View Full Version : Amazon Kindle "this spring" for "above $400"


Alexander Turcic
04-19-2007, 05:39 AM
It seems like ages ago when we first laid our eyes (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=7569) on the retro hotness that is the Amazon "Kindle" device, but now it has finally made its way into the hands of a few select publishers, and the first comments sound remarkably positive. From Publishers Weekly (http://publishersweekly.com/article/CA6434732.html):

According to publishers who have seen the player, the reader is a step up from the Sony Reader which was introduced last year. The screen quality is reportedly as sharp as Sony, but the Amazon device has better functionality, and, as should be expected from the e-tailer, a first rate e-commerce option. Amazon is expected to release the reader this spring, although the exact timing may depend on how fast it can develop a critical mass of titles. Two years ago, Amazon acquired Mobipocket—the company’s cross-platform e-book reader is designed to run on all PCs, handheld devices and mobile phones—and it is using that company to supply titles for the player. Price is expected to be above $400.
There are a few interesting bits to point out: First, the Kindle will indeed have some kind of online functionality for direct e-book purchase (the word is EV-DO cellular data). Second, the expected release date is this spring, which is, uh, now. Third, the Kindle will use the Mobipocket reader software, which is not a surprise given that Amazon still needs a way to justify their acquisition of Mobipocket in 2005. And forth, the price mentioned is way above what we expected (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8776).

Now it's time for Sony to step up and show us what's up their sleeve. Didn't Howard Stringer mention (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9305) a new Reader (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=9417) with wireless capabilities? Then, of course, the real question is, do we need any more features for an e-book reader?

[via TeleRead (http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=6454)]

Related: E-Book Reader Matrix (http://wiki.mobileread.com/wiki/E-book_Reader_Matrix), Leaked FCC specs (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=8111)

yvanleterrible
04-19-2007, 08:21 AM
If we consider the fact that it does more than the PRS with that keyboard, that it had wifi capabilities in that prototype we first spied, I think it's only natural to expect the price shown.
But that design is atrocious; it's dead in the egg. Anyone who lives in a western type of life with access to television will be offended. We have been formed and accustomed to beautiful design by every media and object around us. It should be expected that any new object follow in the actual trend of visual taste.
Lets wait for the actual introduction to judge.

TadW
04-19-2007, 08:26 AM
Retro hotness? :rolleyes2: I say it's a prototype case.

NatCh
04-19-2007, 08:44 AM
I think someone else said "fugly." :grin:

Azayzel
04-19-2007, 09:24 AM
Yeah, I think it's pretty darn ugly and smells a little of the Librie design. Shame on you Amazon for not hiring competent designers! If Apple gets wind of this, they jump on the bandwagon and have an iReader before you know it!

As to the "additional features"... I think this is really a moot point, just make an eReader that delivers good screen realestate (I can't spell!!!), minimal power consumption, excellent contrast ratio, and an eBook delivery system that doesn't smell of week old fish. No one really needs all these other features in a book, that's what a PDA is for. How many paperback & hard cover books do you know of that can access the Internet or have keyboards built-in to them? Not many I know, and I'm not one for marking up books either. Some people may like this feature, but I'd better opt for a bluetooth keyboard that is only there when you need it and uses as little juice as possible.

Doh! Guess I just gave up a little IP, gotta stop doing this! Who wants to get together and design a truly innovative eReader that has all we want in it?

Leaping Gnome
04-19-2007, 09:25 AM
I think someone else said "fugly." :grin:

Whoever it was, I agree.

My desire for wireless in the Sony Reader is way below my desire for a clock. If I had to make a list of changes I would make, wireless would not be in one of the top 10 spots. If they do put it in I really hope they make it easy to turn on and off.

Bob Russell
04-19-2007, 09:43 AM
I'd be completely shocked and amazed if the Kindle is rolled out to consumers looking like the pictures we've seen. At the very least it will look better than the picture does. Even another color would help!

RWood
04-19-2007, 09:53 AM
Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?

wallcraft
04-19-2007, 09:55 AM
First, the Kindle will indeed have some kind of online functionality for direct e-book purchase (the word is EV-DO cellular data). This is an improvement over the Sony Reader in that it is not tied to a Windows PC.

I am in two minds about the keyboard. If you want decent on-line capability (even if just for buying books) and search/dictionary capability then a keyboard is the way to go. On the other hand, 99.999% of the time on the device will be spent reading, when the keyboard is irrelevent.

It appears that Amazon has thought outside the box on what an e-book reader should be. They may have got it all wrong, but lets at least get some hands on time before declaring it (brain) dead.

TadW
04-19-2007, 10:03 AM
Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?Good question. Amazon lawyers pulled the information from the FCC page, but I don't see it anywhere reemerged.

slayda
04-19-2007, 10:07 AM
I'd be completely shocked and amazed if the Kindle is rolled out to consumers looking like the pictures we've seen. At the very least it will look better than the picture does. Even another color would help!

I'll be totally shocked & amazed if it comes out this spring. Fairly amazed if this year. :rolleyes5

NatCh
04-19-2007, 10:54 AM
Does anyone know if the FCC approved the device?Good question. Amazon lawyers pulled the information from the FCC page, but I don't see it anywhere reemerged.I doubt if it would be listed under the same name, and after the last time, I expect that Amazon would make the FCC put it somewhere less ... public than where it was before. :grin:

CommanderROR
04-19-2007, 11:06 AM
The thing that could really make this one stand out is that it has Amazon behind it.
I don't think they'll leave the design the way it was presented in those FCC files, and if they really want to make this a succcess they'll provide plenty of ebooks...^^

The problem for me with this device (just like the Sony reader) is that it will probably not be available in Europe...at least not this decade...so I won#t get my hands on one...real pity...

yvanleterrible
04-19-2007, 11:09 AM
That machine as it is looks like a perfect study aid.

NatCh
04-19-2007, 11:15 AM
'til you want to pick it up, sure. :laugh4:

TadW
04-19-2007, 11:40 AM
I doubt if it would be listed under the same name, and after the last time, I expect that Amazon would make the FCC put it somewhere less ... public than where it was before. :grin:
True true. So let's try to find the new listing via http://search.fcc.gov/ ;)

Btw, if you look at the manuals,

http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showpost.php?p=37735&postcount=28

the photos of the device are in a rather bad quality. Perhaps one more sign that it's just a dummy or template.

nekokami
04-19-2007, 11:53 AM
I agree that it's a dummy. It's made of that prototype plastic. It'll be interesting to see what the final product looks like. I think it'll be matte black with a variety of cool cases to customize it, though I wouldn't rule out some kind of brushed silver surface.

I never used to write in my books, but I've been re-reading Paolini's Eldest on my iLiad and making margin notes, and it's addictive. The idea that I can write on the book AND keep it pristine at the same time (by deleting the notes or restoring to an unmarked version or whatever) is very attractive. Now I just want a better tool that will let me search for and organize the notes, e.g. dotReader.

The sheer marketing power of Amazon will contribute to the success of this product, even if it does come out looking as fugly as the picture. US$400 seems like a lot for a reader, but if that price includes some kind of subscription to the Amazon content, look out. I'm happy with my iLiad, but a lot of people would take a reader that just gave you a choice of nearly everything in the Amazon catalog. (Yes, today there are not ebook versions of everything in the Amazon catalog, but look at the "make this book an ebook" link on each entry at Amazon, and I think you can see that Amazon is interested in turning up the pressure on publishers to provide digital versions of their works.)

TadW
04-19-2007, 11:57 AM
Maybe it's time to officially open doors for a Amazon Kindle forum section? I am sure there'll be more talk about it soon... :bulb:

Alexander Turcic
04-19-2007, 12:06 PM
Maybe it's time to officially open doors for a Amazon Kindle forum section? I am sure there'll be more talk about it soon... :bulb:
Well, we don't even know yet how it looks...

yvanleterrible
04-19-2007, 12:08 PM
Maybe it's time to officially open doors for a Amazon Kindle forum section? I am sure there'll be more talk about it soon... :bulb:
Good idea!


Hey! Amazon...talk to us...you could find good friends here!

NatCh
04-19-2007, 12:26 PM
True true. So let's try to find the new listing via http://search.fcc.gov/ ;)Speaking of fugly, that search portal is slower than day old gravy. :snore:

Steven Lyle Jordan
04-19-2007, 12:43 PM
The sheer marketing power of Amazon will contribute to the success of this product, even if it does come out looking as fugly as the picture. US$400 seems like a lot for a reader, but if that price includes some kind of subscription to the Amazon content, look out.

Just as long as you have access to that content once the subscription lapses. If a lost subscription means lost content, F-- it.

sic
04-19-2007, 01:22 PM
400$ is too much for an ebook reader.
You can get a new low end laptop for around 600$.
Most people who've seen me reading on my SONY liked the idea but thought the price was too high... I have to agree with them.
An avergae person does not spend 400$ on books in a year, not even in 2 years...
books are not like music, an ebook reader won't become a fashion item like an iPod...
I think manufacturers in this price range should go after specialized markets e.g. try to replace college textbooks

--- just my two cents worth

chef
04-20-2007, 02:20 AM
Isn't the files submitted to the FCC the way these pictures were leaked? If there is still talk about this product, it must have passed the FCC regs.

TadW
04-20-2007, 04:19 AM
Isn't the files submitted to the FCC the way these pictures were leaked? If there is still talk about this product, it must have passed the FCC regs.
Agreed and this is why I think the details should be somewhere burried in the FCC page. Alas, the FCC search function is wretched (as Nat correctly pointed out).