves are "in response to the iPad." They had been improving the product and dropping the price right from the start, and had several significant price reductions before the iPad was even introduced.

I don't think the Kindle even competes with the iPad. Even if we ignored the fact that the Kindle is a reading device and nothing else, it doesn't *have* to compete with the iPad: Amazon has "an app for that". They make even more money selling books for their Kindle app than they do selling them on the Kindle itself since they don't have to pay for the network. (It's not a big difference, but it's there, and when you sell a billion e-books a few cents per copy adds up.) Amazon is very device-agnostic, it's all about the books.

The Kindle is absolutely in competition with paper books and other e-readers like the Nook, though. The WiFi-only model is very clearly a response to the least expensive Nook, and the lower the price gets the more favorable it looks compared to paper too. Amazon is very motivated to get the price as low as possible.

Getting back to the Kindle v. iPad: I have an iPad and both gen1 and gen2 Kindles and lemme tell you: The Kindle beats the tar out of the iPad when it comes to extended reading. The reflective screen is much more pleasant to begin with, and there is far, far less glare. There's something, I am not sure what, about the iPad that bugs me when I read on it for a long time -- I was surprised, as the iPhone and a whole slew of PDAs never gave me trouble. My theory is that it's font smoothing. I will use the iPad for reading if I don't happen to have the Kindle, but if I have the choice it's the Kindle every time.

Another surprise with the iPad was that the added weight made a huge difference. I actually developed tennis elbow from holding it! I have to be careful to prop it up when I'm using it (which is not hard to remember since it actively hurts otherwise). Just one more reason not to use it for extended reading. I use it all the time for web access though.

YMMV, but this is my experience.

jim frost
jimf@frostbytes.com
post #21 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by desarc View Post

while this is true from the Apple / iPad perspective, it's not at all true from the Amazon / Kindle perspective.

If you look past the hardware - Amazon is a massive bookstore at heart, and iBooks is trying to do what iTunes did to music stores.

Unfortunately iBooks doesn't have the breadth of books needed to compete with kindle. I like the app but not the selection.
post #22 of 60
The iPad (of which there are 2 each in my home, one being my own) works well-enough as a multi-purpose media-consumption device, but in no way, shape, or form does it match the Kindle's abilities as an e-book reader that faithfully replicates the look, feel, and viewing comfort of the written page both in and out of doors, all for any easily palatable price.
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post #23 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by VinitaBoy View Post

"Kindle is the best-selling product on Amazon for two years running."

Give us the EXACT numbers, Jeff. The EXACT NUMBERS! If you're proud of your sales volume, SHOUT IT LOUD! (So we can compare it to other devices in the "same" category, OK?)

Im with Postulant. The comparison is pointless to the iPad and its clearly trouncing any other eBook reader whic also havent published sales data as far as I can tell.

One one side you have the iPad which is so much more than a book reader; and on the other you have the Kindle which is designed to read books but also has apps for Windows, Mac OS X and iOS which shows that that the primary focus of these businesses are very different.
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post #24 of 60
People who bash the Kindle haven't used one. I love Apple, but eInk is superior for reading. They are indeed two different products, and although the iPad is trouncing the Kindle and other eInk-based readers in sales, it doesn't mean the Kindle is doomed, either as a device or as a reading platform for multiple devices.

Put simply, the tablet market does not equal the e-publishing, e-book or even e-reader market.

Even on the subject of color, that's mainly for magazines, and the business and publishing model for e-magazines is barely in its infancy (witness Apple's rejection of SI subscriptions for the iPad). Granted, the color development pipeline for eInk is still years-long, but it will happen. It is unlikely it will ever match LCD for video, but there are hybrid possibilities (nook is a current example, while PIxel Qi offers future possibilities) that could give the best of both worlds.

Beyond reading experience, the bigger market questions for the e-book/iBooks market are who will have the easiest-to-use, most open systems with the fewest hassles, and how user rights to their texts will evolve over time. Will I be able to give my books to my friends and family? What happens to my books when I die? These questions are easy to answer with physical books, but will take a long time to answer for the cloud.
post #25 of 60
.....
post #26 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by Smallwheels View Post

A Kindle with a color screen would be great. It would allow artwork to be seen as the artists intended. Photos within magazines and text books would look better. Even graphs would look better when seen in color instead of grayscale. Moving images would make it even better for apps such as the periodic table that is on the iPad.

Two years ago I read of a company making a screen that would work with both e-ink and regular color LCD images. It had the benefit of using very low power when the e-ink was in use. I was hopeful that the Kindle would adopt it. Now that the iPad exists the Kindle must compete by lowering its price. It also needs to update its technology.

Are any book publishers of text books working with the Kindle in a big way? I really would have preferred having all of my school books on one of those instead of hauling around ten pounds of books on the bus.

E-book prices still seem way too high. There is no shipping cost, no storage cost, nobody ever loads or unloads inventory, almost no fuel is used to store e-books, there is only a tiny place in an electronic device where the single copy to be duplicated is stored, and yet many e-books cost just ten to twenty percent less than a hard cover version. For example, today on Amazon the book Angels And Demons by Dan Brown hard cover edition costs $13.55 plus shipping if you don't order over $25 of books at one time. The Kindle edition costs $9.99. The mass market paperback version costs (ready for this?) $1.10 new from other retailers selling on Amazon. The Amazon price for it is still $9.99. The Amazon paperback and Kindle version cost the same.

On the Sony reader site they sell e-book novels for just about seven and a half percent less than the paperback versions.

Until I feel the value is there I won't be buying e-books from Amazon. Sure a Kindle is worth it for people who travel and read, but I don't travel. I can leave a paperback book laying around without any weight or space penalty.

I'm all for saving the environment but I'm also pragmatic. E-book prices need to reflect the total savings publishers and sellers have from distributing them. When that happens I'll get into e-books.

Sorry for the off-topic rant, but this misinformation is so prevalent right now I just feel the need as a published novelist to say something. The savings from moving to ebooks are not nearly as large as everyone things. There are many, many steps involved in getting a book produced -- ebook or otherwise -- and only a small portion of that cost is tied up in printing, binding, delivery, and warehousing. If you take out all of the other steps you're left with self-publishing, and that is a horror I wouldn't want to inflict on anyone. If you've ever read a slush pile, you'll know what I'm talking about. The amateurism, complete lack of grammar, style, plot, substance, character, or consistency, would be everywhere. Readers would have no idea how to separate something of professional quality from self-published dreck. There needs to be editors and copyeditors and proofreaders in order to establish some minimum threshold of professionalism.

Yes, ebooks should cost less than hardcovers, and for the most part they do. They should not be free, or a buck or two, especially for a new book. They will get less expensive the farther one gets from the publication date, as books right now do. Hardcover -> trade paper (maybe) -> mass market. Ebooks can, and should, follow the same pricing model.

Back on topic, I adore the iBooks reader. I read on it all the time. Yes, it's lousy outdoors, but that's not usually where I read. I also get no fatigue from a backlit LCD.

My sister-in-law has a Kindle and I despise it. I just can't stand e-ink and the 1980-Atari-style page turning. It's just awful.
post #27 of 60
Price not withstanding, this is very underwhelming upgrade. The least Amazon could've done is to achieve feature parity with direct competitors (e.g., Nook). Chief among them are (1) Nook's "lend me" feature, which allows users to some books without restriction and (2) ePub file format support.

As it stands, Kindle 3 is even smaller update than Kindle 2 was.
post #28 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

The $139 price point is still a little awkward (but really good).

Bring it down to $99, and Amazon is golden. I am sure they can afford it too, since they will make most of their money on eBook sales anyways.

Sales of hardbacks and paperbacks (not to mention magazines and newspapers) will start to tip the calculus in Kindle's favor very soon. They are smart to keep this "one trick pony" laser-focused on doing a limited number of things very well and the price is better than an iPad for what it does.

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post #29 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

The reading aloud thing would render audio books obsolete. That's pretty cool.

Not if you want your books read with the talents of an actor. Synthesized speech can be quite draining to listen to.

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post #30 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by icyfog View Post

The reading aloud thing would render audio books obsolete. That's pretty cool.

A synthesized voice cannot possibly compete with a professional voice actor. Listen to a few audible books and compare.
post #31 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by addicted44 View Post

Despite my earlier comment, I do think the Kindle is still a dead end.

The right way to do things would be to carry your iPad, which has your instantly downloadable books, and carry a real book, which is the main one you are reading.

The problem that the iPad needs to overcome, however, is weight. Its still a little too heavy for eBook usage.

That's just it. iPad is far too heavy and bulky to replace a Kindle. In 5 years, the battery tech may be so much more efficient that a very thin iPad would be possible.

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post #32 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jimafrost View Post

I don't want to burst any bubbles or anything, but it's not clear that Amazon's moves are "in response to the iPad." They had been improving the product and dropping the price right from the start, and had several significant price reductions before the iPad was even introduced.


Kindle pricing history:

Kindle:
$399 @ Launch 11/19/07
Later lowered to $359 5/27/08

Kindle 2:
$359 @ Launch 2/10/09
Reduced to $299 7/8/09
Reduced to $259 10/7/09
Reduced to $189 6/21/10

Kindle DX:
$489 @ Launch 5/6/09
2nd version released 1/19/10, still $489
$379 with new edition 7/7/10

Kindle 3 Wi-Fi:
$139 Announced 7/28/10, shipping 8/27/10
3G+Wi-Fi Edition will still be $189


Kindle was released at a high price when they had no real e-reader competition. Several other e-readers have been released in its wake, as well as the iPad. They certainly took their sweet time reacting with the DX. The DX was just $10 off the price of the iPad and was a single purpose item.

The Sony reader actually predates the Kindle by a full year. The Nook was released November of 2009. Interesting list of ereaders over at WIkipedia. I sorted by release date when I was looking at them.

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/List_of_e-book_readers
post #33 of 60
Apple and Amazon aren't competing in hardware, but they do compete with books. They even compete with music (sort of) Otherwise why open the iBook store and not just form "partnerships" and support the App readers?

The Kindle is an ugly bastard, but it does fit the bill for the reading. At this point, the cheaper it gets, the more they are going to sell. It's that simple. Unlike the iPad, Amazon doens't really have to improve much on the Kindle, just make it cheaper. The hardware is good enough for it's task.

It was prudent of them to develop other device specific apps and synching as well. As the price gets even lower it might be more common for people to have multiple reader devices around the house. I could see using the two interchangeably depending on one's needs. I don't think I would, but maybe. However, that brings me back to the beginning. Apple could make the Kindle go away, but Amazon will not make the iPad go away.

To protract the demise of the Kindle (possibly of Amazon's sales? I think they'll be fine once they get apps on other devices) Amazon should definitely focus on making the Kindle much cheaper, because Apple is going to offer a much better experience especially as the platform develops.

As writers and publishers explore multimedia rich experiences, how is Amazon going to develop the platform? This is why Apple created their own bookstore, no? A new experience and not just text on a page. Will Amazon's inventory today end up the "classic" books of tomorrow? The Amazon or Barnes & Noble "Classics" App ? If not they have to invest heavily in hardware and software development. Potentially the Kindle will be rendered obsolete and so to all of the books that were bought with them. Sounds like a sticky wicket to me.

Apple is pretty good at pissing people off, no?
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post #34 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by filburt View Post

Price not withstanding, this is very underwhelming upgrade. The least Amazon could've done is to achieve feature parity with direct competitors (e.g., Nook). Chief among them are (1) Nook's "lend me" feature, which allows users to some books without restriction and (2) ePub file format support.

As it stands, Kindle 3 is even smaller update than Kindle 2 was.

Those have nothing to do with Kindle hardware and everything to do with DRM/licensing.
post #35 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Forbes View Post

Yes, ebooks should cost less than hardcovers, and for the most part they do. They should not be free, or a buck or two, especially for a new book. They will get less expensive the farther one gets from the publication date, as books right now do. Hardcover -> trade paper (maybe) -> mass market. Ebooks can, and should, follow the same pricing model.

I've written a self published book about finance. Selling the printed version was all profit above the printing charge of about $10.00 per copy. That is expensive printing. It cost that much because it was printed one at a time. This price by the way was for a paperback version. Now I sell it in disc form on ebay for $3.99 plus shipping.

Surely those new paperbacks of Angels and Demons sold for $1.10 plus shipping are earning somebody a profit. I don't buy into the idea that setting up a book needs to cost just ten to twenty percent less than the hardcover price.

I like paperback science fiction novels. They cost seven to nine dollars. They have front and back cover art and the rest is printed text. I see no reason for such an e-book to sell for the same or more than a paper version. I just looked up Dean Koontz on Amazon. There are retailers selling his paperback books for $4.95 plus shipping. If they can profit from selling physical books at that price why can't publishers sell e-books directly for that amount or even less? If they cut out the whole physical process they would earn a fortune.

There should be a price tier for books related to their release date. This would earn publishing houses the initial money that allows them to make offers to entice great writers into their company.

With the technology to create great art on the iPad or other computers, the entire process of creating books can be done without paper.

I think e-books should never cost the same or more than a new version of a printed book. It just doesn't make sense that a company can sell a physical product at a price, make a profit, and yet can't profit by selling the same electronic book for much less money.
post #36 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by jdlink View Post

Still a one trick pony.

But it does that one trick really really well.
post #37 of 60
It is going to get cheaper as the years go by. Amazon is focused on selling ebooks. Once ebooks are outselling everything else Amazon sells they can supplement that income and offer a wifi only Kindle at probably no cost if you promise to buy X amount of ebooks per month. Plus Amazon has the Kindle app on iOS and Android (and BlackBerry?). They also have better prices than iBooks and a better selection of titles. I think Amazon is going about this the correct way. Their market is readers.

If you have noticed in the Steve Jobs recent keynotes, iBooks gets very little attention. Maybe part of that is because it is still a work in progress but Apple at this point doesn't seem to be as invested in it as iTunes or the App Store with iAds support.
post #38 of 60
Quote:
Originally Posted by David Forbes View Post

I just can't stand e-ink and the 1980-Atari-style page turning. It's just awful.

This is what I noticed when I tried a friend's. It felt like the "page turn" took forever and was distracting. I did not have time to get immersed in a book, so I don't know if it would affect my reading in the long term...but it was jaring!
Does anyone know if the page transition is really slower than iBooks or Kindle for iOS? Or does it just seem slower because it is ugly?

That being said, im not a Kindle basher. I know too many readers who have them and love them. Lighter, smaller, cheaper...seems like it's headded in the right direction.
Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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Progress is a comfortable disease
--e.e.c.
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post #39 of 60
I'd still get one just for the easy to read screen. Backlit anything gets annoying after awhile. And if I want something more powerful, there's a laptop for that.
post #40 of 60
I'm a big Apple fan and also a bit of a bookworm and have been sitting on the fence for a while, mainly trying to justify my purchase of an iPad. In the end though a number of factors swayed me to the Kindle.

Firstly price. With an official UK launch the Kindle is now almost an impulse buy - it's at the point where even if you were not an avid book reader it's just worth a punt.

Secondly - I just can't get my head to the point of committing to the iPad and I have bought most of Apple's products over the the last 5 years. I have a 3GS, Macbook Pro(2), iMac 24" and the kids have iPod Touch's - I have an AppleTV and have purchased large amounts of content from iTunes. Maybe I'm not the target market ?

Who knows - maybe I made a mistake but at this price I'm guessing I'll be one of many taking a punt.
Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
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Where a calculator on the ENIAC is equpped with 18,000 vaccuum tubes and weighs 30 tons, computers in the future may have only 1,000 vaccuum tubes and perhaps weigh 1.5 tons.
by Popular Mechanics
Reply
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