May 21st, 2008
10:42 AM GMT
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NEW YORK CITY - I was interviewing a tech CEO recently and asked him what his favorite gadget was. "The Kindle," he replied without hesitation. He is not alone. Amazon.com's electronic reading device is quickly developing an enthusiastic fan base. The digital device, which allows users to download books, magazines, newspapers and blogs wirelessly, retails for $399. It sold out almost instantly after its debut last November. Amazon has since re-stocked and is featuring the product prominently on their home page.

The Kindle is the latest must-have gadget.
The Kindle is the latest must-have gadget.

Can the Kindle could do for Amazon what the iPod did for Apple? It is certainly generating some serious buzz. This week Goldman Sachs analyst James Mitchell put Amazon on his recommended list and raised his price target, in part on the sales potential of the Kindle. Mitchell points out that Amazon's sales growth last quarter matched that of Google.

Another firm, Citibank, reckons the Kindle could make of 3 per cent of Amazon's total business by 2010. I say "reckons" because right now these are all just educated guesses.

To the irritation of many, Amazon is being very tightlipped about actual sales numbers. Maybe they are afraid of the competition. Their online music store, which launched after Apple's iTunes was already established, never managed to catch up. Amazon, no doubt, does not want to make the same mistake in publishing.

Right now the Kindle has an early advantage. While it is rather ugly to look at, its memory, quick downloads speeds and easy to read wide screen appear to be winning people over. The question is: will we embrace digital books the same way we embraced digital music?

I was a little skeptical at first. It is hard to imagine we would have another break-out device like the iPod. Plus, I have a sentimental attachment with books that have been given to me over the years. The more thumbed through and worn, the better. For a long time I had more bookshelves than any other type of furniture.

But things change. A growing family means I have less space and time. The more I think about it, the idea of having old favorites and new releases all on one handy little device is extremely appealing. Being able to wirelessly download papers and magazines is also a big plus.

Dave DeWalt of McAfee, the tech CEO I mentioned earlier, said one of the favorites things on his Kindle was his daily subscription to his hometown newspaper - something he could never buy at a store.

Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos thinks the Kindle offers more than just convenience. In his most recent letter to shareholders, Bezos said he hoped the Kindle would help improve people's attention spans and offer an alternative to Blackberries and smart phones which have turned us into "info-snackers."

I am not sure I buy into that. I am fairly sure it is my hectic life and not my Blackberry that is preventing me from reading more novels. Still - a device which makes it easy for me to carry around hundreds of titles might help me get back on track. I have certainly bought a lot more music online then I ever did in a record store. But you can listen to music while doing other things. You still need to sit down and find time to read, even if it is on a small little machine.

What do you think info-snackers? Does the Kindle have the potential to be the next I-pod? Would owning an electronic reading device encourage you to buy more books?

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Filed under: Business


soundoff (54 Responses)
  1. RCB

    Why no mention of the Sony eReader? Same display technology, not ugly, more books available. The only difference from Kindle is no wireless capability.

    May 21, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  2. Robert Jenkins

    reading is old and busted

    May 21, 2008 at 11:22 am |
  3. Alex Seifert

    While I do think that the Kindle probably has the potential to be the next iPod, I don't think I'll be buying one anytime soon. A co-worker of mine has one and although it is convenient and nice to be able to download books, newspapers, etc, I would still much rather buy actual books. Even if it is more expensive for me in the long run.

    May 21, 2008 at 11:29 am |
  4. Tyler Durden

    When will it be available overseas? Can it play flash programs or only simple text formats?

    May 21, 2008 at 11:48 am |
  5. Jacky Devine-Harper

    Would owning an electronic reading device encourage me to buy more books? Yes, but proper books.

    I was in on the e-book thing years ago – would read them on my PDA. To me, the Kindle is not going to take off. I loved the idea of having hundreds of books on my PDA, but for reading, a good old fashioned book is what I prefer!

    May 21, 2008 at 11:50 am |
  6. John Watkins

    We have a Kindle, and love it. Easy to change the fonts for easy reading in any light, very fast down load and easy to purcase more books. I have a 4 Gig chip in ours, and that will handle a few 1000 books. hard to cary that many in your hands. Also, easy to organise and delete or add new books. All in all, a great product. Wonder what it will look like in a few years??

    May 21, 2008 at 11:54 am |
  7. Nicole C

    I love this idea. I just wish Amazon would open a branch in South Africa because the US Dollar to SA Rand is huge. Our Rand is not worth a lot in comparison. The only thing is... if I have to read from a screen, it puts me off the idea. However, if I could LISTEN to the book on the device, by all means, bring it on. I can 'read' a book while I drive, and the narrator can read it to me. That way, I can still have read the novel, and expand my general knowledge at the same time. Many of us don't have time to sit down and read a novel, but to listen to one while I'm driving, exercising or doing house chores would be awesome.

    May 21, 2008 at 11:56 am |
  8. Joan

    I bought one of the first Kindles. I absolutely love it! I travel a lot, and used to carry heavy bags of books with me on the plane. Now I have everything I want to read on my Kindle. It's lightweight, has a very readable screen, and I can download new books whenever I want. I've had Sony readers in the past, but the screens were poor and the content inaccessible. I quickly got past the presumed problem of, "This is not paper and ink and pages to turn." I've made the same leap before, from pencil to pen to typewriter to computer keyboard. Kindle pages turn quickly at the flick of a thumb, and within moments one forgets that one is not holding a paperback . I think the device is a carefully thought out work of genius. My only complaint is that the download feature doesn't work in Europe, so I have to load up before I go.

    May 21, 2008 at 1:13 pm |
  9. Joan

    I bought one of the first Kindles. I absolutely love it! I travel a lot, and used to carry heavy bags of books with me on the plane. Now I have everything I want to read on my Kindle. It's lightweight, has a very readable screen, and I can download new books whenever I want. I've had Sony readers in the past, but the screens were poor and the content inaccessible. I quickly got past the presumed problem of, "This is not paper and ink and pages to turn." I've made the same leap before, from pencil to pen to typewriter to computer keyboard. Kindle pages turn quickly at the flick of a thumb, and within moments one forgets that one is not holding a paperback . I think the device is a carefully thought out work of genius. My only complaint is that the download feature doesn't work in Europe, so I have to load up before I go. Actually, one can download to one's computer and from there to the Kindle, but it's not as easy.

    May 21, 2008 at 1:14 pm |
  10. Michael M

    There are problems with the Kindle. You can't put PDFs on it. it uses proprietary files, that you have to get from, guess who?, Amazon. The ebooks are expensive, not cheaper as they should be. And if you loose your Kindle or it crashes, you loose all the books you bought and would have to buy them again. You can't share the books either.

    All this points to a big No Go for me.

    May 21, 2008 at 1:17 pm |
  11. Geo

    Call me when the COLOR Kindle comes out and I'll be right there with my Visa card in hand.

    May 21, 2008 at 1:33 pm |
  12. Nash

    Dear Todd,

    I am profesional investor,first of all let me state that high oil prices are bad!
    But most of us aren't concerned about high oil prices we are concerned with high petrol prices.For instance, in the UK petrol prices are cheap around 28p a litre the rest is tax! So each time we hear of record profits by oil companies, multiply that atleast a factor of six as this is pure revenue ( i.e there is no investment cost or exploration cost to the treasury) and then multiply that by all number of all the large oil companies.The amount of revenue flowing into the treasury is huge, we are getting screwed by our own government.
    The solution is simple: Get the petrol stations to breakdown on our receipts when we fill up to breakdown how much of what we just spent is petrol and how much is tax, then maybe we will wake to the Great British RIP OFF! When we fill £100 of petrol we actually put in £20 and we pay £80 in tax.

    Best Regards

    Nash

    May 21, 2008 at 1:39 pm |
  13. m.e. kremos

    I fully agree with Nicole C

    May 21, 2008 at 1:48 pm |
  14. Reginna Zhidov

    I recently took a 5 1/2 hour road trip and brought my Kindle along for the ride. I absolutely enjoyed being able to read the New York Times instantly while cruising down the old dirt roads. While my husband drove I could read out loud to him so he could partake in the many discussions that would arise from all the resources available. Another fun feature was being able to check my e-mail on my Kindle. I love my Kindle. I am definitely a gadget person, who also has an Ipod, laptop, cell phone and an IRobot Roomba vacuum for my home and now what I consider a MUST in my gadget world – my Kindle. Bravo Amazon.

    May 21, 2008 at 2:05 pm |
  15. Robert Thompson

    You can download books read by a narrator onto an ipod. Also, if the screen is tiny, that will involve endless scrolling around the page.

    May 21, 2008 at 2:07 pm |
  16. Chris Irwin

    As a bookophile, I was extremely hesitant, but it was late at night and was a gift for my wife. I knew that I loved books the old fashioned way–until I bought the kindle– Yes, it's not the prettiest thing and there are some changes I wish they would make–but it now goes with me everywhere. Within 30 minutes of using it, you forget that it's not a real book–and months later I still get a kick out of turning pages and love that it keeps my place in every book I'm reading.

    I also live overseas and while the wireless ability doesn't work, I just hook to computer and download.

    May 21, 2008 at 2:12 pm |
  17. Stewart R

    But I still can't use it during takeoff and landing so what do I read then?

    May 21, 2008 at 2:36 pm |
  18. Peter

    I don't think it's likely to be the next iPod because people don't consume as much text as they do music. And the majority of text that people do consume (news, magazines) can be displayed on mobile phones and Blackberrys.

    The one thing that may help Kindle is the recent uptick in public transit. That may significantly increase reading if there are more people on buses and trains. But if this happens, people may just wait for an iPod with text/books and a bigger screen option so they don't have to carry around a Kindle and an iPod.

    May 21, 2008 at 2:53 pm |
  19. Vivaan

    The story should not be the Kindle but its implications for the future. Right now a 4 gigabyte chip can hold thousands of books, but what happens when e-reading devices can hold millions, and then hundreds of millions of books? Will libraries become obsolete? Will we each have our own personal library?

    Already universities are beginning to allow students to access e-versions of books available at the library on laptops. If we extrapolate forward to the point at which anyone can have access to billions of e-books instantaneously on a light, hand-held device, we will be changing the way books are used and thought about forever. And we will have taken one more firm step forward into a new digital age.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:15 pm |
  20. Ed Share

    This is all an attempt at clever marketing and creating something out of nothing. When the Kindle first went up on Amazon, the ratings were absolutely dismal. Fully 3/4 of the complaints I read were from customers saying that it was too expensive, and people would be insane to pay that much for one. Then... whola! One day, Amazon deleted all but a small percentage of negative comments. About that time, I started receiving junk e-mails from Amazon about how much of a "success" this Kindle thing was and that it was selling like hotcakes.

    I highly doubt many people are buying these things up. It sounds like Amazon trying to create something out of nothing. There is no reason why this device can't cost $39 instead of $399. I won't be buying into something like this until it does reach $39. And if I can't keep my own copy without fear of the "digital rights" disappearing on me one day, I will never buy it.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:17 pm |
  21. Nicholas

    IBM have been working on an electronic ink project for years. Reading is not dead, but the way we read is changing from gathering of news.

    As for reading books not far off we will have head up displays in our glasses that will mean we can read a book while holding on to the rails of the underground system.

    Kindle will never hit the mainstream sadly as people want a device to be able to do more.

    Converge this ability with a capable device able to run other tasks and then they might have something.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:25 pm |
  22. Gil Ngai

    Reading from a screen tires my eyes. I also like to flip back and forth really quickly sometimes to reread something. In some educational books, I like to make small notes right in the book. I also like to share my books with friends. Seeing a real book on my shelf or bedside table encourages me to read it. And, yep, its really ugly. There's no way this thing can be an iPod to me.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:29 pm |
  23. Kyle

    The Kindle was a clever idea, although to think it would amount to anything near the success of the iPod/iPhone, I fear is being overly optimistic. I would imagine that reading on an iPhone or iPod Touch is certainly possible with their relatively large screens (maybe this is already available?).

    May 21, 2008 at 3:36 pm |
  24. 1nt

    Apple can design. Beautifully design. If the Kindle teaches us anything, it's that Amazon not only can't design, they don't understand that these days gadgets are as much a fashion statement as a technological one.
    As to book availability – I believe the current numbers are Sony E-Reader – about 30K titles, Kindle – near 100K. Prices of books for the Sony E-Reader also seem higher (about $15 for Sony, $11 for Kindle).
    To get around the DRM issue, I would be happy to see some kind of book subscription service – imagine: having the NY Public Library right in your palm! Now that would be irresistible. Even in its current uglier than sin form factor.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:40 pm |
  25. Gbenga Ajayi

    I think that definitely owning an electronic reading device would encourage me as a student to buy more books. What i hope is that students at this part of the world in Nigeria, Africa would seize this opportunity to arm themselves with knowledge rather than complain all the time. The key to its huge market penetration my also lie in driving it to emerging markets such as ours.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:42 pm |
  26. Susanne

    What's new?
    I have bought ebooks from Amazon for years (.lit-files) and read them on my mobile phone. Pity they don't sell them any more. I sure won't get a new device just for reading books. Well, I'll be watching more TV on my mobile in the futrue, I guess.

    May 21, 2008 at 3:53 pm |
  27. dobes

    The kindle seems great, but I'll wait for 2 reasons – first, it really is ugly, and I can't bear ugly electronics, and second, you can't download stuff in Europe. Why make something that seems born to travel and then clip its wings?

    May 21, 2008 at 3:57 pm |
  28. Jayle Enn

    It's an e-book reader, not the second coming of the printing press. The iPod has such a ridiculous market share because it's a -line- of products, ranging in price from sub-to-multiple-hundreds of dollars, and not just one expensive reader.

    Amazon is desperate for this to take off, so that they can get even more leverage over publishers and maximize their profit margins.

    As for the device's popularity, the fact that I haven't seen the thing mentioned anywhere but here and Amazon's website (where it's impossible to escape from the thing), and that the article's first reference is to a tech CEO, and not the average consumer, speaks volumes. Volumes that aren't available on Amazon's little lock-in.

    May 21, 2008 at 4:04 pm |
  29. silvia

    Nicole C: if you go to Audible.com, you can get almost any book you can think of,download it to your ipod and you´re on. I use it while driving, but mainly for exercising, which used to be a big bore.
    now I walk two hours every day and only stop because i need to get to work.
    that said, Im getting a kindle for my birthday!

    May 21, 2008 at 4:20 pm |
  30. from the north

    Stewart R
    during take off and landing just read the instructions for exiting the aircraft in an emergency

    May 21, 2008 at 4:44 pm |
  31. Jonathan Gast

    I have not actually picked up and used a kindle, but the idea is appealing mainly because it would save trees. Nonetheless the idea has been tried several times already and it did not do so well. The reason, I suspect, has to do with book selection. If this thing had access to every publication available, I would definitely go for it. It would be extremely useful. However, at the moment that is not the case. I really don't need a Kindle so I can re-kindle my interest in reading novels. What I need is something that has access to all those things I read on a daily basis which I hate printing out or buying in paper format. Court cases, Newspapers, obscure publications. Though, I can see the tablet format for reading publications picking up momentum and thus adding to the speed at which publications are digitized. That would sway me to pick one up.

    May 21, 2008 at 6:17 pm |
  32. Doug

    Seems like an ok unit but surely someone can produce something better and cheaper? $399? For a book viewer? And the e-books are expensive too and it only uses Amazons proprietary format.
    Amazon deleted a lot of negative comments and reviews about the unit from it's site. This is basically a gutted, featureless, over priced lap top that is slaved to an expensive retail system.

    May 21, 2008 at 6:58 pm |
  33. Eduardo Bahamonde

    Kindle Pros:
    Simple and easy to use for anyone of any age
    3G at NO ADDITIONAL COST as with a cellphone- Superfast downloads
    Large selection (over 100,000)
    Includes Books, Newspapers, Magazines, Blogs, Audiobooks and MP3s
    Also PDFs and Word docs (10 cents each or free to your computer from Amazon)
    Large capacity with SD Cards which plug into Kindle
    Book downloaded will always be available as long as Amazon exists
    (I actually lost my original Kindle & bought another right away and redownloaded all books from Amazon without being charged again)
    Amazon Customer Service is excellent
    Books are cheaper than print version (most under $10)
    Larger screen than cellphones & PDAs (even than iPhone screen)
    e-ink very clear, especially in full sunlight
    Battery lasts for days
    Very Green (no print publishing costs, no distribution get book to retail outlet nor gas used to get to there by customer, nor even UPS delivery to home for each book)

    Kindle Cons:
    Cost $399 (should come down with larger production runs)
    (also: the more books you read, the more you save in the long run)
    Color (when you think of it, how many pages that you read NOW in printed books are in color?)
    Design – actually, it is well thought out and very functional but it IS the first version so next version will be improved due to customer feedback

    All-in-all a great product using a technology taylor-made for such a purpose that would have otherwise gone to waste

    May 21, 2008 at 8:27 pm |
  34. Dana Vinicoff

    Michael M.,

    You have been misinformed. Many pdfs work just fine on the Kindle, as do Word documents and a variety of other formats. And you can get tens of thousands of free electronic books from sources other than Amazon, which you can download using your computer. In fact, many of the free classics can also be downloaded wirelessly. And all the books you have bought from Amazon are preserved for you online, and can be downloaded again at any time for free. And all the free books that you got elsewhere are probably still going to be available elsewhere, and if you used your computer to download it and saved the file, you can reload it from there.

    Also, the books available from Amazon are all less expensive than their print equivalents, so there's a savings there too.

    I love my Kindle.

    May 21, 2008 at 9:48 pm |
  35. PFV

    I have a laptop, cell phone and ipod when I'm on the road. There is no more room in my life for another gadget. Unless I get an iPhone so I don't need an iPod and can then get a Kindle. Nah, it's too big. And I really like picking up the NY Times to read on the plane. Funny thing about a newspaper; the battery never dies and they don't ask you to turn it off during take-off and landing. What a remarkable invention! Do you think it will catch on? Doesn't look like it.

    May 21, 2008 at 11:49 pm |
  36. victor

    Drive carefully ladies...

    May 22, 2008 at 12:38 am |
  37. Jordan S

    I don't believe the iPod and the Kindle deserve any comparison. The target demographic is very different, and the idea of screen reading is hardly new. The Kindle competes with ultra-portable laptops and smartphones, and to be perfectly frank, I already have both, not to mention an iPod. Where I am supposed to put a Kindle?

    The screen is amazing, and I do like the fact that other people don't know what I'm reading, and therefore can't interrupt me to ask questions about it. To be practical, I get the NY Times, and all other newspapers on my BlackBerry. Not to mention, I still have all the Patricia Highsmith novels, save two, to read in my spare time albeit in the light and portable form of a paperback. No matter what the circumstance, I can think of better things to do with my money.

    This is a device for the un-techno-savvy, non-image conscious consumer with money to burn. Maybe there are still people out there like that but, for how long?

    Two thumbs down but, cheers to CNN to delivering the news with a smile, and not being worn out and cynical like me.

    May 22, 2008 at 1:51 am |
  38. Kerry

    Why doesn't anyone mention the eBook? It's been around for years, much cheaper, the downloadable books from ebookwise are cheaper than paperbacks and you can convert your own files for use on it. PDF, HTML, DOC, just about any type can be converted with inexpensive converter programs. It's not perfect, but has many advantages over the Kindle. I truly am dependent on mine. Now if we could only take the best of both of them.......

    May 22, 2008 at 2:55 am |
  39. lovebooks

    Though I do not see a decrease on demand on actual books, I see the potential for this gadget especially for people who loves to travel. I always bring a couple of books with me whenever I travel, I find them bulky and heavy, but hey, I can't not have a book with me. With Kindle, I can bring a thousand books with me and not waste much needed space in my luggage.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:04 am |
  40. Firman Nor

    The kindle definitely has the possibility of affecting every day like as the ipod has. Amazon has a high volume of books already which is key. What they need to do however, in order to achieve the same recognition of ipod is to constantly upgrade the kindle. While right now it seems to attract the hardcore book lovers, like the ipod once did with hardcore music lovers, kindle can head for the mainstream user. Upgrading, including features and increasing different styles will help accomplish amazon.com's aspirations of making it as influential as the ipod. The market is big if amazon.com knows what to do and who to focus on. Colleges and universities is definitely a market they should look into, the price of the kindle is close to what an average college kid pays in books per semester. The kindle however allows for better mobility and if they do upgrade, additional features that heavy text books will never offer. Now let's hope for manufacturers and licensing to come through and support the idea. Go kindle.

    May 22, 2008 at 3:27 am |
  41. Gerard

    Hi Nicole,
    You can go to http://www.librivox.org. they have a huge catalog of narrated books. I listen to them on my mobile when walking to and from work. Sometimes I even take an extra walk around the block, just to hear the end of a story.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:33 am |
  42. Wendy Gaylord

    I agree with the travellers: it's good for us and great for baggage handlers' backs! Also, perhaps it can reduce each person's carbon footprint by not using paper. As long as authors aren't ripped off I'm anxiously awaiting the next version.

    By the way, I hope Robert Jenkins was just kidding about reading being old and busted. That's a sad remark.

    May 22, 2008 at 5:47 am |
  43. Mike

    I'm surprised nobody makes the argument that digital books are a way to cut down the use of paper. Imagine all the trees that could be saved! Amazon should seize on this with some green marketing.

    May 22, 2008 at 6:07 am |
  44. Juergen Fassbender

    I own a MacBook Air and would be able to read books on this device which is not bigger than the amazon device.
    But the problem with all multimedia devices – smart phones etc is that they are connected to the outside world and have more functionality which will disctract you from reading sooner or later. Therefore a mono-functionality device may compete with books.
    But one thing we need to remember: Books are much friendlier to eyes than any screen can be.

    May 22, 2008 at 11:01 am |
  45. Christopher Darlington

    I am currently studying my MBA, and in the process of Product innovation. This device was my new idea to world, now i have to invent something else because it's been done. Personally i think their is unlimited potential for this device. .WELL PLAYED

    May 22, 2008 at 11:43 am |
  46. Ryan Bowers

    Michael M said earlier....

    "There are problems with the Kindle. You can’t put PDFs on it. it uses proprietary files, that you have to get from, guess who?, Amazon. The ebooks are expensive, not cheaper as they should be. And if you loose your Kindle or it crashes, you loose all the books you bought and would have to buy them again. You can’t share the books either.

    All this points to a big No Go for me."

    You can put PDF files on the Kindle, it just has to get "converted" to a readable format through Amazon's Kindle service. You simply email the file to your Kindle email address, it gets converted, and then you either download it onto your desktop computer for free, or it wirelesslyl sends to you for 10 cents. The ebooks are also NOT expensive. Easily less than half the price of the typical hardcover book on the first day of release. And as far as losing all your books if it "crashes" or gets "lost" , think again, you simply retransfer all your books from your online Amazon Kindle Library. It stores every single book you've ever ordered and allows you to delete and redownload for free at any given time.

    Please don't listen to ignorant comments from someone who is trying to bash a device they don't even know about. Do the research yourself if you're interested. I did, and I'm VERY impressed with the device. Now if only I could come home from Iraq to purchase one....hmm...

    May 25, 2008 at 8:40 am |
  47. Patrick

    Paper is not the issue. Most people do not know that we have special forests to produce the paper we use, if I remember well up to 90 %. So it's not like we're saving the rainforest by not using paper. Big fallacy.

    I think the fashion statement is certainly a big issue AND usage. You can run or work with a cool looking Ipod. You cannot do the same with the kindle.

    Another is target groups and usage. Older people like paper books. I am not so sure they will change except for certain groups where there is an added benefit such as "time".

    The younger generation would not necessarily feel that "tie to paper books only". So in terms of adaptability met bet is on the < 35 year olds or even the < 25 year olds. However do they like to read books ? And do they have the patience ?

    June 3, 2008 at 7:36 am |
  48. Gwats

    I think a device like this would encourage my 15 year son to read more books vs. goofing off online. I'm going to buy one and heck it out thoroughly.

    June 10, 2008 at 8:59 am |
  49. Bill Roberson

    I think the Sony Reader has a better form factor and I think that's what could ultimately drive e-books: their style and functionality. Once e-books gain color ability (while keeping the sharp paper-like text look they now have) and can handle Web browsing, they'll be off and running. This could be the start of the real "Ultra Mobile PC" (UMPC) that everyone is searching for. Give it a touchscreen for typing, email abilities, music and video playback and make it LOOK LIKE A NICE , THIN BOOK and you've got a winner. Most laptops, except the Apple Air, are clunky, heavy and not "pocketable." Give an ebook more laptop-like capabilities while preserving the book-like form factor and you've got the next iPod. Apple is probably building it right now (it's not a far cry from the Touch), Bezos, so get on the stick. ~ B.R.

    June 17, 2008 at 4:37 pm |
  50. J,. Strickland

    Ebooks can already be read In so many different forms today – dedicated readers such as mentioned in this article, PocketPCs, cellphones, notebook and desktop computers – that the author can reach the reader on the reader’s choice of platform. I’ve been reading and writing ebooks for years. As an author, there is nothing to compare with the instant feedback from readers for a book released a chapter at a time online. Literally, comments from my readers start arriving within minutes of the release of a new chapter.

    There are already online communities devoted to reading books electronically, as well as large selections available for purchase or for free. Today, readers number from tens of thousands to millions, depending on the particular work. What can we look forward to in the future? The ebook is not new. What is new is development of new platforms to attract those readers who haven’t ventured into the world of ebooks before.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:21 pm |
  51. Susan

    I would LOVE to have a Kindle, but it's primary hindrance for me and most of the folks I know who are interested in it is the PRICE! $400?!?! You're just plain kidding, right? At under $200 I MIGHT consider the purchase worthwhile, but at just under $400 it's too over the top an expense – particularly in this economy. And I am an AVID reader. I love everything about the Kindle and I want one BAD, but I won't be buying one until the price drops by at least half.

    June 17, 2008 at 5:37 pm |
  52. Susan

    Reminds me – I read a comment somewhere some time back suggesting that Amazon should GIVE these away, with some kind of subscription-based service where you sign up to agree to purchase X number of titles per month for a year or two. Now THAT'S a plan I could bite into!

    June 17, 2008 at 5:41 pm |
  53. Matt

    Commenter Michael M:

    Almost everything you said is untrue.

    You CAN, in fact, view PDFs on the Kindle, save for only the most complex among them.

    And only the books you buy from Amazon are proprietary. You can convert to the Amazon format from .txt, .html, .doc, .mobi, etc – as a matter of fact, Amazon will convert any of these files FOR YOU FOR FREE. And they all work flawlessly on the Kindle.

    The books are more expensive than what? Print editions? Uhhm ... no. Do a little more research. And you can get TONS of free books (i.e. classics/public domain works) from third parties, that work seamlessly on the Kindle.

    And finally, while you're correct that books bought through the Kindle Store cannot be shared (though I'm sure someone has found a workaround to this), your assertion that you lose everything you've purchased if your Kindle is lost, stolen or crashes is simply untrue. Everything you purchase through Amazon is backed up on your Amazon account and can be endlessly redownloaded, free of charge.

    Get your facts straight, my friend.

    July 3, 2008 at 10:59 pm |
  54. icons library

    P.S. Please review Black Toolbar Icons from icewmicons31

    September 21, 2012 at 10:43 pm |

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