There has been so much of hype about Amazon’s e-book reader, Kindle, that I absolutely had to do a post on it. Yesterday, while I was looking for Black Friday deals on the internet, I happened to go to their website (out of habit) and the way they had placed the ad for Kindle really amused me. The only thing visible in the entire page was that ad. It’s like Amazon is telling us- “Stop buying those paper books that we’ve become so good at selling; look at our new baby!!” I’m a big time admirer of Jeff Bezos, his business antics and Amazon. But this new product has failed to impress me. You almost take a gulp when you read the hefty price tag of $399. That’s quite expensive even though it contains free EDVO (Wireless service provided by Amazon). I’ll tell you why.
Right out of the box, you cannot you any of those free e-books that can be downloaded from the internet. You’ve got to pay $9.99 each for reading newspapers, magazines, some 250 blogs and other e-books that are available for download from their website. There are some that cost less than $9.99 too. So, hardbacks and their siblings paper backs are still extremely popular with your generation. Some of these old hardbacks cost thousands of dollars. You think an e-book will ever be valued as much? No. Not in the near future at least.
Guy Kawasaki says that this is one of the best things out there in the market. (You can watch the video on the product page). He focused more on the fact that you can keep opening it to read updated content from blogs. He is a famous blogger and he’s received a free copy! What about my blog friends who aren’t among those elite 250 bloggers and whose blogs are equally interesting for me? Why would I want to read blogs on an e-book reader? My laptop is a better choice there. Ditto for magazines and newspapers. I can read them online using my laptop.
My motive in life is to reduce the number of tech gadgets that I would want to carry with me. Actually, if I want to read an e-book (which I seldom do), then I would prefer using my laptop. I wouldn’t want to invest $400 buying an e-book reader. That money would be better spent in buying more physical books. How do we build a physical library with e-books? This concept doesn’t appeal to me.
Another thing- Why are the exteriors white in color? All that handling will make it dirty…very fast.
Amazon is already out of these readers and the new stocks comes in only on December 5, 2007. You can grab yours by December 24, 2007. They haven’t released the figures on the number of readers already sold. Did they under estimate the demand or were they not sure about the success? I think the former reasoning is better, because Bezos wouldn’t have put his foot into a new venture had he not been sure of it. Already becoming Nintendo Wii, huh? Oh by the way, Amazon is giving away Wiis for $79 for Thanksgiving to the first 1,000 lucky customers.
Follow this link to read about Scoble’s take…and see him eat, breathe and sleep Kindle for a couple of days. By the way, those top 250 bloggers are getting 30% of the money you pay while subscribing. Fair enough. It’s their content after all.
I would spend my $399 on some Apple device, to tell you the truth. Either buy the iPhone or the new iPod. That would be money well spent- at least until Apple ungrades its products A G A I N.