Originally Posted by annie003
There were a lot of "ifs" with the first computers too. The first ones just blinked at you. It wasn't until software companies wrote useful code for the non-programmers that the computer became useful. The rest, as they say, is history. New technology always has the unknown factor. In reading historical accounts of the landline telephone, it was not embraced either. Adults could not understand why they needed a telephone, same with computers, same with insert any new technology.
However, like any new technological device, the teenage generation always finds a use for it.
Of course, you are paying for the 3G service in other ways. However, if you don't buy you don't pay, which was really my point about thanking amazon for not having a subscription based platform. If it only goes to amazon, that's okay by me, that is where the books can be bought. No different than Microsoft cornering the market by making PC makers put their software on their machines.
As far as the textbook companies, the companies that have signed on have 60% of the market share. I was looking at a few of my textbooks on my bookshelf and all 5 of them would have been offered. You are correct, no one has mentioned the price. I can assure you if it's not reasonable, students won't buy. It would be in the best interest, however, for publishers to play nice. As it stands now, the hierarchy of purchasing textbooks is that students buy 1st edition books for $$$. Then the book goes down the line for many semesters without any more money going to authors, publishers, etc. With the Kindle, one would have to purchase the book every time.
Let's say a textbook is used for 4 years including summer courses-theoretically, 16 semesters. Currently, the price for a hardbound book is $200 with the authors and publishers only getting their cut one time, we'll say 5%, $10. By offering it through Kindle at a price of $40 and receiving 5% for 16 semesters, their share would be $32. The publishers could even make a deal with the colleges such as, if 60% of your books are from us, we will underwrite the costs of a Kindle for each student. So you see, the possibilities are endless with education.
As for annotations, I'm guessing you would lose them. Perhaps that would be something for the Kindle developers to address in Kindle 3 along with a color monitor!
While I never bought the original one, I still have the literature. I did buy others though, a SWTP, was my first kit model. But that was very different. This was a hobbyist market for several years, mostly, at least. It wasn't until the mid '90's that the consumer market took off, prompted by Apple's putting a CD drive in as standard, which the PC industry took advantage of slightly later.
Book readers are a much harder sell. Franklin Computer, after having been successfully sued by Apple to stop their IIE clones, went into the book reader business, but it never caught on. Numerous other companies tried as well, some of them big.
This seems to be a device for a fairly small market. It's too single purpose, in a time when people are expecting to get multi-functional devices.
I've got several dozen PDFs of very old books which I read on my computer. If the Kindle was $200, I would have considered it. But for what it does, it costs too much.
So far, publishers haven't shown a willingness to buck Barns&Noble about pricing. If they do, things may be different. But so far, my iPhone has proven to be an admirable book reader, and one I don't have to carry in a bag, or knapsack. Therefor, why buy a separate device for this as it just adds more cost overhead.
I also don't see much of an advantage, price wise, for college students, except for those who will only buy a new textbook, as I used to do. otherwise, it's going to be cheaper for them to buy used. Safer too. The "first sale" principle is still in effect with paper, not so with electronic books. Even if they cut a book by 33%, it would be more than most people pay for it. I remember B&N used to give a discount off list, so there's no guarantee that the publisher, selling directly through Amazon will do any better. We'll see. But don't forget that those who bought those books sold them back to the store, or, for more money, to newer students. They won't be able to do that either. So how much of a discount does that cover?
So far, I don't see a valid economic argument to be made for this. Perhaps when pricing is released we'll get an idea.
I'm not saying that the digital book market won't work, but I am saying that I'm not so sure it will work this way. I've not got over 200 digital books, about 2/3rds are copyright-free. The rest I paid for. This goes back a while to my old Samsung i300.
I don't think Amazon cares if the Kindle sinks or swims, they just want to sell books, magazines, newspapers etc. That's why they came out with the Kindle program for the iPhone, which I have, and have already bought several books with. A netbook would be a much better proposition. Maybe Apple will have something interesting soon.