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

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Comments

  • Reply 21 of 59
    daharderdaharder Posts: 1,580member
    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.
  • Reply 22 of 59
    solipsismsolipsism Posts: 25,726member
    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?)



    I?m with Postulant. The comparison is pointless to the iPad and it?s clearly trouncing any other eBook reader whic also haven?t 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.
  • Reply 23 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 24 of 59
    walneywalney Posts: 70member
    .....
  • Reply 25 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 26 of 59
    filburtfilburt Posts: 398member
    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.
  • Reply 27 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    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.
  • Reply 28 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    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.
  • Reply 29 of 59
    kotatsukotatsu Posts: 1,010member
    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.
  • Reply 30 of 59
    SpamSandwichSpamSandwich Posts: 33,407member
    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.
  • Reply 31 of 59
    ssquirrelssquirrel Posts: 1,196member
    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
  • Reply 32 of 59
    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?
  • Reply 33 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 34 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 35 of 59
    orlandoorlando Posts: 601member
    Quote:
    Originally Posted by jdlink View Post


    Still a one trick pony.



    But it does that one trick really really well.
  • Reply 36 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 37 of 59
    bageljoeybageljoey Posts: 2,004member
    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.
  • Reply 38 of 59
    sprockketssprockkets Posts: 796member
    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.
  • Reply 39 of 59
    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.
  • Reply 40 of 59
    shawnbshawnb Posts: 155member
    Meh, I don't get it. eBooks are only a couple bucks cheaper. For even avid readers, it will take years of buying books to "break even" on the reader cost, and the device will probably be dead long before then.



    If I'm going to buy, I'd rather have a paper book. They feel better to read, last almost forever, and can be sold or given away if I get tired of them.



    I don't care about carrying a hundred books at a time. I'm usually only actively reading one or two at any given time.



    Give me something revolutionary -- like a e-library, where I can pay a couple bucks per month to "check out" a few books and then turn them back in when I'm done with them and get something else. I could get excited about that...
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