Here Comes Kindle 2.0

Posted by: Peter Burrows on August 25, 2008

I can confirm what McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Tim Bueneman is saying — that Amazon.com plans to unveil a larger-screen model of its Kindle e-book player, aimed at students, in the coming months. And I’m also hearing some details, similar to TechCrunch in July (my apologies to TechCrunch for the use of “Kindle 2.0” in this headline; I somehow missed this post that uses the same phrase while writing this post), about an upgrade of the base model, that I’m told is coming in September (though Wright Ragen thinks it may be in October). My sources say the new version is significantly thinner, has a better screen, is more stylish and includes fixes to some of the user interface annoyances with the first version. One person that has seen the device says it is as big a leap from its predecessor as the iPod mini was from the first iPod. “They’ve jumped from Generation One to Generation Four or Five. It just looks better, and feels better,” says the source.

It makes me wonder whether the device will finally start living up to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos’ rarified talk about the Kindle.

In recent months, he’s talked up the devices’ potential during his public appearances so much that you’d think the device is set to revolutionize the world of the written world much as Amazon rocked the retailing world in the last decade. My sources insist this is more than marketing on his part. They say Bezos is genuinely ecstatic about the progress of the business.

I must be missing something. I’m told the company has sold 280,000 or so Kindles since the device went on sale a little over a year ago (this is in the ballpark with what TechCrunch reported a few weeks back, although Amazon is suggesting the number is too aggressive). Regardless of the actual number, the Kindle is certainly not a bomb. Any new venture that puts up $100 million or so in revenue in year one is not to be ignored (I’m basing this on an average selling price of around $360, factoring a price drop from $399 to $359 a few months ago.).

Still, the Kindle revolution feels awfully evolutionary…if it exists at all. I don’t see Kindles around in the real world, and I’ve never heard anyone express the desire to own one (that includes people who have tried loaners). Even if the Kindle matches the first year sales of the iPod, as Citicorp analyst Mark Mahaney thinks it will, I can’t imagine the Kindle approaching the unit sales or cultural impact Apple’s music player went on to have. After all, iPod sales took off once Apple unveiled a compelling content strategy—with an online store, available to both Mac and Windows users. But it seems to me Amazon has already figured out a great content play. The most revolutionary thing about the product is the ability to wirelessly get almost any book and many newspaper and other subscriptions in a matter of seconds.

It makes me wonder what powerful levers Amazon has to pull to make the Kindle into a true megahit. Certainly, the device has to be thinner. From what I’m told, that’s going to be the case. It needs to be cheaper; I’m told the price of the new model will come down to $299 or maybe $249. And it needs a more intuitive, infectiously-cool interface. I’m told there’s been big progress here, as well--including changes to the oversized buttons that make it too easy to inadvertently move on to the next page.

The new product was not designed by Ammunition, the design firm started by former Apple chief designer Bob Brunner. Rather, Amazon hired a designer from frogdesign (I'm not sure if its one of these guys) to lead an in-house design team—another sign that Bezos is dead serious about making the Kindle a long-term success. Earlier this year, Kleiner Perkins VC John Doerr, an original backer of Bezos, told me he thinks the Kindle will be a $1 billion business before too long. “I think they did a brilliant job in version 1.0 product, in meeting an unobvious need.” Rather than hardware product, “I think of it as a seamless and effortless way to get visual content. And honestly, they’ve just begun. They’ll leverage all the same cost curves [that benefit all hardware products]. Imagine what a Kindle will be like five years from now,” with models in different colors and sizes.

Truth be told, I have a tough time imagining quite so glorious a future. Instead, I can imagine e-reader technology being built into other, more versatile products—such as Web books or whatever Apple has up its sleeve in the way of new form factors that use the multi-touch technology introduced with the iPhone. And the cynic in me thinks Amazon may be forced to talk up the Kindle beyond its potential: because it may be the company's best hope to become a true digital media power. After all, Amazon's unbox video service has not taken off. And despite high hopes that its DRM-free music site would become a strong No. 2 to Apple's iTunes, my sources suggest that hasn't panned out so far. "Bezos needs to plant his feet somwehwere in this digital world, and books are something Amazon really understands," says one source.

To me, there are two intriguing opportunities that could make Kindle truly huge. One is education. My niece Jenny just went back to college, and was hit with a bill for $700 for big bulky text books. I haven't spoken yet with my colleagues at McGraw-Hill Education (McGraw Hill also owns BusinessWeek), but the Kindle would certainly be an efficient means for her and other students to get their text-books, and for teachers to easily distribute real-time information such as newspaper articles and new research papers.

The second opportunity relates to Audible.com, the audio book company it purchased in January. In a multi-media world, Amazon could provide an experience to let consumers purchase a book or other copyrighted work, along with the rights to consume it in multiple ways. So if you start reading the book on your Kindle at night, you could pick up where you left off during your commute--having the book read to you via Audible. It may sound trivial, but I think this would enable far more people to actually read and finish far more books. That'd be good for Amazon, and just plain good, in my humble opinion.

Reader Comments

Sagar

August 25, 2008 12:20 PM

This is a great analysis of Amazon's hopes for the Kindle. I agree that while first-year sales have not been disappointing, it pales in comparison to the other gadgetary elephant in the room: the iPod.

If Amazon releases a 4th or 5th gen Kindle this winter, I may actually pony-up for one. The only thing holding me back from the current version is its clunky interface.

TM

August 25, 2008 2:54 PM

From this NY Times quarterly earnings blurb, it doesn't sound like Times subs are exactly red-hot (note, NYT is Amazon's #1 best selling "Kindle Newspaper")

"New York Times Co. executives said today during the company's second-quarter earnings call that the newspaper has sold a "small amount" of subscriptions on the Kindle."

http://www.bloomberg.com/apps/news?pid=20601087&sid=aTAkbKG_2PcM&refer=home

http://www.amazon.com/s/qid=1219542524/ref=sr_st?rs=165389011&page=1&rh=n%3A165389011&sort=salesrank

Here is another rather negative Kindle sales data point from a small publisher:

"I have been tracking the sales of Kindle editions of our books against sales of the printed versions for the past almost eight months. Kindle sales have declined noticeably over the past few weeks, while print editions continue to sell at a steady pace.

I am beginning to think that Amazon has hit a marketing wall, due to a combination of factors..."

http://publishingtrenches.wordpress.com/2008/08/13/has-kindle-peaked-already/

Tuesmq

August 25, 2008 3:28 PM

Reading a book is quite different from listening to music. In today's digital world, the attention span required for reading a book is much more demanding than listening to music.

After the early adopters - the avid readers, it's unclear how easily the general public will like such a device. Also, it's just very satisfying to read a physical book or magazine - and that's a lot of competition. iPod has no such rivals.

James Nabholz

August 25, 2008 3:31 PM

I agree that this is a good analysis of Amazon and the Kindle. I own the Kindle and I'm very happy with it. As a more tech-savvy user, I have learned to manipulate it to do far more than Amazon may have wanted (Amazon sells blog subscriptions, but anyone can simply connect to the internet and read them free, etc.)
The interface is clunky and unattractive, though making it unspectacular was a strategy - you want to be looking at the page and not distracted by a sleek exterior.
It's thickness isn't really much of an issue. The Kindle is far slimmer than any book.
Overall, the main problem is it's expensive. If amazon can get the price down - then we may be seeing the widespread use they desire.

princesspeach

August 25, 2008 3:44 PM

I absolutely agree with your point when it comes to Kindle for education. If they could get textbooks onto kindle I would buy one in a heartbeat. This is such an opportunity and they would be stupid to ignore it. What little in sales textbook companies lose from re-sale of books, would now be nothing. And it would be beyond convenient for the student. They can't do this fast enough!

Jeff

August 25, 2008 3:53 PM

The ipod would not have been a big hit if you could only buy albums at $15 apiece. Lower the cost of e-books to $2 instead of $10, and the Kindle will take off.

gayle

August 25, 2008 4:30 PM

It's a green option - I've been watching them for sometime hoping the price drops slightly.

Additionally I showed the Kindle video to my parents (Both in their 70's) who are aavid readers and they seemed interested/intrigued enough that I would consider buying it as a gift for them for a future holiday.

A replacement to college textbooks would strengthen it's potential!

lf

August 25, 2008 4:31 PM

I am an early adopter of the Kindle and find it a potential "revolutionary" product. What makes it revolutionary from my knothole is not so much the electronic ink ( Sony has a device which is easier to read), but the wireless cellular connection integrated with the Amazon bookstore, which allows me to a purchase a wide variety of books at the spur of the moment using a an intuitive interface (analagous to i-Tunes). After all Amazon is the world's largest bookseller.

I take my Kindle with me everytime I travel, which allows broad access to all my books and external documents which have been downloaded.

I have confidence that Amazon will continue to evolve the device and business model in a manner analagous to the i-Pod/i-Phone.

Bharat

August 25, 2008 5:32 PM

IMO, the money is not in selling the device, but in selling content. Typically books are priced higher around 10-100x times more than songs. And if a person is buying a kindle, that means he/she is an avid reader & would be buying a tonne of books. And last checked, I can get nearly every book in kindle format on amazon website, including highly specialized & technical fields. I think amazon is going to make lots of money selling books in kindle format. If the price comes down to $200 and the product is comparable to sony's alternative, I will buy one.

Vikram

August 25, 2008 5:46 PM

I like the concept of Kindle and would be interested in buying one if it was cheaper, better looking and as the author mentioned, the ability to change to audiobook format. I still have not seen one. May be the newer version would be more popular and relatively more visible for people to actually see and experience the device before buying it.

Harry

August 25, 2008 5:52 PM

I have had my Kindle since December. Sure, there are some issues to work out, but us early buyers have worked around it. I've downloaded some current best sellers at $9.99 and have the Wall Street Journal on my Kindle every morning. This may be the best thing I ever bought.

Kevlar

August 25, 2008 6:14 PM

Kindle was an interesting concept, and its ability to load books quickly and wirelessly was innovative- but as the author states, it seems much more likely that other devices will step in and do what the Kindle merely suggests: a better screen, better interface, and perhaps best of all much less DRM on the content.

I use my iPhone to read ebooks and I find it greatly superior to the Kindle in almost every way:

http://www.learnucd.com/kevlar/iphone-a-better-book-reader-than-kindle

Joaquin

August 25, 2008 6:32 PM

I've been using the Kindle for over 6 months and have really grown to love it. It took some getting used to at first as I too love reading paper books and magazines. However, the versatility cannot be matched. I'm able to read several books and magazines at a time which is great when you travel as much as I do. Amazon needs to bring the price down and continue to build out the Kindle selection of titles (I still can't get my favorite mag the Economist on Kindle).

It's a great product and will only get better - perhaps this is what has Jobs so worried.

All Together

August 25, 2008 7:30 PM

I love reading a good leather bound book. If the Kindle had an interface that actually sat in a leather bound dock that gave me the feel of actually holding a book and that I could the leather bound dock the resembled a book on my bookshelf after reading it, I might buy a Kindle. I read a book or two a month time permitting and I just can't imagine my bookshelves being empty as we move into the future. Plus there's just something about looking for an old book on your bookshelf. Plus if you have more than one person in your house the reads, you'd have to have at least two or more Kindles just to read two different books at once. I doubt the colleges and school's will adopt the Kindle as a means for text books. There's too much money to be made in the re-sale of used text books. The creators of the text books would have to figure out a way for the students to not be able to transfer one text book to several Kindles. Again this is just IMHO.

Josh

August 25, 2008 8:20 PM

The most avid readers I know can't afford to buy all the books they read -- they use the library. And even with the Kindle's discount, it's still too expensive to buy all those books.

The public library is analogous to the P2P-acquired "free" music that made the large music collections possible and provided a beachhead for hard-drive-based MP3 players to take hold. If you want people that read the most books to use the Kindle, make it library-friendly. If anything, the Kindle could potentially replace the public library system if Amazon wanted to go that way.

IPhone with ebook reader works great

August 25, 2008 10:27 PM

eReader works great and perfect with my iPhone.... the kindle is dead!!

LOL

Mickey

August 25, 2008 11:27 PM

Every time someone says they're going to use their iPhone to read a book and that it's better than the Kindle (like the Kevlar post and his silly writeup) I think they must be Apply fanboys and have never touched a Kindle before.

We'll have a test: you read 1,000 pages of books on your iPhone while I read the same 1,000 pages on the Kindle. We'll see who can complete this faster, as I guarantee your eyes will hurt looking at that small backlit screen.

Bill Grates

August 26, 2008 12:31 AM

Kindle = Monster with 2 changes.

Full High Rez Color

Full native PDF support.

Without those things its not prime time

Pat

August 26, 2008 2:06 AM

Mickey said, "you read 1,000 pages of books on your iPhone while I read the same 1,000 pages on the Kindle. We'll see who can complete this faster, as I guarantee your eyes will hurt looking at that small backlit screen."

Might not be a good test since the iPhone's battery would likely die long before 1000 pages were read. Not so with the Kindle! ;^)

Marty

August 26, 2008 3:56 AM

It is interesting to note that most of the negative comments are from people who do not have a Kindle and probably have not even seen one while many who have one seem to be very happy with it. The Kindle will not replace the home library where the owner can show (off) what he / she has read. It is, however, a device for people who read a lot and want to be able to do so in a mobile world

Dave

August 26, 2008 4:01 AM

I've been on the fence about the Kindle and the Sony eBook ... my hesitation is on being able to find all of the books that I want to read. I'm a huge sci-fi & fantasy fan, and if I can't find David Weber, Jim Butcher, or my other favorites, it's just not worth it to me. I really want the Kindle to succeed -- the idea of being able to reduce the number of physical books in our house is a real draw. Plus, the sheer convenience of having multiple books carried along in one small form factor ... nice :)

I've got an iPod Touch ... I've downloaded a couple of short stories and while I like reading them, the screen size just doesn't cut it -- I'm having to scroll down pages too often, especially being a fast reader.

My ideal Kindle would be one that not only did all of the things it does now, but had every single book in Amazon's inventory available ... plus (hey, I'm talking "ideal," not neccessarily "realistic" :) ) if it could also handle color, such as graphic novels -- wow! I'd probably melt my credit card trying to buy the thing!

Rakesh Krishnan

August 26, 2008 4:11 AM

The reason why the iPod is a sure-fire winner and Kindle isn't (yet) is that the world is full of muzak consuming zombie youth who want to shut out the world. Book readers will always be in a minority compared with music maniacs!

Value-added features are the key to the buyer's pocket. A couple of months back I was reading a book on Peter the Great of Russia. Now this really thick book has fine print, and my eyes hurt so much I had to stop reading it. If this book had been on Kindle and it had an Audible feature, I would have simply listened to it and finished it.

Also, from the software side there should be a choice of male and female choices. Can't imagine myself listening to listening to a great Tsar speak in a female Texan drawl!

Come Bezos, you can do it! If the cost dips to $250, I'm on your side. Hell, I'll buy it even at $499!

Charles

August 26, 2008 4:19 AM

I live in Eastern Europe so shopping and buying books in English is not easy. Also, as I move from country to country, the books get more difficult to take with me. So having a Kindle would solve several problems for me. It would be much easier to move one Kindle sized item rather several foot lockers full of needed reference material.
If only the publishers could see the reality of greater sales via Kindle and less printed paper setting in inventory waiting for an order.

Martin Rice

August 26, 2008 6:42 AM

I've had my Kindle for a couple of months now and just love it. My one complaint, however, and it's not a minor one, is how many books I want to buy that are not available in Kindle format.

Yes, I know that there are a great number of books available, but compared to what comes out in a single year, that number is nothing.

I keep hoping that the number of books available will grow greatly and soon. Whenever I look for a book that's not in Kindle format, I click the link that is supposed to let the publisher know that people what its book in Kindle format. I hope lots of other folks are doing this too.

chetchow

August 26, 2008 7:23 AM

Does Kindle support Comics/Graphic novels?
Also if Amazon wants Kindle to be the ipod of books then they have to open up the device to all formats.

Erik

August 26, 2008 7:49 AM

The problem with book solutions like these is that you seem to be locked into a DRM'd content. Can I view docs I create on this thing? Or am I stuck at buying at a store? Can my local library jump into it? Do you really think publishing houses are going to drop the prices of text books for students? Students HAVE to have them, so no way are publishers going to drop prices. They'll just use this as a way to fatten their margins.

CVJ

August 26, 2008 8:43 AM

My wife and I have the first Kindle and we love it. I doubt it will ever come close to the iPod because like somebody said earlier music does not require much attention. Music you can use anywhere and everywhere but reading a book makes you do just that read a book.

You can listen to music while reading but when you are reading your eyes need to stay focused on the words.

Plus every generation's attention span seems to be getting shorter as well and reading is not for those types of people.

Peter Evans

August 26, 2008 9:03 AM

It's Simple, reduce the price to $25-28 for the kindle and 99 cents for the books.

That would put them comparable to my yearly book purchases on Amazon (around 75/yr.)

Priced above $30 and it is no sale from me, my gosh, it is an lcd screen and a network card, I can buy both separately for under $50.

Amazon is focused on capturing the deranged early adopters that don't bother finding out what things cost before they buy, then buying into whatever price they are told things cost. Hilarious.

Mark Hidden

August 26, 2008 9:36 AM

I wish I could justify the Kindle, but it's $$. If I traveled, or was going to school, and I could get my text book on Kindle I would be like so there. In Amazon can swing getting text books on the kindle I known a lot of trees that will be breathing easier. And all you early adopters, my tree friends and I thank you.

JeremyF

August 26, 2008 10:02 AM

Native PDF support is a must for students. Kindle 2.0 must read 1 and 2 page PDFs.

Chris

August 26, 2008 10:20 AM

I agree with the overall analysis being that Kindle must continue to create its market place and look for segments that it can effectively serve (i.e. education).

One thing I believe would move it to a 'have-to-have' product for education and business would be the ability to highlight/annotate documents and books using a stylus (pdf, tif, etc), take free-form notes (ala Tablet PC) and have the ability to interface with a PC to transfer these annotations and notes. No bells or whistles such as document software, email or wifi web access: just the ability to utilize documents in a electronic format that compliments the standard PC functionality.

Ahhh - what a great product that would be - well I can dream right?

A.J. Kohn

August 26, 2008 11:03 AM

The Kindle in it's current form (even with the new changes) will likely not be revolutionary for mainstream readers.

The device is too expensive, the content is too expensive, the content coverage is still thin (and publishers aren't chomping at the bit here), DRM is attached limiting sharing or resale, and there is no pent up demand for mobile book libraries.

Here's my entire argument:
http://usedbooksblog.com/blog/amazon-kindle-sales-we-didnt-start-the-fire/

The short version is that books are already mobile, are not repeatedly read (like music) and users rarely have the need to read more than one book within one hour.

Kindle

August 26, 2008 11:04 AM

"Citigroup Analyst Eligible for Remedial Kindlegarten?"

http://digitaldaily.allthingsd.com/20080826/kindlegarten/

"Kindle Fails to Set Light to Unsold e-Book Pile"

http://www.theregister.co.uk/2008/08/26/kindle_no_firestarter/

Traci

August 26, 2008 11:33 AM

I just got my Kindle a few weeks ago- and I love it. The books cost me $5-10.

Honestly, I always bought used books- so the cost of the books is about the same (without shipping cost of the books). The big advantage to me - space. I live in CA - in a condo. I have 4 large bookshelves - which are full. I read and re-read my favorite books. I give away what I can. So, to me, the Kindle is a huge space saver.

I also enjoy being able to look through the Amazon site, choose a book, and get it 1 minute later. I also like that I can read the first chapter of the book (sample) before buying it.

The size of the Kindle works for me. It's a lot easier to travel with a Kindle than a 900 page book ("Team of Rivals"- great book, and my arms got a lot stronger because I brought it everywhere). And when I say travel- I don't mean on an airplane. I bring my book to the office (lunch break- when I take it), doctor appointments, when I get a hair cut, etc.

Meep

August 26, 2008 11:34 AM

For those looking for e textbooks, you might want to try coursesmart.com. I think many of the major textbook publishers are part of the site. If your book is there, it's usually quite a bit cheaper. The only drawback is that what you get is a subscription that expires, usually after 6-12 months. If you don't need your text for more than the class, it's a great way to go. Unfortunately for me, my books (rather thinly sold finance texts), which ARE on coursesmart.com, are ones I need for work, so the expiration date is a problem, and I'm going to have to order the dead tree versions.

david

August 26, 2008 11:49 AM

I had the Sony eBook reader, first gen and loved it. It wasn't quite as ready at the time and I eventually sold it. Their second gen was a much better laid out device and even still better than the kindle, imo. With a redesign, I may be ready to jump back into the e-ink world. I never had issues with the lack of books as most of what I read was readily availalbe on the web in one form or another that I could easily convert to read on the sony.

ENiles

August 26, 2008 11:54 AM

I plan to buy the new Kindle. I read all the info on the old one, but shied away because of the reports on the battery life.

I just bought a bestseller from Amazon for $17--Barnes & Noble's price was $28, and if you don't think $10 for an ebook is a good idea, then you must not be a very serious or prolific and eclectic reader.

I also took a family member to the dentist yesterday and forgot my book bag, which contained two books--a must read for work, and a when-I-get-bored read. So I drove out of my way and spent an hour at Barnes & Noble. Not having to lug books around is a great sales tool for Kindle, and being able to lug 80 books around or more is an even greater incentive.

I am looking forward to the new model, and hope it comes in colors, as well as colored pictures!

A great green idea.

Anthony

August 26, 2008 12:03 PM

I am also an early adopter of the Kindle. It has been a sheer delight to be able to download books instantly without connecting the device to the internet. Personally, I like the size of the reader, but would consider jumping up to a larger screen if the footprint isn't too big.

As a pastor, I have also handed off my Kindle to members of my church who were in the hospital. They've found it to be a nice, though not a wonderful, reading experience.

Of course, being a first generation product, it does have a bunch of flaws, all of which have been mentioned above. Reading a newspaper is not as good as I hoped, but this being Gen 1, I couldn't have hoped for anything more.

If done right, this can become to reading what the iPod did for music, in my opinion. That is, if it is done right.

ADMC

August 26, 2008 12:38 PM

I've had the Kindle since Christmas, and quite honestly you'd have to pry it out of my cold dead fingers before I'd give it up! If you're an avid reader such as myself, buy one and you're hooked. It's worth every penny.
What's ridiculous is all of those negative comments from folks who have never used one. I have hundreds of books downloaded to my Kindle and the capability of being able to download a new book anywhere I am is like a high. Who cares how it looks???? I don't buy my books based on the cover so why should my e-reader appearance matter either? Silly people.

Saburcat

August 26, 2008 12:57 PM

I was a sceptic about any ebook reader, but since purchasing my Kindle last year, I can't imagine my reading life without it. I still buy physical books, but I've also found myself standing in Borders not willing to buy that fourth book at $15, so I've hopped onto the Kindle and purchased it for $9.99 or less. I've purchased books at hockey games, in school, in my car, while watching a TV show that mentions something interesting. I bought an entire series of 14 books for my Kindle, even though I have the entire series in PB, HB or both already (bought at yard sales and book sales) because I want to have it available to me no matter where I am. Sure, there are some things they can improve on, but until they come out with a red one, I'll be sticking with my original. And I wouldn't want to read anything on an iPhone - someone might call me and interupt.

sara

August 26, 2008 1:05 PM

Two reasons why I don't think you can compare the Kindle to the iPod:

1)People have been using portable music players since the 80's. Where the iPod was technological improvement on an already popular device, the Kindle is (dare I say) a revolutionary device.

2)Reading and listening to music are completely different animals.

sb

August 26, 2008 1:15 PM

I investigated the Kindle last month, on behalf of an aunt with vision problems. I was impressed with actual user accounts of how much they liked it. It seemed especially useful for people who need larger fonts, and for folks with arthritis or other problems that make holding a large book difficult.

However, one of the favorite features is the wireless service -- not available in Montana, where my family is -- and no discount for buyers who don't have access to this feature.

So, no sale.

Susan

August 26, 2008 2:00 PM

I've just recently purchased the Kindle and am sold on it. I regret that I didn't know they were planning to put out an upgrade, but I'm thinking I'll pass the one I own along to my son and buy the new version when it comes out.

The best feature for me...having the ability to instantly get free 'samples' of books. It's like browsing in the bookstore, taking time to read a chapter or intro to several books, before deciding on which one you'll commit to. And my bookshelf is already way too full. I like that this doesn't add more clutter to my life and the books are cheaper.

I could go on...as I said, I'm a believer!

Jeff

August 26, 2008 2:10 PM

There are two problems with the Kindle that keep it from being the success the iPod was.

First, content. Despite the statement in this article to the contrary, only a fraction of what is available in print is available for the Kindle. If the same percentage of material were available form Amazon's bookstore, they'd be a flop. Much more was available for the iPod, and it's a lot easier to turn a cd unavailable through Apple into a digital format than it is to do the same for a book. So what that iStore doesn't have my weird folk music; I'll just rip the cds. I can't reasonably do that with books. So, Amazon has to make at least 80% or so of their total book titles available on the Kindle. Not even close so far.

Second, there are too many things you can do with a book that you can't do with a Kindle. E.g., the textbook version for colleges might be fine, but it won't really be useful until you can take notes on it. When will that happen?

So, the technology is interesting, but its use-to-price ratio isn't nearly good enough yet to make me--an avid reader--buy one.

JDF

August 26, 2008 2:18 PM

The Kindle needs a lower price point and some A-list TV/movie product placement. I own one, will likely get the next version of it, and can't imagine going back to hardcopy. No drives to Barnes & Noble, or waiting for the UPS guy. But whenever someone sees mine, the main reaction is "What is THAT?" In contrast, everyone knows what an ipod or iphone is. Once people use it, they will be hooked, as I was. The iphone 3G has a very sexy price point ($199) and the Apple name. Paying about twice that to read books seems risky or foolish to the average consumer. The product is great; its marketing is not.

Erasure25

August 26, 2008 2:39 PM

Anything that uses a backlit screen (iPhone included) makes for an inferior reading device. Period. Backlighting is horrible for the eyes, specially for long term reading. I mean, please tell me the last physical book you read that had backlit pages?

This is why ebooks like the Kindle and Sony Reader are wonderful. I own the Sony one and love it. I have read books on a PDA and hated it.

mwgrigs

August 26, 2008 3:05 PM

I think the idea of the Kindle truly has merit. Improving the interface, such as adding a highlighter handled like a real pen, would give some serious legs to the educational market. Overall though, if Amazon doesn't get the lead out and really start thinking 7 or 8 generations down the road, they'll be destined for the "also ran" group, having been bypassed by others whose technologies and interfaces are light years ahead of Kindle.

BP

August 26, 2008 4:13 PM

There are two problems with the Kindle:

1. Clunky and too expensive. The Iliad is at least an attractive device. ...and the books. It absolutely makes no sense to have the price of the books at twice what you can get them for on Books-a-million (which is btw, much cheaper than Amazon). I love my Iliad IRex and use it constantly, which brings me to my second issue

2. No PDF support. As an academic, I have a thousand academic articles which I keep on my Iliad in PDF format. It is a terrific use. I also find that I use mobipocket and other formats for my novel reading etc. The attempt by amazon to corner the market is truly misguided.

Melinda

August 26, 2008 4:26 PM

Me and my mom bought Kindles in May.

In July my dad started spending a month in a hospital and will have lots of follow up.

Do you have any idea how wonderful it was for him to have a whole world full of books at his fingerprints in large sized font that he could read without disturbing the many many sensors on his arms? Or how easy it was to slip a kindle in my purse for a bedside vigil?

Yes you can download your own documents onto the Kindle (including pdfs and docs) Yes some pdf conversion errors occur, but its pretty darn good (and 1000% percent better then mobi and other palm pilot readers). And yes I will sit down and read a couple hundred pages on it during the day, and then have it read audible books to me at night on its built in speakers.

Don't count the Kindle out!

Jake Sidney

August 26, 2008 4:37 PM

I use both a Kindle and an iPhone, and I find each to be a wonderful device. I would not want to read books on my iPhone, although it would be nice to have one there if I got stuck waiting somewhere. The iPhone has a little issue that my husband calls "indescriminate touching", and that would be a nusiiance for page turning. The Kindle page turning buttons are great for reliably turning pages without seeming to cause any effort. The Kindle works well for reading, and if you are a serious reader, that is a high priority. The iPhone works great for a host of other things, and does them all well. I think for a true reader, a reading device is essential, whether that be a Kindle, or a book. However, I would not part with either my Kindle or my iPhone.

Stuart Moulder

August 26, 2008 4:40 PM

As a Kindle owner, I can tell you that I am asked about it frequently. Just this weekend a gentlemen sitting next to me wanted to see it and had many questions. Another friend ultimately purchased their own.

I think the interest level among bibliophiles is actually quite high - higher than it had ever been for an ebook reader. As Steve Jobs pointed out, there are a lot less of us than there are music lovers. But the Kindle is not very far from being a media delivery device that easily trumps my iPod and iPhone.

So you might look at what Amazon has done as an early experiment with a new delivery method and business model for digital entertainment. And just as Amazon was simply an online BOOKstore when it started, perhaps the Kindle will evolve to something more than a reader (if indeed it isn't already).

joe smith

August 26, 2008 6:06 PM

I will gladly buy an e-book reader in the $200 price range. But it must read pdf's. I could care less about the other formats. I print everything I do to pdf. Also, I will not e-mail pdf's or use some crappy software to convert, as well as use any other type of decoder rings. I must be able to stick in my sd card and immediately have access to hundreds of my pdf documents. If Amazon is serious about these readers, this is a must.

hipquest

August 26, 2008 6:18 PM

I have a Kindle and I love it, even if it is not perfect. With that out of the way I'd like to clear up a few misconceptions.

The Kindle can make notes, highlights and even "clippings" (I'm betting you don't rip pages out of most books).

My "real" books don't have a touch screen and the people who want a touch screen seem to be the same ones who can't figure out how not to hit buttons accidentally. See the potential problem?

Amazon is working on the pdf issue, "Kindle supports wireless delivery of unprotected Microsoft Word, HTML, TXT, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, PRC and MOBI files.
PDF conversion is experimental. The experimental category represents the features we are working on to enhance the Kindle experience even further. You can email your PDFs wirelessly to your Kindle. Due to PDF’s fixed layout format, some complex PDF files might not format correctly on your Kindle."-from Amazon.com. A work around; cut, paste and drop into a word doc, it's worked pretty well for me.

The availability of books in the Kindle format or any other eBook format is at the discretion of the publisher and/or author, NOT Amazon.

Amazon is a book seller not a library. Hopefully there will come a time when a certain amount of Kindle compatible books will become available to libraries but when all copies are checked out you go on a waiting list-just like you would for the paper version. If every Kindle book was available for free through the library to everyone who wanted to read it where is the incentive for publishers or Amazon to provide content?

Back lighting? Please, NO!

Finally, I purchased both the Sony and the Kindle. The Sony is prettier, sexier whatever you want to call it but that was the only thing that beat the Kindle. Ease of buying books-Kindle (both from the device and online), cost of books-Kindle, number of books available-Kindle, ease of turning the page-Kindle. Customer service-Kindle/Amazon, hands down far superior to Sony. Oh, I also did not have to buy a charger for the Kindle.

Andy

August 26, 2008 8:09 PM

I think I am missing something from this article.

Where did the 100 million in revenue number come from (I didn't think amazon reported this information)?

What is the source for the 280,000 kindles sold?

daniel johnson

August 26, 2008 8:57 PM

Why no mention of the Sony e-reader.

Why no mention of Amazon's failure to do a deal where e-books are readable on either platform.

K McGrath

August 27, 2008 12:43 PM

I am surprised at the lack of excitement for the sustainability benefits of owning a Kindle. Newspapers, magazines and books no longer have to live in the landfill or be recycled. I am waiting for the new release and then will purchase my first Kindle for thess reasons — I can immediate and easy have access to newspapers, magazines and books, carry them with me (all at once!) and benefit the planet.

chuck

August 27, 2008 4:57 PM

Peter,
Your commentary reads as if you have not actually used a Kindle? Have you? I was more skeptical before I tried it. Certainly it's not without limitations, several of which you've failed to mention: limited coverage of the Whispernet network you need to use to download content and limited selection, particularly of newspapers and magazines, and of some content due to copyright issues, I think. Having said that, keep in mind, this is a first generation device, and for a first try, it's really pretty good. You can download a book in about a minute, and once you start reading, you forget you're not reading a book (at least I do). Last I checked, Apple was not interested in e book readers (Jobs says people don't read), and their devices use LCDs and OLEDs rather than e paper from E Ink, which is much, much easier on the eyes. I'm with John Doerr, once the bugs and deficiencies are shaken out, it will be a better device. Sales are already pretty impressive for a device with an awkward interface, limited content and connectivity limits, and with zero traditional marketing beyond Amazon's site. Kindle has shown that people are more willing than analysts think to read on devices other than books, and I think Kindle, and e paper in general, are going to be very popular. BTW, have you seen the Readius, which combines a cell phone with an e paper display?

Network Geek

August 27, 2008 5:06 PM

A little television advertising would go a long way. Or, as has already been mentioned, connecting with a major university to have Kindle-delivered textbooks. Also, I like the idea of having a product placement in a movie, preferably a science-fiction movie.

I think eBook readers like this will be the future, eventually. What will help is reducing the cost of entry and adding better support for loading up our own documents. Also, the ability to loan, for a limited time, books we've purchased to other Kindle users. Oh, and a backup feature would be nice, too.

Peter Evans

August 27, 2008 6:01 PM

Well this generated a lot of comments so I figure it is time to summarize them in an easy to read format, so here goes.
1) The Kindle needs to be priced at $30 or less.
2) The books should sell for no more than 99 cents.
3) No one in there right mind would pay 100's of dollars for something that can be purchased for dozens of dollars via paper books that can be passed to others.
4) Saving trees via electronic book purchase is meaningless, there are PLENTY of trees.
5) Real people know what Real Value is, and the Kindle is Not for Real People, only Dundering Chowderheads that don't know that the Kindle costs about $9.00/unit to manufacture.
6) The Kindle has no sustainable benefits, not to the consumer, not to society.
7) Generation X, Why, and the future hold a place for only non-readers, demand is low for something like this and will be lower and lower and infinitum.

But then you already knew this, didn't you.

TM

August 28, 2008 3:26 PM

http://biz.yahoo.com/portfolio/080828/tag_www_portfolio_com_2008_5_13040.html?.v=1


Portfolio.com
Amazon.com: No New Kindle This Year
Thursday August 28, 3:06 pm ET

Sam Gustin says: Amazon.com is trying to quash rumors of a new version of its Kindle e-book reader -- at least for this year anyway.

Brad Stone of the New York Times extracted the following quote from Craig Berman, Amazon.com's chief spokesman.

"Don't believe everything you read," Berman said. "There's a lot of rumor and speculation about the Kindle. One thing I can tell you for sure is that there will be no new version of the Kindle this year. A new version is possible sometime next year at the earliest."

Berman wouldn't address speculation that the next version of the device will be aimed at the educational text-book market.

KMS

September 1, 2008 9:25 PM

Peter, you really aren't serious, are you? While the cost for materials may be in the $9 range you purport to know, the cost for development, labor, etc. ("brain" expenses) are much higher. It's like the old joke where a customer asks the engineer, "why are you charging me $100 when all you did was make an X where the problem is?" The engineer's reply, "Yes, $1 for the X, and $99 knowing where to place the X."
If you've ever traveled to places in the world where there are no books in English and you've already read whatever was available, you wouldn't be so snooty about the Kindle and its owners.

Peter Evans

September 2, 2008 5:03 AM

KMS

$9.00 includes all developmental costs, this thing is comprised of 2 or three standard, well developed, pieces of equipment that are linked together by 2 or three standard pieces of software. The hardware costs are a few dollars at most.

The option to use it in other countries is part of any transportable product purchased...it doesn't increase the selling price more than a few percent.

Recommend you take a class at your local community college to get up to speed on high school business concepts. As you well know, engineers aren't very useful in business decisions, and foul up their thinking attempting it. Leave the real thinking to professionals.

Carol

September 3, 2008 11:42 AM

Have you ever watched a baby being read to by a parent? He does not know how to hold a book or turn the pages. Slowly he learns. The Kindle is a new form of book. Think clay tablets, scrolls, codex, Kindle! We all need to learn how to use the new format for books. It is great.

By the way, it reads PDF just fine!

The Count

September 3, 2008 11:57 AM

peter evans: your vision is about zero. 100+ years ago people like you argued that automobiles would never replace horses...

i remember when tech pundits (as is popular mechanics, etc) said 'who in the world would ever need a personal computer'...

bezos is not an idiot. he might just find the sweet spot of price/cool factor/tons of content for his little invention.

Dave

September 3, 2008 4:14 PM

I have to agree with "The Count" that Peter Evans vision is zero. Does he really believe "the future holds a place for only non-readers"? Based on his tone, I'd say he is just trying to get a rise. Tell you what Pete, you go on believing reading is "out-dated" and that you are superior to engineers. I'm going to continue to live in the real world.

Fred

September 4, 2008 12:38 AM

The Kindle is crap.
99% of all the books you can get through amazon are not available on kindle. If you are a casual reader and like popular fiction it's probably fine. But if you are a serious reader and like non-fiction as well....forget it. Amazon needs to work out a deal with every book distributor it uses to require an E book availability.. Right now it's a paper weight.

Eric

September 4, 2008 7:36 PM

Has anyone heard a specific release date for the upgraded Kindle?

I've been very interest in purchasing one, however with a new version about to come out, it would be crazy to buy the existing one now.

I love the wireless features, dictionary, electronic ink, etc.
I heard that color electronic ink is actually being developed now, but will most likely NOT be available for another year or two.

Just hope the price drops significantly.
However, until the availability of a large selection of kindle books becomes available, the profit now lies with the purchase of the Kindle itself. I'm confident that once more authors and publishers make their books available for the Kindle, the Amazon can afford to lower the cost of the devise and their source of the bulk of their income begins to shift from the device to the books.
Sadly, it's a balancing act, and right now, we are at the beginning of the inevitable shift.

Jessica

September 6, 2008 8:33 AM

The newer version sounds like it will be a step up from the original that is out now, but concerning the hardware, the newer version should be PDF compatible or it won't pick up sales like amazon wants. Especially because many documents, personal and business, are currently predominately in PDF format.

suzanne

September 7, 2008 11:22 AM

I am waiting for the new Kindle. I wrote to Amazon to see when it would be available for pre order and this is the response I received. (see below) They say there is not new Kindle coming out this year.
How accurate is your info?

Greetings from Amazon.com.

Thank you for contacting us in regards to when a new version of the Kindle will be released.

The most current information on this subject is that Amazon.com has publicly stated that there will be no new Kindle version this year. We have no other information beyond this. If you need further assistance, please contact customer support at 1-866-321-8851.

Thank you for shopping with Amazon.com.

Please let us know if this e-mail resolved your question:

Joel

September 8, 2008 1:05 AM

I saw and tried the 1.0 version and I loved it. I'm waiting for the new version to come out, and then I'll most likely buy it.

An idea to shoot to Amazon.com, is the possibility to sell only chapters of books. Think of a textbook, where you only want to read chaptes 1,2,8 & 10. Or a technical book, like Excel for dummies, and all you want to learn is Pivot Tables in chapters 7&11. Has this crossed Amazon's mind?

Just thoughts....

Can't wait for the new model to come out!!!

Merv

September 8, 2008 6:13 AM

Interesting device and interesting that it is not being sold outside of the USA. I would have thought that if Amazon wanted to reach a larger market the rest of the World might be a place to start. There is only the Sony and a couple of smaller companies in this market and none of them are that appealing - whereas the Kindle is.

Kads

September 9, 2008 8:52 AM

E-books may not look very exciting now but when you can roll them up and take them in the tub and download on the fly everyone will own one. Five years? Three years? The line between print and net dissolves. Journalism survives.

Anneal M (OAST)

September 11, 2008 12:01 AM

If the Amazon corp were to optimize the release of Kindle 2 they would not release it in Sept or Oct. The price needs to reach 250 to turbo charge its popularity.

Its sad that Kindle Newspaper subscriptions are stripped of the advertisements and funnies etc, which renders the subscription impotent to many readers who use the sale inserts.

Jeff an innovative positioning and market entry will assure a bigger rush for the Kindle than the trinket gadgets hawked by Jobs. Apple has identified its customer base and is turning green (cash) driven by innovative positioning, market entry and price points. Kindle should and can be a brought to bear fruit of Amazonian proportions and provide a bounty for the bottom line and the brand as well as the clients.

Kid

September 14, 2008 11:39 AM

I only wish I had something like a kindle. From what I've seen, it would bring me a whole new world of happiness. Highschoolers (I'm in the 10th grade) may seem to only listen to music and have short attention spans, but I assure you, we are not all the stereotypical students you may think we are.

Ever since entering highschool, I've found it harder to read the books I want to. My backpack already weighs a ton, why start to ruin my back at such an early age?

Kindles, with a bit more improvement, could allow my readaholic friends and I to read when we actually have time and provide us with an easier and faster way to get to our books between classes, during lunch or after school waiting for a ride.

If they geared the Kindle towards students and brought the price down, I'd definately get one.

Desmond Daly

September 14, 2008 11:35 PM

I'm on my second kindle - the first one bombed- but there was no problem getting a free replacement for it. How does the kindle compare to the Sont Reader? Can anyone comment?

Robin Smith

September 17, 2008 5:29 PM

I LOVE my Kindle. I did have a little trouble figuring out where to rest my hands so that I didn't accidentally turn a page before I was ready. And I have to remember to "sleep" it before setting it down so pages don't get turned (and to conserve battery life). But I am truly impressed with the battery life. And just last night (I've had it about 2 weeks), I kept trying to "turn" the page the old fashioned way - so it's become a BOOK for me.

I share the enthusiasm of the person who pointed out that I'm not consuming limited resources (paper, fuel for shipping, etc) in buying books. I like previewing - that's mostly what I've done so far. I have shown it to my Mom and she is very interested in the adjustable font size, giving her access to books not available in large print. Overall, I am a very satisfied customer.

RaeJillian

September 18, 2008 1:02 PM

i, myself, can not wait to get my kindle (coming in november.) i just hope that if there is a new kindle by then the it is out and it doesn't come out in december, because that would be a bummer!
as far as having books on my shelf i feel the same way, i love that and i want that. i see it like this - this will be my mobil book world. airports, vacations, the waiting room during dance classes... i will read and buy books. (instead of finishing a book and having no way to read more.) if i really like a book, enough to read and reread, i will buy the hard copy for my "real" library. (it cuts back on paper waste and it supports the authors i really like twice! yay!)

observer

September 18, 2008 3:52 PM

I've noticed a lot of the same negative comments/fears about the kindle. DRM content from amazon vs. Apple and ITunes. Has anyone bothered to mention that until recently all of ITunes songs were "locked"? As soon as the kindle becomes more mainstream there will be dozens of programs to unlock content, trust me.

"who in their right mind will pay $10 for an ebook?" - my guess would be anyone who doesn't want to spend $30 on a new book in the store (plus from what I understand not all books are $10, they can be a lot cheaper).

"my IPhone is SOOO much better" - a.) no it's not b.) I don't know about other people but I wouldn't want to kill my phone battery reading a book. With the kindle I can have a device that's designed for reading. Liken it to a swiss army knife, yeah it has a blade that can open cans but that doesn't mean I won't go out and buy a can opener!

"it should cost less then $30 because it's made of common materials" - really?? please tell me where I can get my $30 IPhone, TV, desktop, and Laptop then since those all have common parts too...please...OH, and 99 cents a book? get real...if you do the math on ITunes you end up paying pretty much the same amount of $ on a CD as you would for downloading the album (20 songs, 99 cents a piece = $20 = same price as at a music store). The kindle offers discounted books hence SAVING me money, not just offering me an easier alternative.

"I want PDF's!!!" - stop being a hater and read the description, it supports PDF's. The glitches will PROBABLY be fixed in the next version.

I have no issues w/ most of the other "wishes." Backlit? I really don't care about it, not a selling point for me, but if it does it for you I'm sure it'll be out soon enough. Color screen? again, I could care less, the books I read come in black and white anyway but again, I'm sure it'll be out in the near future. Better design? read the article, that's the whole point of the 2.0 version.

Also, I don't own a kindle yet, I love the idea of it, but I'm waiting for the new version. I HOPE that it comes out soon (I suspect that the reports from Amazon about not having a new version coming out soon is a marketing strategy to try and stem the growing # of people who are waiting for the new version. Why spend $360 just to find out a new type comes out a month later. They want you to have to buy it again). I do agree however that more Ebooks need to become available but they're working on that. In the last month alone the number has jumped from 140,000 to 170,000. just keep an eye on amazon's front page to figure that out.

Chris Harvey

September 20, 2008 12:25 PM

Currently I am overseas in Iraq, and I can tell you, trying to store book in such a limited space is hard to do. I am a avid reader, and this would be a great addition to my 'electronic' arsenal. I was rather concerned about how to get books over here, however after a call to Amazon, I learned that once I buy a book, I can download it from my library, which never expires. I think that is one of the best options. A lot of people do not realize that they have a saved library at Amazon with all of their purchases. Imagine if you stored all of your ebooks on your SD card and for some reason that card was damaged, then what? Well, you just go to Amazon, log into your account and download your books again without having to worry about paying for them again. I thought that was a great option.

I too have been waiting to see if they are going to come out with a 2.0 version. I ran across an Airman in germany that had the Kindle. After having it in my hands for a few mins, I knew that this was for me. Being a frequent traveler, the ability to carry a number of different books with me is a great advantage, esp with all of the security stuff that we all have to go through and the limits on how much we can hand carry with us on a plane. The ability to carry 20 differnet reference books within only 10 oz. is truly amazing. According to the Amazon Kindle Books page, there are 176,313 differnet titles you can download. And they are adding more and more every month. I can see this getting to be a bigger and bigger industry, especially if they give added abilities in a 2.0 version.

An no, I have not owned the Kindle. But it is in my near future.

Erika

September 23, 2008 10:45 PM

I have a Kindle and I love it- I wish that there were more available titles and that it was 'housed' differently, so I am anxiously awaiting the arrival of the next version. I do still buy paper books and probably always will, but I travel almost exclusively with my Kindle.

Ed

September 25, 2008 10:05 AM

I'm anxiously awating Kindle 2.0 (I intend to purchase one almost immediately, although I may wait a short time to allow manufacturing kinks to be worked out).

If Kindle sales are far below those of the iPod (which will likely be the case), that will be a very poor commentary on the average person - she or he would rather listen to music than to read a book. Pathetic.

One could argue that listening to music requires an electronic device, while reading can be done without one. However, I think that the advantages of eBooks over printed ones are great enough that the main factor affecting sales will be the popularity of reading vs that of listening to music.

emk

October 3, 2008 11:52 AM

i want to buy one, but $360 is hard to justify. i want the kindle because i plan to long-term travel and i do not want to log around books. a lot of the books i want to purchase are $5 or less on amazon.com. usually, i'd have to buy a used book for that price. not so with the kindle. but i must admit i've been waiting for a kindle 2.0, so to speak, and a drop in base price.

stewart

October 3, 2008 9:48 PM

I think the article misses the point a little. Whispernet is nice, but not IMO the important thing. What's holding ebooks back IMO is lack of available content. Especially at the current price, a lot of readers aren't going to be interested until they can get virtually everything they want. That's not even nearly the case at the moment. Academic books of all levels, in particular, are very poorly served so far. As the author notes, academic use is one of the biggest potential uses for these devices. They also need to improve the prices of these titles - academic books are generally offered with little or no discount. It shouldn't be that hard to convince the publishers to reduce prices. After all, Kindle books don't get resold at the end of the semester.

Personally, as an academic likely to be moving around the world, I've taken the gamble that Amazon will eventually get the library sorted out, and much faster than any other formats.

Albert

October 4, 2008 10:49 AM

I have had a kindle for 4 months and I love it. I get a few blogs and I have read a few books on it, but the biggest reason I bought it was to display PDF files. If the new kindle could convert PDF files to display on the kindle better I would buy another one in a second.

Renee

October 7, 2008 7:42 PM

I ditched my Sony Reader (gen 1) for a Kindle. I've been very happy with the Kindle. I tend to read "throw away" books on the Kindle--books I'm unlikely to keep. I've purchased both the Kindle version and the physical book for reference books. Until the Kindle or something like it allows me to touch the screen to add yellow highlights, I'll be buying physical books. I have several hundred books in my home library that I refer to frequently. Search feature in Kindle is nice, but annotation just isn't there.

I tend to read a few books at a time (my interests change quickly--then come back again), so the Kindle is great for travel and for easy reading.

Biggest pains to me are that it's too easy to flip pages accidentally, and space key is on wrong side--as a right hander, I'm always hitting the search key by mistake. Looks like the new design solves those problems.

Would also like ability to play MP3s WHILE reading content, and ability to swap out to audio book version while driving would rock!

andrew

October 10, 2008 1:33 PM

i want to like where the kindle is going, i am an enthusiast, but there a number of obstacles in the way. to appeal to a college crowd, the kindle needs texts books available. also a highlighting ability. next, a light would be nice, not crucial. i think an application that more readily allows users to free write using the key board. i really want this device to succeed, though there are some giants to overcome here. greening is always nice though.

Gene Venable

October 11, 2008 8:19 PM

If you've never heard anyone say they wanted a Kindle, you haven't been around me or my friends. The lure of the Kindle isn't so much the hardware, it's the ability to get a large selection of books and download some from anywhere -- at a decent price. It is worth a premium for the hardware to get the decent pricing and convenience of the software.

What stops me from actually buying one is (1) the pricing of the books isn't always that decent. When I buy books from Amazon, I often buy a used or less-expensive book from other vendors. These books are almost invariably less expensive than the Kindle version would be. (2) The Kindle is almost exclusively focused on pay-for-content. I read a lot of Project Gutenberg books and a lot of web sites, but of which currently cost me nothing.

I have a pretty giant backlog of Audible.com books I can download onto my Sprint Centro from wherever I like. I also have a Nokia N800 that will let me download free books in many places.

So the Kindle isn't for me yet, though I would gladly take one as a gift. I have too many alternative options for getting low-cost content to pay extra to get something that will allow me to read higher cost items.

ProDigit

October 16, 2008 4:16 AM

I think Amazon's price of $10 is quite ok compared to Sony's $14 per book!

However,the majority of people will want to use the 3G to surf the internet, not buy books, and will want to use offline .pdf files rather than buying some.
Gutenberg, and internet offers a bunchload of free stuff. That's what people are after. Not to spend their money on books. 1 book per month is about the same as a monthly fee ($10).
It's limitation in internet access is a big reason why many don't want it...

OK,and what happens if someone steals it,or buys 50 books with my device?
I hope it has some form of password!

Because of the drop in price of Flash memory, I expect the kindle 2 to have at least 4 Gig internal memory, and maybe an upgraded OS.

One thing apart from e-ink, that I like is the battery life! All devices should become like that! 1 to 2 weeks without recharging! mp3,laptop, camera... all electronic devices.

I personally am interested in creating/modifying the os on those primitive devices,or at least install things you can normally not install.
the next ver must be having a bigger screen, and sleeker appearance, and lower pricetag, should it want to survive Sony and Irex!

Teri

October 21, 2008 3:32 PM

If the new Kindle has the ability to "read" the e-text aloud, this will fill a need for a lot of text-impaired people with disabilities -- both vision impairments as well as learning disabilities. As others have mentioned, adding the ability to highlight would also help this niche of students. I can foresee colleges and Dept. of Rehab buying Kindles for students when these functions become possible.

Karla

October 23, 2008 4:15 AM

My daughter, freshman at university, is really enjoying her Kindle, received on her 18th birthday. The other English majors have been somewhat envious of it. I, too, desire one. Our family is not typical, we are avid readers, my daughter a writer. This is why Kindle, or other readers, will never be as popular or rival the sales of he iPod. People do not read nearly as much as they listen to music or watch tv. People do not want to exercise the mental energy it takes to actually think.
The Kindle is a great device, and I hope many readers pick up on this and that, perhaps, it will stimulate others to read. Nevertheless, hopes for rivaling an iPod are simply that: hopes.

AngelDr3

October 25, 2008 7:54 PM

The Kindle will help those of us with Fibromyalgia. I love to read but holding book open for any length of time is painful for days. And of course there are the days when I just do not feel well enough to go to the bookstore or Library. I think Kindle 2 is just what I need!
(I am getting one for my mom too!)
Thanks!!!

Aimee Wolons

October 25, 2008 11:01 PM

I have had my Kindle for about 3 months now and I LOVE it. I can read about 3-5 books a week when I have the time, so this really cuts down on the space and time at the library. Additionally I hear alot of concerns about the cost. However, consider this...the Kindle is $365 and most New York Times Best Sellers are $9.95. Compared to $26 - $36 in the store, that means its only a 10-20 book purchase before you have made your money back!!! Additionally I love that you can read samples before buying and buy books for as little as 99 cents. I think one of the only disadvantages the Kindle has is that people cannot TOUCH it. You need to order it to try it out. Most people, especially those who are less tech savvy want to try a product before buying it... if they got a partnership with a company like Best Buy or another electronic store I think their sales would change alot.

Rhonda Maroney

October 26, 2008 3:32 PM

Well, as far as I am concerned.....the Kindle is a HIT!!!
I was totally against it until I got into my first book. I love to read and love the smell of books and the feel of books....but now that I've read books on Kindle it will be hard for me to pick a book again. The cost per book is great. Trying a sample of each book before choosing is awesome. Now that the cost of the Kindle will drop I think that is a great incentive for people to try it. I too like the idea of not using up the earth's trees so in a sense being conservative. It all works for me.

Sylverwing

October 26, 2008 6:24 PM

As a student, I would consider buying the first Kindle just because it is something I could make extreme use of on a daily basis. I love to read and the fact that brand new books are so cheap for it pleases me especially in the economical turmoil we face. Also, I would LOVE to have one of these because being able to have HUNDREDS of books at my disposal would be awesome. Imagine sitting there in the dentist's/doctor's office and finishing one book of the "Twilight Saga", you could go "online" and download the next book and start reading it while you wait. I can see this taking off if Amazon will market it appropriately, especially for Kindle 2.0.

David Lane

October 27, 2008 7:10 AM

I just bought a Sony Ereader because it is a more open product than the kindle, supporting the epub format. I will not buy a Kindle until Amazon starts providing open format books on their site. I think readers should take a stand against these types of strong arm tactics where a company (Amazon) tries to use their dominance in one market to kill competition in another (the Ereader market).

Meg

October 29, 2008 6:53 PM

My oldest son spent almost $600 on what seems like 100 pounds of college textbooks this quarter. If the Kindle could get textbooks in the proper format, with the tables/footnotes/etc. intact, college students would line up to buy one. Even my highschoolers would love to have their books handy without having to haul them back & forth from school to home.

Morgan Lehman

November 3, 2008 4:13 PM

I haven't tested it yet but I hate it violently. It's the only device I dislike more than the iphone. Garbage like this is what is dragging our country down the toilet. You people have to be kidding me. Maybe my ferret would find it entertaining.

Meg

November 3, 2008 5:03 PM

My oldest son spent almost $60000 on what seems like 10000 pounds of college textbooks this quarter. If the Kindle could get textbooks in the proper format, with the tables/footnotes/porno/etc. intact, college students would line up to buy one. Even my highschoolers would love to have their books handy without having to haul them back & forth from school to home.

David Lane

November 3, 2008 5:06 PM

My lover just bought a Sony Ereader because it is a more open product than the kindle, supporting the epub format. I will not buy a Kindle until Amazon starts providing open format books on their site. I think readers should take a stand against these types of strong arm tactics where a company (Amazon) tries to use their dominance in one market to kill competition in another (the Ereader market). Also there are limited titles in the gay and lesbian issues category.

Shipwreck Mazuma

November 6, 2008 6:42 AM

The price MUST come down. If Amazon sold them at 200 bucks apiece they'd sell a lot more Kindles and still make a killing. I am an extremely avid reader, as are the majority of my friends. We all have one thing in common - we'd all Love to buy a Kindle, and none of us are in any position to drop the kind of dough that Amazon is currently asking for this devise. Heck, if the price dropped to $200 I'd be willing to bet that we see 2 or 3 per household over a year or so. Also, I agree that being able to buy textbooks in Kindle format would be a stroke of innovative genius - let's see some of that! As far as Kindle's library of available titles go, they could do with being more aggressive in signing more material on - although if I remember correctly you can still get Far Far more for your Kindle than you can for its Sony counterpart.

Terry Maalen

November 7, 2008 4:17 PM

Hey Amazon,
Its already November. What's up with Kindle 2.0? You have many people wanting to buy, especially if you have figured out the text book factor. (you would be saving many kids from backpack back issues in their later years). I'm going to Norway on Nov. 21st. Let me get the new one before I go! Its a long flight!

Douglas

November 11, 2008 11:58 AM

I think the slower sales of Kindles is directly tied to people waiting for the next new version. I'm in that camp. I've wanted one for 9 months or so, but have wanted to wait until 2.0 is released.

lackluster

November 11, 2008 1:18 PM

Anyone who has used a textbook will agree that they get pretty abused. Studying with a text involves flipping back and fourth between pages, dogearing, writing in margins, highlighting, holding one page open while checking the index. A book has certain advantages for studying that the present kindle incarnation lacks and may never possess.

EDF

November 11, 2008 5:30 PM

MicroSoft got people to write apps for Windows and Windows took off.

The key to Kindle will be the availability of inexpensive downloads. If Amazon demands almost the same price for, say, "War and Peace" downloaded, as they do for the printed version, kiss Kindle goodbye; someone else will capitalize on the potential.

BrendanK

November 12, 2008 1:52 PM

As others have noted, the marketing strategy that seems to make sense to me would be to focus on making text books available. Start with a particular market if you must (law school comes to mind as a particularly attractive market with significant potential), make sure text books are available as eBooks, and have Kindle reps at the law school book stores while first years students are showing up to purchase their books for the first time. If the students could look at, touch, feel, play with, etc... the Kindle with the text books on them, I think they would choose to pay roughly $500 for a Kindle preloaded with the text books that even less for a boatload of heavy books they will never look at again after their first year (or in some cases, first semester!).

As a former law student, I can't tell you how quickly I would have bought a kindle in lieu of actual textbooks. Although Lackluster has a point - that text books get flagged, tagged, highlighted, etc - I tend to think that the technology should be there right now to similarly tag, flag, and write in the margins of an eBook. In fact, the Iliad ereader, as I understand it, allows you to actually write on the page with a stylus. If this feature were added to Kindle, along with the availability of texts, you would see a number of students purchase them.

Then, after college, those who bought a Kindle would likely continue to use it after for personal / business purposes. The potential is there, but the Kindle needs to be a more versatile product that can go from educational reading, to pleasure reading to business reading (8.5 x 12" Screen like Plastic Logic?). Whichever eReader can combine those three features will probably be able to capitalize on a potentially significant market (and will get my business).

Lars Hoej

November 15, 2008 8:29 PM

I bought my Kindle in July, and all I can say is that I love it. With 600+ titles I got books from all areas. In a few cases the representation of graphics is a problem.
I bought in the US and took it with me to Europe a couple of months ago, and can still buy books to download directly to the Kindle, when connected via a USB cable to my portable.
The interface takes some practice, but now it just works.

Kevin

November 17, 2008 2:10 PM

PDF "capability" requiring e-mailing potentially sensitive documents for conversion is *not* the same as native PDF capability.

That's a dealbreaker for many potential users I've spoken to.

Daryl

November 19, 2008 5:06 PM


I agree with those who have said that native PDF support is essential.

I'm one who carries my laptop everywhere currently, and someone who reads many acedemic articles as PDFs. In order for an eBook reader to justify itself to me, it needs to read the PDFs _directly_ as PDFs, allow me to make simple annotations (add text, underline), and save the result as something any computer I access can read (probably served from a website).

That is, I can't be trapped by the native format to read the article (with annotations) only on the kindle.

Plain and simple, IF IT DID THIS I WOULD BUY IT AT ITS CURRENT PRICE.

A cool NEXT feature would be to have video out, such that I could use a kindle to give a PDF-based presentation.

The Real BillC

November 20, 2008 12:19 PM

The Sony 505 and 700 can both reflow pdf's and read them natively, although landscape is better than portrait due to the small form factor of these machines. The Sony 700 can also highlight and do annotations. Next Summer Plastic Logic will come out with an e-ink device that can display 8.5 by 11 inch documents nearly full sized. Pricing is expected to be announced in January.

Reader

November 22, 2008 10:51 AM

I am astonished that the author doesn't know anyone who has a Kindle or hasn't seen anyone reading a Kindle. I have one as do two of my co-workers. I see one every time I fly somewhere and when I read mine people invariable come up to me and say they love theirs. It's a great device that allows me never to be without something to read or a copy of the latest newspaper from almost anywhere. It has also eliminated the stacks of books to be donated, stored, or given away. I will also buy the next model

Jim Frost

November 22, 2008 7:15 PM

I don't really get the PDF bit. Frankly, PDFs suck as they are one of the least "portable" document formats around. Lots of things can display them, but if the display device does not match the format of the original -- for instance, if it is a 5x7 display like the Kindle rather than 8.5x11 -- it is /horrible/. I find them painful even on full-size desktop displays as they are not set up to scroll easily. PDF was a very nice paper technology, it is a lousy electronic display technology. Re-flowing can be done but it's really hit-or-miss, with a lot of "miss." Right now the PDF-to-Mobipocket converters are pretty bad (though, interestingly enough, better than Adobe's own efforts at the task have been in the past, eg when reformatting Adobe's ill-fated e-book format for handhelds). Expect them to improve rapidly as demand increases.

Regarding "open" formats, Mobipocket is pretty reasonable. Lots of tools for creating content, converting to and from other formats, etc. It's little more than a simplified HTML with a wrapper around it, very easy to deal with. Much free content is available in Mobipocket format and multiple commercial vendors support Mobipocket and the Kindle format (which is a very slight modification of Mobipocket).

Regarding vendor lock-in, around half of the books on my Kindle (about 120 right now) were free or purchased from vendors other than Amazon. (About 10% are Mobipocket; most are Palm eReader.) It's slightly less convenient to use non-Amazon books ($.10 to e-mail them to the device, or drag-and-drop from a computer via USB) but it's not a problem.

The guys claiming that the Kindle is nothing more than an LCD display and a wireless connection, hence should be cheaper, are out to lunch. By far the most expensive part of the Kindle -- about $200 of its part cost -- is the eInk display. It is nothing like LCD; it is vastly easier to read, with about four times the resolution (dpi-squared) of most LCD panels, and with qualities similar to that of newsprint (but a bit glossy like a magazine). Cell modem which is not being subsidized by monthly fees. Battery. Other electronics ... it's not hard to see why it costs so much today. It is, however, only one year into production and everyone expects the price to come down very significantly as the eInk technology's economies of scale improve. In the long run I don't see why these things can't cost less than $50 (maybe without the free cellular access), but that's probably close to ten years out. As it is the device has dropped by 10% in less than a year, and with the Oprah discount (which I expect to become permanent in a week or so) it could be had for 25% less than when I bought it this time last year. It's getting cheaper fast!

Those people talking about reading on an iPod or iPhone? Dude, been there and done that. I have been reading e-books for more than ten years on palmtops. Beyond microscopic print and screens that are almost impossible to read in sunlight these devices, huge deficiencies, all of these devices have a huge achille's heel: Battery life. My iPod touch, by far the best palmtop I've had to date for reading e-books, runs out of juice in about 6 hours. That is significantly less time than it usually takes me to fly across the country. It sucks when your book goes dead just as you take off from DFW! Shut off the Kindle's cell modem and it will run for six straight days without a recharge. I took it to Spain for a week and recharged it before the flight home (just to be sure). I took it mountain biking in Utah for a week. You just can't do that with books on your iPhone, it doesn't have that kind of battery life.

There are plenty of rough edges around the thing but nothing that isn't pretty easily fixed in the next version or (for color) the version after that. As a package, device plus service, it is brilliant. I had high hopes for the Sony device but it was awful -- expensive, painfully slow, few books available, and books were really expensive: $25 e-book best-sellers? Bite me! The Kindle really only has one of those attributes, the device cost, and that will be a short-lived liability.

Some complain about book availability but from a running start last year with 90,000 books it has reached 202,434 titles as of right now ... plus a number of other things that aren't books. At launch it had a lot of new books but little back-catalog; the back-catalog content is starting to fill in at a rapid rate.

Amazon now has more titles available for the Kindle than all but a couple of physical bookstores in the world stock, and there are 20,000 or so free (out of copyright) books out there if you happen to like classics. If you can't find good stuff to read you just aren't looking.

Having said that there are some publishers and/or authors who are highly resistant to the concept. Several of my favorite authors have no full-length books available at all. This will change, of course, as devices like this become more prevalent ... just like it did with paperbacks in the 1930s. The economics are even more compelling than paperbacks were, and they changed the publishing industry very fast.

I think this is a very good thing for several reasons, and a primary one is actually print availability. Everyone talks about how good print availability is compared to e-books, but that really depends. Many, many books are out of print. Prior to alibris et al it was bitchin' hard to find copies of those books, and even with online used book finders it is always a crap-shoot as to whether or not the book you get is in decent shape. Sometimes I can't find titles even using used book services. That sucks.

Ironically electronic books should alleviate that problem even for printed copies. They make boutique book printing and binding possible at low quantities. Imagine any book you want in a brand-new quarter-bound hardcover. Leather bound? Gilt cover? Rag bound? High rag content paper? These things all become possible, at realistic prices in quantity one, when you can get the content in a format that is easily reproduced. We see this in photo books today; the digital photography revolution rapidly moved to the point where it's now possible to get hard-bound books of your photographs printed for $40. It was only a few years ago that self-publishing such a thing would have cost tens of times that much. And the options abound: Photo cards, T-shirts, mugs, calendars.... Ease of reproduction means malleability.

It also means lower cost-of-entry, which means more content, which means more competition, which means lower prices. I see people complaining about "$10" e-book prices. Today I bought my daughter a new hardcover -- for $24. The same title on the Kindle is $10. The paperbacks that are the meat of what I read, now $8-12 in print, are $4-7 on the Kindle. When I bought the device I projected break-even in 10 months. In fact I broke even in 7. I have been saving money on every book I have bought for the last five months -- about $300, so far.

People complain about the DRM; sure, I can't give the book away or resell it. I rarely do that anyway (that's why we have some 5,000 books in my house, filling every nook and cranny and boxes and boxes in the basement), so I see no loss there ... and given the money most people recover from reselling books I think they'd do better buying the Kindle books at their reduced prices in the first place. YMMV; I think it's a non-issue.

Few people realize the value of one other thing that e-books, and particularly a large personal library of e-books, makes possible: Searching! I'm reading a book and can't remember the specifics of a character introduced hundreds of pages earlier? I search for their name and pop back to the first reference. I am talking with someone and I can't remember which issue of The Atlantic was talking about Google changing our habits? A few seconds and I have the article to show to someone.

Library searching has, to date, been practically impossible. Electronic text availability is changing that rapidly. Win, win, win in my book.

Opinions on this vary, but I'll tell you this: By 2015 a large fraction of what is now paper publishing will be electronic. E-book successors to the Kindle will be cheap, so cheap that you'll literally get one with newspaper subscriptions, or with the purchase of a handful of books. This is no longer a futurist fantasy; it's sheer economy that will do it, and the conversion will happen very, very fast now that the ball is rolling.

Probably I came to this too long for many people to get much out of my commentary, but there you have it.

jim frost
jimf@frostbytes.com

jon nelms

November 25, 2008 4:05 PM

Does anyone know if the newer version has been released yet and if not, when?

Art Dameron

November 26, 2008 11:14 AM

I'm looking forward to buying a Kindle for one simple reason - I want to be able to read books without choking on the dust/mold allergies.

It's a shame that I cannot re-read the old books my family owns. They sit there on the shelves taunting me but as soon as I start to read one I get all choked up. Owning a Kindle would allow me to get these books electronically and I could finally re-read the classics.

Sure, I could go out an buy a brand new printed copy but it seems a shame that everytime in thr future I'd want to read it I would have to buy a new copy. The Kindle should take care of that problem.

Ellen Lindley

November 27, 2008 3:45 PM

The Kindle MUST be compatible with MOBIPOCKET format before I would ever, ever buy one. Amazon bought MOBIPOCKET which has a fabulous collection of e-books in many languages (it was originally a French company). BUT Mobipocket books, which I have stored on my computer are not transferable to the Kindle. What?! The only items that Amazon has deigned to make available in French are 3 pornography books. As I am a 52 year old woman, this is not really my thing. Would you please start acting like adults out there? Some of us really like to read in foreign languages, and French people would probably love to buy a Kindle if you would just make it compatible. Since you own the technology there is no excuse.

Marcia Sargent

November 28, 2008 4:52 PM

I have owned my Kindle since February.

I love being able to read in full sunlight--easier on the eyes than a blinding white paper page.

I love being able to change the font size depending on the light and the availability of my reading glasses.

I love being able to travel with one small suitcase--but carrying my library of 300 plus books in my Kindle that is small enough and light enough to tuck in my purse.

I love reading one-handed in bed--my index finger turning pages. The other night I was trying to read in bed an analog (paper) book and realized how spoiled I am by the Kindle. The pages stay turned, my place marked when I put it down or fall asleep reading.

I love sending my manuscript and writer friends' manuscripts to my Kindle for 10 cents--and then read them like a book and take notes on them I can print out later.

I love being on the beach, or in an airport, or at a store and able to search for and buy a book that my Kindle receives in 10 to 30 seconds.

I love that I have added a memory card and can now hold 4000 books on my Kindle.

For an eclectic, omnivorous, addicted reader--the Kindle is awesome.

Chris Bird

December 2, 2008 6:16 PM

Y'all aren't making my research any easier! I think I am convinced, and then I read something potentially show stoppingly negative.

It is starnge, I fly (domestic US, Dallas to Boston) every week. I have yet to see a Kindle in use on an airplane on which I am traveling. I have yet to see anyone using one in the departure lounge areas. In fact, I don't even know anyone who has one (or will admit to it) so that I can try it out.

Certainly my book habit would be smashed if I had one, I typically read 6-12 books/week. A misxture of fiction and non-fiction. Luckily my office in Boston is near the MIT COOP! So break even for me would be less than 6 months.

It's the useability and general greenness that does it for me. Sure I read PDFs documents, etc. as well, but buying cheaper books and not having to carry them would be da bomb.

Josh

December 3, 2008 11:14 AM

I bought my Knindle last February. Since then, I've purchased and read 40 books on it. It is easily my favorite electronic gadget. I bring it everywhere with me.

Green Reader

December 4, 2008 11:15 AM

Let's not forget about the Green movement! This device would single-handedly save innumerable trees. It has the potential to greatly effect our conservation efforts. If schools adopted the use of this device, those kids would grow up reading only Kindles. The next generation or so could practically do away with the printed media format. Not to mention, as a high school educator, I truly believe that we would see grades go up and excuses go down!

Mike

December 5, 2008 2:14 PM

Content is king and pricing is queen. While the device is still a bit pricey, the major limitation I find with the Kindle I purchased last April is that most of the books I buy are technical books from Microsoft Press, NONE of which are available via Kindle. I wrote to Amazon in May asking about this and was told that the decision to offer books via Kindle rests with the publisher and the author. If Amazon wants to spur Kindle sales, they need to have ALL books available and should work proactively and aggressively with the publishers as Apple did in the music space to make iTunes the hit it is.

Additionally, technical books are loaded with diagrams and screen shots, and these do not display very well on the Kindle. Perhaps the larger screen noted for Kindle 2.0 (or the ability to view pages in landscape) will help address this limitation.

Lastly, and most ironically, this article was a BusinessWeek article, a magazine that is not available via Kindle. Again, content is king, and Amazon needs to work harder to ensure that all printed content is available via Kindle.

Addressing the limitations I've noted here (and providing accurate support for .pdf files) would enable me to almost never buy printed material again. However, in its current incarnation, I seldom use the Kindle on which I excitedly spent a large sum.

David

December 5, 2008 5:35 PM

I agree with Green Reader's comments about greening up the reading scene, though I wonder how green the Kindle is in terms of production. If it's made in China, the amount of pollution and energy required to make a Kindle is probaby pretty significant. Also, one must take hazmat such as mercury or other contaminants which could be present in some of the components.

My main complaint with the Kindle is the delivery cost, and lack of sharing.

1. I've come across numerous titles that are more expensive in Kindle electronic delivery format than in print. Mind-boggling.

2. Books should be able to be lent. Period. The digital signature of the book is already tied to the owner, so lending is a fairly trivial issue to tackle. Heck it would actually be kind of handy to be able to request a lending revocation as the owner, and digitally yank back that book that your buddy never returned. :)

The reason #2 is unpalettable to corporate execs is very simple. Money. They don't necessarily get to sell the same book over and over and over and over. The idea of lending can be taken a step further, however--one that I've not heard anyone discussing much:

How about extending the DRM facility through federation to libraries? How awesome would it be to be able to check out a book from my library over-the-air? Corporate execs really don't like this one. Of course, they'd really prefer that you buy a print book from them as well, rather than checking it out from the library; since there's already a way to avoid paying them for a book, I don't see how extending this mechanism into the digital realm would be any worse for them. (They're counting on folks not using the libraries anyway.)

Cheers!

angela rogers

December 5, 2008 11:59 PM

I want one...not only that but when I think about how many books i have and all the paper and shipping and everything involved and then the weight of the books while i take them from place to place...The kindle seems so much more "green".

I think about taking a 'Clive Cussler' BOOK to the DMV and then taking in on the Kindle and it's a no-brainer!!!

Allen

December 9, 2008 7:27 PM

Amazon's supply of Kindle has disappeared. Amazon is quoting delivery lead times of 12-13 weeks. Looks like Amazon has cleared the inventory of the old model and the introduction of the new model must be imminent.

Irina

December 10, 2008 1:27 PM

Is the new browser going to support Russian fonts? If not, I am not even going to think about upgrate.

Linda

December 12, 2008 8:34 PM

I want a Kindle for Christmas. Went to Amazon.com 2 weeks ago and delivery date
is late FEB 2009! Heck that even misses my birthday. Should I wait for 2.0 version???

Richard Dreyfuss

December 13, 2008 4:55 AM

It should autoscroll; it should be easier ergonomically, since there's very little space to hold the device. Perhaps it should have an inner light source, or 3rd party app that allows it. It's far too expensive.
It weighs about one pound, compared to 75 pounds for long trip travelers. It's changed my retail buying habits, probably permanently. i spend far less;far, far less. You're not a traitor to books if you use it.
It's great, all things considered, tho Amazon should make buying and billing etc less arcane, and customer service has to lose its arrogant reputation. I want to see the next version badly.

Jti

December 14, 2008 6:15 AM

The kindle seems great but I personally enjoy having my books on my bookshelf as well. I would buy the kindle if they gave the option of purchasing a book at a higher price with a digital copy. For example:

-Hard copy of pillars of the earth book: $19.99
-To purchcase on the kindle: $9.99
-If you want a hard copy and a digital copy it's $24.99

I know their trying to be green but alot of us would rather have the book and also a digital copy, the movie business is being smart, its time the book world caught up.

Rodney

December 15, 2008 5:03 PM

As a Kindle owner I feel I have to weigh in on all the comments made here. The device is awesome if you are like me and read about 3 to 5 books a month. The clutter of all those books around the house was a pain. Also, the ease with which I can just download the next book in a series as soon as I finish the previous book is AWESOME. The battery life is exceptional ... and very very easy on the eyes. I would not want to read as much and for as long on my iPhone/iPod (and I have both). I really don't understand why so many of you give it such a bad rap ... I love my Kindle and I will continue to use it even with the VERY minor issues with the form factor.

Phyllis A M Woodard

December 16, 2008 7:47 PM

I purchased 2 Kindles at the same time after I saw Oprah with hers. I got one to give to my reader daughter for Xmas.
I've had it for about 6 weeks now and I am in love with it, but I need instruc-
tions! There are things I just dn't know how to do when I want to do them. How do I find out how to change the size of print? How can I delete something I have already read and want to make room for other books? I am at present reading my Kindle and reading a regular book and I much prefer the Kindle. However, since I have so many books I already own which need to be read, this will continue. I have 5 books lined up to read. No question that there are glitches which need to be fixed, but i don't mind dealing with the glitches.
Like, I don't know how to let the pub-
lishers know I'd like a book to be made available to my Kindle. How do I do that? Please reply. Phyllis

Erin

December 16, 2008 9:30 PM

I did actually ask Santa for a Kindle this year. But with all the hype for a new version I will be getting gift cards that I can hold on to until the newer model comes out (hopefully). I did play with my sisters and fell in love with it except for the huge button that I hit all the time an turned pages on me when I didn't want to. Can't wait to see the new and improved Kindle.

herb

December 21, 2008 7:56 PM

I rarely go far without my Kindle.
I only use it as a digital reader, although I understand it has much more capability. My habit is to read two or three books at the same time, and this device is a great relief of load. If I need a computer, I already have one. The only problem that I think should be corrected is the need for illumination, as I often read in bed, and my wife prefers to have the light out.
$10.00 for a best seller or equivalent, and it's here in a few seconds; wow! And I can sample anything before I buy it.
Herb

sally

December 23, 2008 10:46 PM

I haven't bought one yet but i do love reading but hate the space books take up in my house (not to mention the trees that get chopped down). There are a lot of agendas at work here and the fact that Amazon got something like this on the market with access to so much content is amazing.

Jo

December 29, 2008 2:22 PM

I won’t buy one until, at minimum: 1) they get rid of the mechanical buttons and make it work more like an apple touch screen device -- I want a large full-screen (edge-to-edge) waterproof device with no crevices or cracks where rain or moisture can get in; 2) provide color e-ink display that paints the display and uses power only when it needs re-painting; 3) improved battery life -- there is absolutely no reason why (with an e-ink display) fully charged batteries should not last 6 months to a year whether the thing is on or off when extra features are not in use (i.e. receiving books, backlighting, etc.; 4) allow you to turn it sideways, to get a wide screen view of what you are reading; 5) provide “adjustable” backlighting for reading in places where there is insufficient light; 6) provide not only choice of font size, but also font style -- some fonts are a strain to read and the user should have a choice; 7) make it a lot thinner -- no thicker than 1/2 inch; 8) make significant improvements on the search capability -- I want advanced search ability and I want to see real-time search results like Microsoft Winhelp used to do; 9) provide a stylis so that notes/annotations can be drawn or hand-written; 10) provide a means of highlighting text (highlighter and/or font color) in any color by simply running finger over words, sentences, paragraphs, etc.; 11) provide smooth-scroll (by touch); 12) allow zoom in/out so that graphics/pictures can be viewed in more detail without forcing surrounding text to constantly re-fold as the zoom is changed; 13) the screen size should be, at minimum, the same size as a paperback book opened flat; and, you should be able to optionally present facing pages, when turned sideways, as you would read and turn pages of a paperback book; and, when presenting pages in such a manner (regardless of orientation and when auto-folding is turned off), you should be able to specify “to-fit”, “to-fit-height”, “to-fit-width”, 100%, 150%, etc.

Rachel

December 30, 2008 4:28 PM

I'm a doctor, on call at the hopsital often, and there are down times that I don't expect. I'm short at time of work and buy all my books online since I don't live close to a bookstore, plus my hours don't usually leave me available for bookstore shopping.

I can't wait to get the new kindle when it comes out-the ease of being able to buy and get a book immediately when I have the time, and to carry novels and reference books in one small package is perfect for me. No more waiting to get a book in the amil,aiting to have time to go to the store, wasting a hour wishing I could read a book I haven't bought yet.
The wireless near-instant downloads of the kindle is what makes it superior to other ebook readers to me.

Peg

December 30, 2008 10:54 PM

I have had my Kindle for over a year now and love it. I thought I would miss the feel of a real book in my hand and the covers of the books...but once I start reading on the Kindle, I get absorbed in the book and forget I am not holding a real book. I find the Kindle to be easy on my eyes and I have been able to read longer in a sitting than I do with a paper book.

One neat thing I love about the Kindle is I can look up the meaning of a word as I am reading. When reading a paper book I rarely stop to go get a dictionary and look up a word! With the Kindle it is so easy to pull up the definition, etc. as the dictionary is right at my fingertips!

I don't know when the next edition is coming out...but I am glad I have mine now and doubt I will upgrade as the Kindle does exactly what I bought it for....reading books!

Phil

January 2, 2009 2:08 PM

Phyllis, you can learn a great deal at Kindleboards. Tips and quick answers to questions related to all things kindle. I love mine and unlike my Zune I don't need the bells and whistles for something I plan to read with ... I love the simplicity. I can walk/jog and read with it as is. It is a great tool for the avid reader who needs to fill the margains of life with something they love.

stan

January 5, 2009 2:59 PM

just spent 5 days relaxing w/ an old school-mate, current heart-throb. she had to work some; so she handed me her kindle (which she had never turned on) and pointed me to her sunny patio.
in 10 minutes, i had it figured out and was totally hooked. the browsing, the reviews, the free chapters, the search functions. i spent hours and hours with it.
got to the office today and was ready to order one but, read the buzz on the new model, and will wait till they hit. but there is a kindle in my future.

i agree w/ the posters who think it's funny that everyone who actually has one-loves it. whereas the critics have never seen one. my mom was that way about microwave ovens.

Chris

January 5, 2009 3:12 PM

I was an early adopter. A real early adopter. I have been using e-book readers since back in the rocket book days, when no one had ever heard of an e-book. I have used alot of different readers, so i know what i'm talking about when i say the kindle will never be that great.

Amazon keeps trying to make all these amazing features that no one needs. I can put a memory card in m computer download my book and be reading on the sony reader in one tenth the time it takes the kindle to wirelessly download a book. Yet they failed to think of the one simplest feature that could really make it great. A built in light. The new sony reader has one. THe kindle is clunky and looks loke a childs toy.

In order for an e-reader to reach ipod popularity it must have 4 things

-the user must feel cool using it. the kindle makes me feel like a nerd. make it sleek and unobtrusive.
-it must be simple. the kindle does too much, it is a reader not a pda. and get some page numbers this location bs is compleetly uninteligable.
-it must be universally compatable.
-e-readers are for literary buffs and geeks. casual readers may buy 10 or 12 books a year. I read more than 200 books a year, but i'll castrate myself before I read patricia cromwell. Ditch the trendy authors, and sell the books that were read the most, rather than sold the most. (ie. half my town might have bought cromwells latest book, but in a town of 1200 people it is much more impressive that Louise cooper's book "the initiate" has been checked out from the library more than 2000 times.)

Jake

January 6, 2009 9:41 AM

It is true that paper books and newspapers are a made from a renewable resource but there are also chemicals involved in their production and associated transportation costs. It is a safe bet to say that electronic media will continue to expand its share of the market. While the cost of the Kindle is high, the savings for a newspaper subscription pays for it over the course of a year. Finally, I would like to see a push, and some priortization, in making text books available to middle schoolers and high schoolers on the Kindle (or other e-readers). In addition to the potential to significantly reduce public school expenses, our children would be greatful if their heavy loads could be lessened.

Kathy

January 9, 2009 3:59 PM

Bought a Kindle for my husband this Christmas. He had no idea what it was when he opened it. He loves to read but never finds the time to either buy books or get them from the library. He was amazed!!! Loves it. Has had no trouble with it at all, easy to read. I agree that at least the college world should step up and start using these and start being green.

R. McKenzie

January 14, 2009 12:35 PM

The current problem with using the Kindle in a K-12 environment (and the ONLY problem) is that the Internet browser located in the "experimental" section of the Kindle is not filtered. I had worked with our tech department at the county school board office and we were fully ready to roll out a school-wide pilot program in our county using the Kindle only to run up against this wall. Federal e-Rate funds, which we use for technology purchases, dictate that any Internet access must be filtered. Besides, who would want to give unfiltered Internet to children anyway? Egad. If they would only delete that "experimental" browser, we are ready to drop some serious cash and get this program going in our schools!

Janet Aldrich

January 15, 2009 9:30 AM

I know a Kindle owner and would get one myself, if the price was better.

It would also be nice to have a "library" model for Kindle users. I might not necessarily want to BUY a book online, but if you could "borrow" a book for $.99 - $2.00 which expired a certain time (a week?) after the lending date, I'd go for that. Especially with the wireless capability to get what I wanted on demand.

Kenny C

January 16, 2009 10:16 AM

With newspapers hitting the skids financially this could be their salvation as people cancel their subscriptions to the printed paper and turn toward the internet for news. I want one, capsulated source in the morning to enjoy with my coffee. I don't feel like clicking around a computer and even a laptop is too bulky to carry into the bathroom. I want my news to be delivered each morning and the wireless subscriptions are perfect. It'd save newpapers all distribution & materials costs and would benefit the environment. I hope more papers get on the bandwagon. My hometown's is not yet. They also need to advertise more in general. My guess is that if you ask most people on the street what a 'Kindle' is most won't have a clue. Everyone knew quickly what an iPod was, even if they didn't own one.

lee

January 16, 2009 5:06 PM

The problem with Kindle is that it breaks and getting
Amazon to replace it takes about 3 weeks of 2hr phone calls and a promise that it will be fixed in 3 days. Joke, maybe when they send you a new one and charge you twice. They are not keeping good financial records and they have no people that can accept responsibility. All they can say is "I sorry you are having a porblem", but they refuse to put you in contact with someone that can really help. I am sorry I purchased it now.

veonika

January 17, 2009 6:09 PM

i have had a Palm tungsten E2 for years and have downloaded many books also love to read at night without light on in room. The Kindle does not allow you to do that. Palm was cheaper you to do other things....and has lasted for years...only the books are some what cheaper with the Kindle.

ed

January 24, 2009 5:52 PM

okay, so lots of people hear have said "if only Amazon was a smart as sony and put a light in the kindle". well I got a chance to see a 700 with its built in illumination. i now understand why Amazon has not done it yet- e-ink technology is not ready to support it- the internal glare made it almost painful to read in a darkened room with the illumination on. so for now the built in illumination is just a gimmick for marketing department.

Enlightenment

January 27, 2009 4:40 PM

The Kindle 1 & 2 are junk. Display is too small and resolution is too low.

This isn't new information, but it is something to know about in 2009. The eBook readers have been gradually getting larger screens, and finally getting close to the size of pad of paper. Once the screens get large enough / higher resolution / cheaper, I think we will see an explosion in this market.

Articles:
http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/technology/7670371.stm
http://www.slashgear.com/plastic-logic-demo-video-hands-on-versus-amazon-kindle-1216036/
http://www.slashgear.com/plastic-logic-ebook-reader-still-on-track-for-2009-video-interview-1619396/

Videos:
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=eWRpkIQrjYo
http://uk.youtube.com/watch?v=50x8h7fF4DU

seppelpeppel

January 28, 2009 2:22 AM

Anyone an idea what this is? http://www.vimeo.com/2984025

Seen at chaos communication congress last year. Could that be a txtr protoype?

RT

January 28, 2009 11:16 AM

Two glaring issues for me.

1) Why? ebooks have been around for a while, but havent gained traction. Like the music industry, which is facing up to the fact that fans will pay a dollar or two for a song, when the $14 dollar CD doesnt have other good songs. (We used to buy "45"s for the same reason.) Why would I pay $10 dollars, plus a monthly fee, plus $350 (more than an iPhone which has web access) for the reader? I can buy 43 paperbacks for the price of the reader alone, which is over a year's worth of material for most people. A flashy gadget will only draw few who have to feel they are cutting edge.

2) Why again? Apple has shown the way to gathering a client base. Produce THE product that goes beyond what the customer wants. Not a shiny box with wires that does one thing new. The iPod and the iPhone have altered two major markets, not to mention caused a quiet migration to Apple's computer lines, despite thier expense.
Not saying Apple is the "end all", but they have produced products that have given consumers what they wanted and then some. They have forced Microsoft to adjust their programs to comepte with Apple, they have forced most cellular phone manufacturers to produce a touchscreen and have overwhelmed almost all MP3 players. Each Apple product gives at least what the customer is told.

SO, Amazon can clunk along using a product that looks like an old Palm Pilot (a great product in its time)at a time when it could lock this market up. It has made a news cycle and has such great potential, however, it is currently a money pit.(Sort of like Stephen King's re introduction of "serial novels".)

Amazon has a window. Sooner or later, Apple or Microsoft or some other company will decide to take a moment and add an ebook feature to a product (iPod, phone, laptop, notebook, etc.) and will actually negotiate the pricing to a much lower figure. Then, goodbye Kindle.

(I think most authors and publishers would prefer thousands of $4 enovel sales to hundreds of $8 enovel sales. It is just a matter of time before someone produces an inexpensive product AND calls the agents/publishers on the ridiculous price of ebooks. Or, in the alternative, new publishers appear with lower cost ebooks - eventually cutting into market share of the larger houses. Key to it all is the an inexpensive reader and standard format.)

Just my thoughts.

Pol. Sci. Prof.

January 29, 2009 8:05 PM

As a college Prof., I would welcome the opportunity to have texts for my classes as ebooks. Once Amazon (or someone else)effectively markets their device to the text book publishers, the device will truly take off. I, for one, guarantee to use it in my classrooms.

Michael O

February 4, 2009 10:47 AM

The Kindle will not enjoy the predicted sales volume until it can 'read' to you via Audible. I would buy a Kindle in a heart beat if it could audibly read the Wall Street Journal to me as I commute each morning.

Rosario

February 4, 2009 1:48 PM

If your sources are correct and here comes version 2.0 which will be thinner and better and maybe even cooler where you can choose a color maybe? I will definately wait till then. I was sure my hubby was going to get me one for my birthday this month, but since there's a huge waiting list at Amazon.com for these little suckers there's no way he'll ever get one now. Good thing too. Since what you say sounds so much better than the first version. The wait will surely be worth it for the next version to come out. Christmas this year will be the best for me!

Tom

February 6, 2009 3:33 PM

College-smollege! The ones who need a light portable universal textbook are elementary and high school students now staggering under longshoremen's loads. Kindle evolution suggests the time may not be far off.

Frank Cenky

February 8, 2009 3:17 PM

great idea

Steve J

February 9, 2009 5:51 PM

Who the heck wants this peice of work? I wouldn't have one as a gift. Why read books when you can listen to them. Peoople aren't going to buy these for their school children to read. What a joke, an expensive one at that. JMHO

Jo

February 9, 2009 11:12 PM

They just announced the Kindle 2 today, and even though my 'old' Kindle is just fine, I'm itching to pre-order the new one. I'm not a gadget-happy person, but my Kindle is the best gadget ever, and I admit to an emotional attachment to it that's probably much like how my kids feel about their iPods.

I'd also like to point out that $9.99 is the high end of Kindle book pricing, in my experience; I'd say that my Kindle books probably average out to closer to five dollars a book.

I've purchased 80 Kindle books in the year I've owned it, just because of the ease of buying/downloading a book whenever I'm in the mood to read, no matter the time of day/month.

Oscar Manduku

February 10, 2009 1:40 AM

The Kindle 2 is quite an interesting device, as it would put the large corporates in Africa out of business, at the same time promote more publications.

Blotto

February 10, 2009 12:27 PM

Size we live in a digital world now, i think an ebook-reader should have the following features:
- like an iPod, i can connect it to my Computer and it downloads every PDF, TXT, DOC, e-Mails or what ever textfile into its internal Memory.
- it scans the files and creates an index.
- i can search for keyword.
- i can search the library at amazon for ebooks that relay on that search-criteria.
- i can access the related page or chapter .. i don´t have to download the entire ebook or pay for the entire ebook.
- i can choose a amazon ebook flatrate access, so i pay a small price to access all, but not the newest content.
- i have the ability to access wikipedia.
If they add most of that features, an ebook is a realy alternativ for a netbook.

ElectroTech

February 10, 2009 6:51 PM

A while ago, I helped my son with a reading presentation for school. We found several surprising statistics:

1. about 60% of high school graduates never read another book in their lifetime.

2. about 40% of college graduates never read another book in their lifetime.

3. Most US families have not been in a bookstore in the last 5 years.

4. The average book purchased is never read beyond page 17.

What chance is there that the Kindle will be a commercial success when it can't even produce color pictures? At least magazines have color and might be a good use for a Kindle like device.

kindle2

February 12, 2009 2:46 AM

The New Amazon Kindle 2 Has Arrived
Price: $359.00 & this item ships for FREE

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?tag=tophit-20

Deborah Harper

February 13, 2009 9:01 AM

I hope someone at Amazon is reading our comments.
Offering this device as an Educational
tool will make a change for the better.

In a day were childrens back packs are weighed down with 15 plus pounds of text books.
The use of Kindle will allow each school to load the required books needed per class. For school districts that are fighting for every dollar this could be a blessing.

Amazon you need to get on the ball with this before me and my friends figure out how to do it ourselves.

I'm pulling for you Amazon
Motorcity Dee

Ebed

February 15, 2009 6:31 PM

I recently went on holiday. I used the time to nearly finish a book I am writing. I say nearly because there are a few places where I needed a couple of books from my personal library for an exact quote or a citation. The possibility of a transportable library excites me.

EAP

February 16, 2009 5:30 PM

Now with the new improvements, I think I'll be going for it and purchasing the 2.0 version. However, what will make this device perfect? Full color with good quality images. Being an engineer, nearly all my reference books require detailed diagrams, which need to be displayed clearly if I were to replace these clunky books with an e-reader. Also, why aren't travel guides (ie. lonely planet, rough guides, DK) available for the Kindle? The kindle would be an ideal replacement for the 3-5 bulky guides that I often end up taking on backpacking trips.

rujipas

February 17, 2009 10:28 PM

ORDER Kindle 2 Now !! to RESERVE YOUR PLACE IN LINE

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B00154JDAI?tag=rujipas-20

Barry Williams

February 19, 2009 12:06 PM

First, the price MUST come down, if they want to really sell the thing.

Second, why are they charging more for a Kindle version of a book (for example) than a soft cover version of the book will sell for? What with avoiding all the costs of printing, inventorying, and shipping paper copies of books, the price of an e-book should be much lower.

Third, will all new books have a Kindle version? (How) will older books be converted? (This is great for books that are out of print and hard to find.)

pHotosld

February 19, 2009 5:31 PM

The beginning of the end for book stores? Comments?

Jon

February 23, 2009 6:59 PM

I got one of these for Christmas last year, and immediately gave it back to my mother...

You can't write in a Kindle, you can't lend it to friends... if the Kindle gets fried, so does your library.

I just do not see how this ever replaces books.

Ralf

February 25, 2009 4:18 PM

I read a lot of magazines, photographic and photoshop material. For me colour is essential.

Z2221344

February 25, 2009 5:52 PM

No way this replaces traditional books. I agree with Jon above. This doesn't come close to replacing the visceral experience of reading a real text. You can't highlight on it, you can't write in the margins. You can't lend it out to someone (without losing your entire library). You can't tab the pages to allow easy, quick access to sections of the book. You can't have more than one book open at any point in time - unless you have more than one device... etc. etc. I don't want to sound like a ludite here, but I suspect that, unlike the iPod / music scenario, there is simply too much about book ownership which this device can't replicate. This will have limited appeal. It'll be great for travelling. It'll be wonderful for quick, painless reference (when the internet isn't available). But beyond specialized niche areas I just don't see this thing taking off.

krentist

February 26, 2009 10:47 AM

seems to me that kindle will end of being the ipod for grownups, or anyone who wants to read! knowledge comes from books, not from icons and cyber eye candy... as far as kindle replacing physical books, no one really knows how this is all going to evolve (see record albums, 8 track, cassette, CD, digital)

Scepticism

February 26, 2009 10:53 AM

I wonder why no one does worry about Amazon taking control of the book market. At present, one can always buy a paper book. And there are many publishers. But in a few years (if the Kindle succeeds) this could mean, that except for really popular books, most titles might only be avialable via Kindle. So if you'll want such a book, you'll have to pay the price that Amazon sees fit. It may not happen, but I find even the possibility intimidating. They might have financial control over nearly all the knowledge exchanged between humans. And that most certainly won't be good.

Can it be most people are naive enough not to notice?

mamapapaxp

February 28, 2009 4:31 PM

I only wish Kindle 1.0 had ever been available for sale in the UK, I would happily take the so-called 'clunky' interface in exchange for the features it offers. I can only assume they never opened the market to us because we do not have EVDO.

So how's about it Amazon? Provide regionalised variants, which can download through other means/networks, and i'm pretty sure you would sell half as many again, especially if the 2.0 lives up to the hype...

(Oh, and let's be realistic, the prices for a digital download are currently crazy. If I purchase a digital copy of a book, you and the publisher and the author lose NOTHING in the way of stock, so price these appropriately and you will all sell more.)

Stacy

March 4, 2009 5:08 PM

Okay I am coming at this from a different angle than those posts I have read so far. I see this as an amazng opportunity . I have a child who is losing her eyesight. She loves to read but her eyes tire easily. This will be fantastic for her because she can read as long as she wants and then have the Kindle read the remaining text to her. It will allow her to finish books and get enjoyment out of reading that is just not possible for her anymore with standard books.

I do hope that at some point text books will become available as well. That would be such a benefit too as she makes her way through school. I know there are so many children, both young and old, out there who can benefit tremendously from this technology.

avid reader

March 6, 2009 8:47 PM

There are a couple things amazon needs to do. One they need to break down the pros and cons of e-ink so people like my mom can understand why it is not backlite, and thus not hard to read like ebooks. then they need to add a little booklight to illuminate the page(screen). They need switch all the controls except the page turning button to a slide out panel like on cell phones. let people know they can put there own books on there. Which may be the reason some of the kindle edition pubs have dropped people found free sources of those. subs make money from people trading convenience and time for money with things tight more people have more time and effort over money. They need a cheap version that just reads books and does not do anything else.

Green

March 8, 2009 4:53 PM

I would suggest using GreenTextbooks.org
Save Money, Save The Planet
GreenTextbooks.org specializes in the recycling of textbooks, DVDs, CDs. Buying used textbooks not only saves you money, but cuts down on greenhouse gases caused by the manufacturing of new textbooks.
With GreenTextbooks.org you're not only saving trees, you are saving some green. http://www.greentextbooks.org

Bev

March 8, 2009 6:22 PM

My dad had a stroke several months ago and his entire left side is paralyzed. Reading a book often requires 2 hands to hold and turn pages. I think a Kindle would be great for him. The only thing that I would add is some kind of stand so the Kindle could be propped up making hands free reading possible (except for "turning" pages). Is the Bible one of the books that can be downloaded? My dad would really love to be able to read the Bible each day along with other books. I may get one and try it out for myself before I give it to him.

AnthonyPaulO

March 10, 2009 11:30 AM

For a review of the Kindle 2 as well as conversion info, check http://anthonypauldoesdotnet.blogspot.com

Gail

March 12, 2009 11:48 PM

I was intrigued by the idea of the Kindle but put off from buying one because of the price. Then I received a Kindle 2 as a gift. It took one cross- country plane trip's worth of reading to make traditionalist me fall in love with this new way of reading. It did take getting used to, but once I learned the system, its advantages became adicting. It is simply far more physically comfortable to read, over long periods of time, than any alternative. The additional advantages of losing the weight of a trips worth of books from my carry-on, the ability to highlight text and make notes in an easy to re-find location, the comprehensive dictionary access, the option to download free sample chapters before purchase, the virtually unlimited access to reading choices at any time in any place, the ability to change font sizes, all make me wonder how I ever got along without this device. The more I use it, the more I love it. I find myself enjoying reading more than ever. My only concern in how easy it is to buy books. I wonder how much over budget my book bills will grow. I wonder if its too late to buy shares of Amazon.com stock?

sg

March 18, 2009 8:13 PM

Question: Will a Kindle work on a cruise ship or in a foreign port?

ty

March 21, 2009 2:03 PM

how do i get a Kindle for less Money

john

March 22, 2009 1:58 AM

The kindle is a fantastic toy and a perfect companion when your hanging out on the beach during the long hot summer.
http://digital-reader.biz

Simon Gibson

March 22, 2009 5:24 AM

You can only buy this in the US. Amazon France states..(it's taking what Americans call 'the world' i.e. only America, by storm)
The Amazon Kindle

Le Kindle est le livre électronique créé par Amazon, permettant un accès à plus de 200 000 ouvrages numérisés (livres, journaux et magazines). The Kindle is the e-book created by Amazon, allowing access to over 200 000 digital books (books, newspapers and magazines). Pour le moment, le Kindle est vendu uniquement sur Amazon.com. For now, the Kindle is sold only on Amazon.com. Les clients aux Etats-Unis, qui disposent d’une carte de crédit américaine et d’une adresse de livraison aux Etats-Unis, peuvent se procurer le Kindle ici . Customers in the U.S. who have an American credit card and a delivery address in the United States, can obtain the Kindle here.

Asahguii

March 26, 2009 11:53 AM

I love the idea, but there is just something about opening a hardcopy book.

Excited

March 26, 2009 3:54 PM

I just ordered the K2 today and will get it tomorrow. I cannot WAIT. I have a closet under my stairs which is full to bursting with my physical books. I can't wait to go anywhere, anytime and have a library of books at my disposal. This product is GENIUS.

However, the main reason why this product is not doing as well as the ipod is that the majority of Americans are not avid readers. Shoot, most people I know only read a few books per year, if that. I read approx 5-10 books per month. Working full time inhibits my ability to read more.LOL

john

March 27, 2009 6:31 PM

...in order to have a billion dollar business, you had better have some readers...

Dot Cunningham

April 13, 2009 7:37 PM

I hear you Excited! I’m the proud owner of a Kindle 2 as of a week ago and can’t put it down for very long. What an absolutely terrific product. On a six weeks trip around the world ending two weeks ago we heard for the first time of the K2. I took six novels, 14 magazines, two self-help books, and three books of Mensa Sudoku along with my laptop. Imagine my delight on this trip when a lady sat down next to me and began telling me about her Kindle 1 and the K2 was out. In a ten minute conversation, I couldn’t wait to get to my computer to order one. I’ve sold three already just passing on the information standing in a checkout line at the market, at the dentist office, and a board meeting. Also, SHHHHHHHH one of my friends bought a Sony a week before mine arrived and sent it back for a K2. I leave for Africa tomorrow with less luggage. YEA!

Ray

April 16, 2009 11:10 AM

I have read much of this discussion and am surprised the lack of memtion of Audible.com... E-books you LISTEN to sometimes in the author's voice. (i.e. Jimmy Carter and "An Hour Before Sunrise") Any IPOD or Mp-3 player will play hundreds of thousands of titles in this format. I can no longer work now and spend a great amount of "reading". I am following this discussion closely because I think I have read that KINDLE will play Audible format. And the last thing for me to mention is the Bluetooth headset. It is so stunning to be able to listen to full stereo sound wirelessly. My Jabra BT-620 takes the single channel output from books and puts it in both sides of your stereo headset for full balanced sound wirelessly. I've been listening to books for over 10 years and I remain amazed at the technology and available content. Good Luck with KINDLE. Owners apparrently love it and so I'm not gonna critisize it. If it has bluetooth output, I'll probably buy one if I confirm the Audible format.

john

May 12, 2009 5:09 PM

i love my kindle

Reader Admin

May 29, 2009 5:09 PM

The Amazon Online Reader is the next best thing to technology and education.

The Kindle DX will be given to 50 students from 6 different Colleges and Universities who signed up for the Kindle DX Pilot Program.

Lets show the world that the Kindle Generation is an affective learning tool.

http://www.reader-kindle.com/index.html

Peter

July 7, 2009 2:45 PM

I've never had to charge up or plug in a a book. I'm all for green, but read books can be recycled over and over again without having to recharge them or for that matter turning them on.

Being able to store a multitude of books on the same machine does appeal to me though.

It is a pricey book cover though.

Marilyn

September 28, 2009 2:25 PM

i live in canada an i am disabled from a motor vehicle accident and this product sounds wonderful. I can't read for long periods of time. Also i have brain damage and the idea of clicking on the word and having a mesning give is the best idea ever.so keep up the good work and expand it to canada so we can get back into having books read to us and i love being able to store documents so i can go to specialists with all information about me medically on the Kindle instead of a hudge bundle od paper witch i can't carry. please expand to canada now i need one yesterday.

fansitesdir

October 1, 2009 11:19 AM

I’ve bought a Kindle 2 for only $299.00 at Revolution Store few weeks ago and I’m really impressed with it. It’s wonderful. I love it!

Source: http://kindle.revolutionstore.biz/

Richard

November 25, 2009 5:29 AM

I believe that the Kindle 2 is going to be quite successful. I came across a web page that is having a competition where you could win a Kindle 2. Try your luck, I never have any myself in competitions:(
http://www.americanlisted.com/competition/

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Bloomberg Businessweek writers Peter Burrows, Cliff Edwards, Olga Kharif, Aaron Ricadela, and Douglas MacMillan, dig behind the headlines to analyze what’s really happening throughout the world of technology. Tech Beat covers everything from tech bellwethers like Apple, Google, and Intel and emerging new leaders such as Facebook to new technologies, trends, and controversies.

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