May 22, 2008

Kindle Fails to Ignite Sustained Sparks

The Industry Standard predicts Amazon abandons Kindle, one way or the other

"Despite the rumored demands for Kindle, sales have potentially slowed to a point which Amazon is nervous to reveal."

I've never been sold on the "success" of this gadget despite Amazon's initial and now much more subdued hype about it. It always seemed odd to me that the gadget was so quickly "sold out." Added to that was the long, long time before it was back in stock. This suggests to me that the initial order for units was low and that the ability to retool and get more out was compromised.

At $400, this is an elitist tool and unlikely to go mainstream. Add to that the fact that Apple could probably knock this kludge of a design out of the ebook world without even getting out of bed.

eBooks till await their platform, but the Kindle -- clunky, expensive, and ugly -- isn't it. It's the kind of thing a billionaire dweeb like Jeff Bezos would like. But there aren't too many of them. Fortunately.

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Posted by Vanderleun at May 22, 2008 12:24 PM | TrackBack
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AMERICAN DIGEST HOME
"It is impossible to speak in such a way that you cannot be misunderstood." -- Karl Popper N.B.: Comments are moderated and may not appear immediately. Comments that exceed the obscenity or stupidity limits will be either edited or expunged.

A "kindle" type device won't take off until the technology of electronic ink is far enough along that the device will be an actual book with turnable pages, with electronic controls built into the spine, and a touch-pad keyboard on the inside cover. Think Harry Potter and the animated and self-writing books and paintings featured in the movie versions.

Electronic ink involves having an electrostatic dot-matrix on each page (which, likely, will be made of plastic, perhaps textured to simulate paper). The matrix is manipulated by downloaded data to created visible words.

Electronic ink "tatoos" will probably be a craze in a couple of decades. Images can be interchanged, or even made invisible or animated on the bearer's skin.

Posted by: Roderick Reilly at May 22, 2008 12:52 PM

At this time it is still more convenient to take a paperback to the beach, the pool, on the plane, etc. The cost alone is an issue, that is the economic cost if it is lost, stolen, or damaged in places that people take reading material outside the home for entertainment. Few are going to get too upset over the loss of a paperback book.

I haven't seen one, nor do I know how they work, but my experience with laptops is the screen is impossible to read in bright sunlight - such as is found in many vacation destinations.

Posted by: Mikey NTH at May 22, 2008 2:33 PM

Sure, Apple could kick out a more refined device, but they're not going to match the distribution ties and trust in Amazon. I think Amazon saw the writing on the wall and, preemptively, took a smart leap to make sure that Apple didn't do to them what they did to mainstream music retail.

I'm also not so sure about the whole, bizarre "elitist" angle you tried to pull in the piece. Considering the steep discount for Kindle texts, it doesn't take much of a yearly book budget to make the Kindle a smart call for savings.

Posted by: Jake at May 22, 2008 5:24 PM

I fly over 100,000 miles a year. One would think that frequent airline passengers would be the natural users of this stuff. I'm yet to see one in any flight I have taken in the last 12 months. Contrast with iPhones which are everywhere. I have no doubt that Apple would do a much better job, if not at designing, at least at hyping.

Posted by: Freddy Hill at May 22, 2008 11:51 PM
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