Category Archives: Amazon

Would A Seven-Inch iPad Kill The Kindle?

Short answer: No.

1) The Kindle has two components: the Kindle as device and Kindle as eBook file format.

2) People have made an investment in Kindle books. Those who decide to switch from a Kindle device will use the Kindle app on the iPad. This really doesn’t wipe out the Kindle as such. It makes it a parasite inside the iPad. And those Kindle users will continue to buy Kindle books because what reason is there to split their library into Kindle and ePub (ePub equalling iBooks, Nook, or Kobo)? As I discovered for myself, Amazon offers more books that anyone else and it’s likely to stay that way. Amazon will also push books more than Apple will.

3) There is still a place for eInk until something comes along to make LCD/LEDs in bright sunlight possible. Pixel Qi’s status is still questionable. No one other than Notion Ink (which is still vaporware) has publicly stated it will use that screen — and even then, they curiously offer a model with a conventional LCD screen. Plus, Apple loves its IPS LED screen because it makes colors pop.

4) A smaller iPad would still weigh more than a Kindle. An iPad would most likely be the same size and weight as the Pandigital Novel, which also has a seven-inch screen:

Pandigital Novel: 7.5” x 5.5” x 0.5” – 16 oz

Barnes & Noble Nook: 7.7” x 4.9” x 0.5” – 12.1 oz

Amazon Kindle 3: 7.5” x 4.8” x 0.335” – 8.5-8.7oz

Sony Reader Touch: 6.9” x 4.8” x 0.4” – 10.1 oz

Kobo Reader: 7.24” x 4.72” x 0.393” – 7.795 oz

5) A smaller iPad will still cost more than a Kindle. This makes toting it around more of a financial risk.

6) A smaller iPad will be the New New Thing to steal. Theft anxiety is not conducive to relaxed reading in some public places.

7) A smaller iPad is likely to impact iPod Touch sales more than Kindle sales.

8) Amazon can always put the squeeze on its suppliers and further crush the price down from $139 for the WiFi version.

All that being said, everyday people are very fickle. They once paid $399 for a Kindle. If a seven-inch iPad came in at $299, people could make do with the limitations of an LED screen in bright sunlight (by sitting in the shade) and all the rest of the reasons I set out above. Especially that bit about theft risk — a $399 Kindle was a lot of money to wave around!

Plus, even if it didn’t wind up killing the Kindle device, it’d still outsell it at least twenty-to-one.

Meanwhile, Over At Tumblr …

… where I post because this blog is still waiting for Kittenageddon to end:

eBook Notes For August 7, 2010

Price Misperceptions: eBook Readers Versus iPod

And my utter humiliation and ruination and thorough defeat:

I Fought The Kindle — And Lost

Micro Fondle: Amazon Kindle DX Graphite

My final destination after micro-fondling both the Kobo Reader and the Sprint 4G HTC EVO phone was J&R, to get that damn thermal compound.

Walking into J&R, I was smacked in the face with a sign announcing one of their famous J&R Exclusives — they’re now selling the Amazon Kindle DX Graphite!

This is the latest model that has the allegedly higher-contrast Pearl eInk screen.

You know I wasn’t going to miss this. Despite the fact the eBook sales guy has seen me a lot — but has never seen me ever buy a device from him — he allowed me to give it a spin without any complaint.

Click = big

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Micro Fondle: Kobo Reader

This is the first of three micro fondle reports today. The other two are the Sprint 4G HTC EVO and the Amazon Kindle DX Graphite with new Pearl eInk screen.

I had to go to lower Manhattan today to buy some thermal compound. Since I made a point of also carrying the damn camera, I stopped in Borders to see if I could finally get a picture of the Kobo Reader.

Well, lo, there was a Borders rep with a live demo model I could try out!

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Barnes & Noble Is For Sale: Amazon Should Buy It

Barnes & Noble Goes on Block

Barnes & Noble Inc. has put itself up for sale, struggling amid a changing landscape for book sales.

The nation’s largest bookstore chain announced Tuesday that it was reviewing strategic alternatives and ways to boost shareholder value.

This is all about the money.

Sarah Weinman, who has covered the ongoing tale of Barnes & Noble, has an analysis of the intricacies and politics at work.

This news could not have come at a worse time for Barnes & Noble — right after Amazon’s trifecta of press announcements (eBook sales, the Kindle 3, and Larsson selling one million Kindle books).

People do not want uncertainty when it comes to spending money — especially in these straitened times. Hearing about Barnes & Noble being for sale brings to mind all other companies that were sold and became worse after the process. How many potential sales of the Nook will now be killed by this uncertainty?

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Get Over It: ePub Is Dead And HTML5 Wins

What Nixonland means for EPUB

Second, it marks Apple’s, and perhaps EPUB’s, path toward HTML5. It is no coincidence that the one non-complying piece of Nixonland is a tag from HTML5. Not an Apple proprietary extension, not a weird JavaScript, but part of the language that both Apple and Google have been heavily promoting for the last year or so. How long can it be before EPUB supports HTML5, EpubCheck validates HTML5, and Nixonland and other video-containing ebooks are legitimate entries in the iBookstore?

Apple joined the IDPF. Google and HP (Palm) are also members. So is Nokia.

iOs, Android, webOS, Symbian — all use the WebKit rendering engine. That’s four broad global mobile operating systems that basically define the walk-around go-anywhere Internet today.

With WebKit available, why would any of these companies agree to further the cause of ePub for eBooks?

Why would any of them agree to a spec that keeps changing and that has always — and will always be — behind the spec of the Internet itself?

Why would any of them agree that eBooks should be in the grip of one company — Adobe! — for its rendering engine (as well as DRM!)?

There is no plausible reason whatsoever for these big-footprint members of the IDPF to agree to the continuation of ePub.

ePub is going to be put to death. My own wish is that it will be a swift beheading so everyone can get on with their lives. My fear is that it will be a piece-by-piece dismantling that leaves eBooks in an absolute mess.

Whichever way it happens, ePub is just dead.

Amazon has won the war for eBooks that can use a purpose-built device.

Everyone else will go with HTML5 for eBooks.

And don’t forget: the Kindle 3 now has a WebKit-based browser inside.

Early Morning eBook Headaches

Wylie threatens broad digital expansion

Andrew Wylie, the literary agent whose exclusive deal with last week stunned the publishing world, has threatened a broad expansion of his digital publishing business to include up to 2,000 titles if traditional publishers refuse to improve digital royalties.

Odyssey Editions are priced at $9.99 right now.

If they put out 2,000 at $9.99, that’d be a library costing $19,980.00 to assemble.

$9.99 is too high a price for a backlist book no matter its prestige or past rarity. eBooks do away with the notion of rarity.

Prices must drop.

I think backlist titles should go for no more than $4.99 — at the high end.

And Jeff Bezos talks about the new Kindle — with its 4GB or internal storage — being able to carry 3,500 eBooks.

If those eBooks had an average selling price of $4,99, a Kindle could contain $17,465.00 worth of books inside.

So worrying about carrying around a $499.00 iPad when a Kindle could contain over $17K of books inside is sorta screwy to me.

And here’s another headache-inducing question: If a Kindle stuffed with thousands of books was stolen, what kind of torment would it be to have to redownload all that to a replacement Kindle?

And writer David Hewson with the ultimate eBook headache:

@mikecane Buying books for the Sony is a truly byzantine experience – more trouble than worthFri Jul 30 07:03:33 via HootSuite

Are There No BAD Amazon Customer Stories?

Found this Comment at a site that prefers not to be linked to:

I have a launch Kindle 2. I love the device for all of the same reasons that [another commenter] listed. I never had any problems with it until this past weekend. I turned on the 3G and hit the ‘sync/update’ option. I knew that it was going to download and install the newer 2.5 update (which added the long-needed ‘collections’ feature which allows you to arbitrarily group your books). Well it bricked the device. I’m not sure how it happened. I was well outside (~6 months) the 1 yr warranty. I called them up and they overnighted a brand-new K2 at no cost. (At least it looks brand-new, it could be a really well-preserved refurb). That kind of experience is why I really like Amazon and the Kindle.

Amazon thinks nothing of shipping out an expensive piece of hardware at the drop of a hat to satisfy a customer.

Meanwhile, Dell still dicks me around over a plastic part that was built wrongly.

Which company is serious about staying in business?

Amazon’s Scorched-Earth Win: $139 Kindle

Two articles cited within:

Kindle to Go ‘Mass Market’ Inc. plans to release a cheaper Kindle e-reader next month, said Chief Executive Jeff Bezos, laying out a strategy to go “mass market” with an inexpensive gadget designed to do just one thing: sell digital books from Amazon.

The new Kindle features a screen with increased gray-scale contrast, a battery that lasts for a month, and a slightly smaller size. It will come in two flavors: one with Wi-Fi and 3G Internet connections selling for $189, the other with Wi-Fi only for $139. The latter will be among the cheapest wireless-equipped e-readers on the market, at least for now.

Boldfaced emphasis added by me.

Wow. I think Barnes & Noble just got indigestion.

And Borders, with its very low-end USB-cable-syncing $149 Kobo Reader, just had a heart attack.

Over at Sony, it cannot be a good day (it’s just near 5PM for them in California as I type this).

Think about it! Last year at this time, one of these devices cost between $199 (Sony Pocket Reader) to $300 (Sony Reader Touch), which other entrants boasting of larger displays and prices nearing $500.

People marveled at the Kobo Reader coming in at $149 just a few months ago.

Now Amazon has just made a Kindle at half the price it used to be!

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Amazon, Customer Service, And Twitter

Had problem w refurb Kindle. Called AMZN & they are shipping out a replacement immediately. That is some pretty awesome CSMon Jul 26 13:57:29 via Osfoora HD

@jane_l What was the problem?Mon Jul 26 14:03:26 via Echofon

@mikecane scratch on the screen or something on the screen.Mon Jul 26 14:06:18 via Osfoora HD

@jane_l And you noticed after how much use?Mon Jul 26 14:07:55 via Echofon

@mikecane ah, recently? (a little shy of a month)Mon Jul 26 14:14:02 via Osfoora HD

@jane_l And now this will be a post!Mon Jul 26 14:16:41 via Echofon

@mikecane I’m glad I can serve a blog fodder for youMon Jul 26 14:20:51 via Osfoora HD