View Full Version : The "Kindle" iPod of reading - Newsweek scoops


Nate the great
11-18-2007, 08:12 AM
Newsweek apparently scored at least one interview (http://www.newsweek.com/id/70983) about the Kindle. Here are the juicy parts:

...the Kindle (named to evoke the crackling ignition of knowledge) has the dimensions of a paperback, with a tapering of its width that emulates the bulge toward a book's binding. It weighs but 10.3 ounces...
The design was deliberate.

The Kindle gets as many as 30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours.
If we can get an honest 20 hours out of it with the wireless, I'll be happy. But it's not good enough to get me to give up my PRS500.

In addition, the Kindle can venture out on the Web itself--to look up things in Wikipedia, search via Google or follow links from blogs and other Web pages. You can jot down a gloss on the page of the book you're reading, or capture passages with an electronic version of a highlight pen. And if you or a friend sends a word document or PDF file to your private Kindle e-mail address, it appears in your Kindle library, just as a book does. Though Bezos is reluctant to make the comparison, Amazon believes it has created the iPod of reading.

Some more Kindle details from the article:

6-inch E Ink screen
Price: $399
weighs 10.3 ounces
30 hours of reading on a charge, and recharges in two hours
has a "sleep mode"
built-in memory holds 200 e-books
allows searches within e-books
wireless capability through "Whispernet" (based on EVDO) which extends the Amazon store
"buying a book with a Kindle is a one-touch process."
Over 88'000 e-book titles will be available on launch
NYTimes bestsellers priced at $9.99
First chapter of almost any e-book for free
Available newspaper subscriptions: the Times, The Wall Street Journal, The Washington Post, Le Monde
Available magazine subscriptions: The Atlantic
Subscriptions to blogs also cost you something!
Lookup features for Wikipedia, Google Search
Private Kindle e-mail addresses to communicate with other Kindle users
Development of the Kindle began in 2004


I added some more details from the interview -- Alex

Nate the great
11-18-2007, 08:29 AM
:happydance::yahoo::celebrate::party4::rohard: :dtw::laughboom:

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 08:50 AM
I am also curious how Whispernet connectivity will influence the "30 hours of reading on a charge" statement.

Jeff Duntemann
11-18-2007, 09:29 AM
This could work, whether or not it is (as I think) ugly as sin. Much depends on what sort of DRM is built into the system, and who imposes the DRM: Amazon or the publishers. I've already made the promise to my readers: No DRM of any kind, ever.

On the other hand, it's still unclear what publishers will have to do (or more to the point, pay) to get titles into the store. That matters a great deal too.

$400 is a lot of money, so the public may not be as nuts about the damned thing as we gadget freaks are. Let's watch.

CommanderROR
11-18-2007, 09:42 AM
Well, I'd be totally nuts about htis device, but EVDO is coming up again and again and that makes it useless outside the US and also makes it seem more and more unlikely that I will ever get one here in Germany and be able to use it...

I still have a tiny glimmer of hope because
1) some of the whispernet references were found on the .uk site of amazon and
2) mobipocket books are already sold internationally

I hope we'll finally get some definite information tomorrow...I have the day off tomorrow so I should be able to follow everything closely...^^

HarryT
11-18-2007, 09:43 AM
This could work, whether or not it is (as I think) ugly as sin. Much depends on what sort of DRM is built into the system, and who imposes the DRM: Amazon or the publishers.

Given that Amazon own MobiPocket, it would be sensible to assume that Amazon will use Mobi DRM, which really isn't too "onerous" on anyone.

CommanderROR
11-18-2007, 09:45 AM
That little tidbit about it having "sleep mode" sounds good too... ;)

Jeff Duntemann
11-18-2007, 09:55 AM
So I guess the significant question for me is whether I (as a publisher) will be able to opt-out from Amazon's DRM technology and sell unencumbered books on the system.

TadW
11-18-2007, 09:59 AM
Given that Amazon own MobiPocket, it would be sensible to assume that Amazon will use Mobi DRM, which really isn't too "onerous" on anyone.

The question is will those Mobi e-books for the Kindle also work on other Mobipocket-capable devices? It's not difficult to imagine that Amazon added some kind of flag that would restrict an e-book to a specific device type. :rifle:

Barcey
11-18-2007, 10:02 AM
I have to admit when I saw the first pictures of the Kindle I thought that it was just a functional prototype and they were setting the bar really low so whatever they came out with would look better. I can't believe that they're actually releasing that design.

I keep reading comparisons between this and the iPod launch but can they not see how sexy the iPhone packaging is compared to this? People want functionality but they also want to impress when they pull out the device. The screen will impress but I don't think the average person can get past what they wrapped around it. The conspiracy voice in my head is saying that they are trying to make this fail so they can say they've thrown the whole power of Amazon behind it and people still don't want electronic books.

I really hope I'm wrong but I'm very disappointed if this is the final design. I had been so looking forward to this launch.

HarryT
11-18-2007, 10:05 AM
The conspiracy voice in my head is saying that they are trying to make this fail so they can say they've thrown the whole power of Amazon behind it and people still don't want electronic books.


They paid a LOT of money for MobiPocket; they must have had a good reason to spend all that money.

HarryT
11-18-2007, 10:07 AM
So I guess the significant question for me is whether I (as a publisher) will be able to opt-out from Amazon's DRM technology and sell unencumbered books on the system.

What formats are you currently selling your eBooks in?

JSWolf
11-18-2007, 10:07 AM
What I am wondering is if it is standard mobi format, can others purchase the books who do not have the Kindle.

TadW
11-18-2007, 10:18 AM
Jon, see my last questions four posts above ;)

Bob Russell
11-18-2007, 10:48 AM
Hmm. Lot's of potential ways they could stub their toe with the Kindle. They are trying to do a lot with it. And especially after seeing the pictures, I don't have a lot of confidence that it will have the comfortable feel of using a Sony Reader, and $399 is a lot to spend on something that might not work well. The first "real" reviews from tech sites will be very interesting.

Here are the features (beyond the basics) that sound really exciting to me:
# Over 88'000 e-book titles will be available on launch
# NYTimes bestsellers priced at $9.99
# First chapter of almost any e-book for free

Yay! First chapter free! Why didn't Sony Connect do this? All it does is increase sales and get people more familiar with the purchase process. And what could it possibly cost them, other than sales of books to a consumer that even want it after they see it? That can't be good at all, except for really bad authors.

TadW has a great point about the format. If they lock the MobiPocket format delivered over WhisperNet or WiFi to the Kindle only, that's a sad thing. Not as terrible if they can also read DRM'd mobipocket from other sources, but not great. I'd like to see how well it handles formats like txt, RTF, PDF, HTML (and ePub) also.

I have to ask... given the sort of things that the device does, is e-ink the best choice for display? I might have liked it with a nice backlighted LCD display, decent battery life, and zippy response.

Btw, my favorite quote from the article... "the e-book reader is coming of age".

But bottom line is always how it works when it is in your hands, so I'll certainly give it a chance in the meantime.

JSWolf
11-18-2007, 10:54 AM
One problem they might have is that unless it's available in shops where people can actually go and get a hands on with it, it may not sell all that well. Imaging spending $400 on an unknown item that all you get is a picture of and no ability have actually try it before you buy. I'd be leery of it if I was an average non-tech type person.

vivaldirules
11-18-2007, 11:00 AM
88,000 titles well exceeds what Mobipocket claims to have available right now (39,000) and far exceeds Sony's current 24,000 titles. If the new content becomes available soon in the current Mobipocket format and can be purchased to read on other ebook readers, you may want to watch this closely. :) Alas, those of us with Sony Readers will just have to sit back and hope this encourages Sony to catch up. :(

Goshzilla
11-18-2007, 11:04 AM
"Jot down a gloss" "highlighting?" Does this have a pen input? If it's a wacom style that would be so nice.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-18-2007, 11:16 AM
One problem they might have is that unless it's available in shops where people can actually go and get a hands on with it, it may not sell all that well. Imaging spending $400 on an unknown item that all you get is a picture of and no ability have actually try it before you buy. I'd be leery of it if I was an average non-tech type person.

Exactly my concern as well. Lack of access and demo-ability has kept many electronic devices from making it in the market. Store display units with no power, or locked up, are as hard to sell as no-display items. Unless these things start turning up at your local electronics stores, and maybe in the electronics sections of department and BigBox stores, and capable of being played with, how will they sell them to anyone but early adopter geeks?

And if the people who buy them don't show them off to their hordes of friends, who will buy after the geeks?

And another thing:

The design was deliberate.

Maybe so, but if it looks like the fugly dingus we've been staring at for the past year, the design isn't very good. (Yes, I'm getting frustrated by not seeing an up-to-date version!)

MMascaro
11-18-2007, 11:31 AM
Another interesting statement was..

And if you or a friend sends a word document or PDF file to your private Kindle e-mail address, it appears in your Kindle library, just as a book does.

This implies DOC as a file format also. And that may include pictures that the Sony's RTF does not do right now

da_jane
11-18-2007, 11:43 AM
Email to other Kindle users? Is that a joke? That's just not an incentive for me to buy the Kindle.

I'm convinced that publishers will make books available in all formats, not just the Kindle mobi-pocket one so if its library is 88,000, so will everyone else's in short time.

paulkbiba
11-18-2007, 11:44 AM
I don't see any mention of a charge, or lack of charge, for the EVDO connection. Is it included in the price of the machine? Paying $400 and then a monthly charge on top of that seems a bit much to me.

HarryT
11-18-2007, 11:48 AM
I don't see any mention of a charge, or lack of charge, for the EVDO connection. Is it included in the price of the machine? Paying $400 and then a monthly charge on top of that seems a bit much to me.

Nobody "knows" anything for sure yet - all we have are speculation and unsubstantiated rumour.

I think, however, that it's highly unlikely that any type of data transfer which uses mobile phone technology is going to be "free". People are happy to pay $400 for a mobile phone, and then pay a monthly subscription to use it. It is a proven business model.

yvanleterrible
11-18-2007, 11:56 AM
This could work, whether or not it is (as I think) ugly as sin. Much depends on what sort of DRM is built into the system, and who imposes the DRM: Amazon or the publishers. I've already made the promise to my readers: No DRM of any kind, ever.

On the other hand, it's still unclear what publishers will have to do (or more to the point, pay) to get titles into the store. That matters a great deal too.

$400 is a lot of money, so the public may not be as nuts about the damned thing as we gadget freaks are. Let's watch. As a publisher it is your choice when you deal with a distributor such as Amazon or Sony to provide your books with or without DRM. And prices could reflect the difference.

I am thankful to an author such as yourself to think of his readers as you do.:thumbsup:

wallcraft
11-18-2007, 12:38 PM
"Jot down a gloss" "highlighting?" Does this have a pen input? If it's a wacom style that would be so nice. The gloss is presumably via the keyboard. Where is goes (and highlighting) may be via the select wheel and cursor bar (to the right of the screen).

We have seen the device (and the associated manual), but not its software (and user's guide). The software is sounding very capable, but reviews from actual users will tell us for sure.

wallcraft
11-18-2007, 12:48 PM
The question is will those Mobi e-books for the Kindle also work on other Mobipocket-capable devices? It's not difficult to imagine that Amazon added some kind of flag that would restrict an e-book to a specific device type. They don't even have to add a flag. It is already possible to restrict a MOBI e-book to a single PID. The vendor can allow 1, 2 ,3, or 4 PIDs, and can allow them to be changed, by downloading the file again with new PIDs, or not.

If Amazon makes ~80,000 title available in MOBI format, that would be a huge advance in itself. I hope they allow 4 devices per e-book, and allow purchases without a Kindle. Even if they don't, there will still be price pressure on other e-book sellers and many of those MOBI titles will be available from other retailers.

kezza
11-18-2007, 01:03 PM
I have to admit when I saw the first pictures of the Kindle I thought that it was just a functional prototype and they were setting the bar really low so whatever they came out with would look better. I can't believe that they're actually releasing that design.

My thoughts, exactly. The ability to annotate books is really great, and a much-loved feature on my PDA reader (and much-missed on my Sony 505), but there has *got* to be a more attractive way to implement that keyboard. Your cry of conspiracy seems a bit steep, I can't imagine Amazon would waste this kind of money to prove a point.
Bezos has been known to exaggerate the importance of his pet projects, remember the hype he created for the Segway?

kezza
11-18-2007, 01:07 PM
People are happy to pay $400 for a mobile phone, and then pay a monthly subscription to use it. It is a proven business model.

Except it's not so proven in the ebook industry. If memory serves, the earliest ebook readers required a monthly subscription and direct-download via telephone cable plugged into the device, no computer required. Hopefully Amazon looked at the failures of those devices when developing their own direct-download ebook device and have come up with a better solution. Perhaps something like a "wireless tax" on each download, so cost is tied to usage.

HarryT
11-18-2007, 01:19 PM
But presumably the wireless method will not (I hope!) be the only download method. I don't see anything wrong with having an optional wireless download service for which there's a charge, as long as content can also be downloaded over the internet via a PC and transferred to the device that way.

Barcey
11-18-2007, 01:20 PM
Your cry of conspiracy seems a bit steep, I can't imagine Amazon would waste this kind of money to prove a point.
Bezos has been known to exaggerate the importance of his pet projects, remember the hype he created for the Segway?

I agree with you, that's my disappointment talking. I just can't believe that can't do better after they claim that they "needed a year to get it right". Mac didn't have Amazon's vast resources and he created the equivalent functionality on something that's 100 times more sexy.
http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16122

:grin2:

If they came out with that design for $399 I'd be telling everyone I know to buy it.

edsohsmith
11-18-2007, 01:31 PM
If the ultimate goal of Amazon.com is to sell as many ebooks as possible, wouldn't it make sense to allow other book readers, the iPhone and pda's to use ebooks sold on Amazon? I can't imagine Amazon has changed their business model from being a book seller to a electronic hardware seller.

Liviu_5
11-18-2007, 01:32 PM
Let's see what Amazon is going to do to emulate the "rip, mix, burn" slogan of Ipod with Kindle. That (and the cool factor) is what sells Ipods, not millions of songs in iTunes.

Without tons of free or very cheap content, Kindle will still remain a niche device. May sell twice or 5 times more as Sony but, to be the breakout envisioned will need to sell 100 times as much and that I doubt without the free content.

igorsk
11-18-2007, 01:37 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/id/70858

Alisa
11-18-2007, 01:59 PM
If the ultimate goal of Amazon.com is to sell as many ebooks as possible, wouldn't it make sense to allow other book readers, the iPhone and pda's to use ebooks sold on Amazon? I can't imagine Amazon has changed their business model from being a book seller to a electronic hardware seller.

I agree. I think the content is the big revenue generator. That's also why I'm surprised at the $400 price point. If you want to get people hooked into your content network, make the price of entry low. Even the drug dealer on the corner knows that much about marketing.

If I were running that show I'd also let Sony add mobi support shortly after this launch. I can see why they may not have wanted to before since they didn't want people committing to a Sony before they saw the Kindle package. I'm assuming the network offerings are a good portion of the revenue potential for this project. They want to get as many people as they can in that stream and if they've got a Sony Reader already, they're less likely to buy another pricey gadget for only incremental improvement. However, at the point people can choose a Kindle, there's no point in cutting out all those potential non-network readers from giving you money. JMHO.

kezza
11-18-2007, 02:00 PM
Let's see what Amazon is going to do to emulate the "rip, mix, burn" slogan of Ipod with Kindle. That (and the cool factor) is what sells Ipods, not millions of songs in iTunes.

Sort of. The iPod didn't really take off until they opened the iTunes store. Before that it was very much a niche product. It's also worth noting that while the hype around the iTunes store helped propel sales of the Gen3 iPod, the selection was pretty crappy for the first 6 months or so. If Amazon or Sony can prove the desirability of their stores to consumers, hopefully the publishers will follow and generate the positive feedback loop that made the iPod so popular.

mihalik
11-18-2007, 02:30 PM
Maybe this is already known but a search of Amazon books section for "kindle edition" yields 87,716 results. All listed as "Currently unavailable". That is pretty close to the 88,000 mentioned before.

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 02:39 PM
Maybe this is already known but a search of Amazon books section for "kindle edition" yields 87,716 results. All listed as "Currently unavailable". That is pretty close to the 88,000 mentioned before.

Great find! Here it says results: Books (88,203)

Correction: You're right, putting the search term in quotes returns 87,716 "unavailable" results.

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 02:44 PM
http://www.newsweek.com/id/70858

More here: Newsweek, November 26 cover, "Books Aren't Dead. (They're Just Going Digital.)" (http://sev.prnewswire.com/publishing-information-services/20071118/NYSU00818112007-1.html)

"This is the most important thing we've ever done," Bezos tells Senior Editor and Columnist Steven Levy, the first journalist to have access to the Kindle, in the current issue of Newsweek.

I am not saying that I am jealous. No, I'm not saying it. I am not. Not jealous. No. NO! :smash:

Everyone should get next week's Newsweek, I guess.

Liviu_5
11-18-2007, 02:45 PM
Sort of. The iPod didn't really take off until they opened the iTunes store. Before that it was very much a niche product. It's also worth noting that while the hype around the iTunes store helped propel sales of the Gen3 iPod, the selection was pretty crappy for the first 6 months or so. If Amazon or Sony can prove the desirability of their stores to consumers, hopefully the publishers will follow and generate the positive feedback loop that made the iPod so popular.

The statistics are clear. On an average iPod the digital bought content is about 5% the rest is ripped from cd's or other sources. Personally I think that at 400$ price tag there is no way Amazon will sell more than the Sony ball park of 100k a year (maybe 5 times but not more) unless there will be a lot of free or very cheap current content. Maybe newspapers will do the trick, though people are reading them on laptops, and while free wi-fi is spotty now, who knows what will be in 2-3 years.

Anyway, Kindle is great news since it pushes e-books to the forefront, and even if does not sell milions, a respectable mid hundred k's a year will keep it in business for a while.

TadW
11-18-2007, 02:50 PM
Someone should sneak in (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=97502) tomorrow and report directly via mobile to us :cool:

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 02:54 PM
Someone should sneak in (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=97502) tomorrow and report directly via mobile to us :cool:

Uhm, it's the other one, at Union Square (http://www.starwoodhotels.com/whotels/property/overview/index.html?propertyID=1299).

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 02:56 PM
Look at the cover of the Newsweek. ;)

vivaldirules
11-18-2007, 03:14 PM
...unless there will be a lot of free or very cheap current content.

I noticed a week or two ago the appearance of "Amazon Shorts" on their web site and bought and downloaded a $0.49 "short" by David McCullough available as a PDF just for kicks. I assume these are some of the cheap enticements which will soon likely increase in number and also be available in formats for the Kindle, too.

yvanleterrible
11-18-2007, 03:16 PM
Look at the cover of the Newsweek. ;)That looks pretty much like the Kindle. Drats! the design's almost the same.:disappoin

On the bright side it seems to be a paper mock up.

vivaldirules
11-18-2007, 03:23 PM
That looks pretty much like the Kindle. Drats! the design's almost the same.:disappoin

On the bright side it seems to be a paper mock up.

I don't get all this worry about how it looks. Is it really important? Surely most of you would agree that functionality and cost are critical, yes? If so, then everything else is minutia, yes? If it had to look like an Etch-a-Sketch to have all the functionality you wanted, wouldn't you rather it did so?

Hadrien
11-18-2007, 03:26 PM
Is there any high-resolution version of the cover available ? The Kindle does seem to look a bit better on the Newsweek cover...

Lucien21
11-18-2007, 03:28 PM
OMG that is a hideous device.

Alexander Turcic
11-18-2007, 03:29 PM
Is there any high-resolution version of the cover available ? The Kindle does seem to look a bit better on the Newsweek cover...

Me thinks there is. Ah yes, here (http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16215) :D

THJahar
11-18-2007, 03:33 PM
Look at the cover of the Newsweek. ;)

errrmm...i'm thinking that that cover is misleading as it's showing red text on the kindle.....hmmm, unless it is of course capable of showing colours?

kezza
11-18-2007, 03:37 PM
The Kindle does seem to look a bit better on the Newsweek cover...

Yeah, it does look a bit better than that prototype photo we've seen a million times, but it's still just way too big. One of the big benefits of the current crop of Readers is that they're really not much larger than the screen alone, and are very portable. I'm not sure the kindle would fit comfortably into any bag that I carry on a regular basis, so just like all my paper books it would stay at home.
And now I just have to vent: dedicated readers are great because they don't do anything but display books. They don't distract you with incoming messages, potential wikipedia searches, stores for browsing, etc. I'd rather use my computer to do all those things on a nice, full-color, fast display. And I don't like reading on my computer because there are so many distractions. It looks to me like the kindle is doing nothing very well, since it will be a sub-standard browsing and email device, and a sub-standard reader. Bleh.

Liviu_5
11-18-2007, 03:43 PM
I noticed a week or two ago the appearance of "Amazon Shorts" on their web site and bought and downloaded a $0.49 "short" by David McCullough available as a PDF just for kicks. I assume these are some of the cheap enticements which will soon likely increase in number and also be available in formats for the Kindle, too.

They had many Amazon shorts for a while. I bought 2 or 3 several years ago and they are still available in my digital locker in html form as opposed to the e-books I bought from them; however the value added was very small, not worth the 49c

nekokami
11-18-2007, 03:46 PM
I think they need to make the most of the space the keyboard takes up. E.g. by further enhancing their Amazon site services to include reader groups, something like DotReader.

kacir
11-18-2007, 03:59 PM
I've already made the promise to my readers: No DRM of any kind, ever.
This bold statement just caused me to look up your books on the net and add your SF novel to my "things I want to read in the future" list.

I think you will not have problem to sell DRM free books.
1. Reader visits your homepage and select the book
2. Reader pays via PayPal
3. Reader receives email from you to his Kindle email address.

NatCh
11-18-2007, 04:02 PM
3. Reader receives email from you to his Kindle email address.Aren't you the clever one! :grin:

kacir
11-18-2007, 04:07 PM
Receiving email directly to your Kindle is a great idea.
This could be the "backdoor" for importing your own stuff (in case Amazon insists you only read what you purchase in the Amazon store)

On the other hand, I wonder how long it will be until spammers eat up all the available memory on the Kindle ;-)

Barcey
11-18-2007, 04:15 PM
I just realized why it's like fingernails on a chalkboard to my eyes. It reminds me of the design of the original IBM PCJr with the chicklet keyboard. I've been conditioned like a lab rat to dislike it.
http://oldcomputers.net/ibm-pcjr.html

Now you know how old I am. I was wondering what happened to that design team though.

I must admit that the picture on Newsweek doesn't look as bad.

TadW
11-18-2007, 04:28 PM
Looks like while Newsweek scored the scoop today (and also will tomorrow), other folks are still under Amazon's press embargo:

So it is a bit ridiculous that Amazon.com (NSDQ: AMZN) has been trying to keep us from disclosing the details on its Kindle e-book device, while giving Newsweek a cover story two days before the launch. Then, pretty much decline our request to get some face-time with Bezos at the press conference on Monday in NYC (I know, we’re not Newsweek...). Also, the business side of our company has been under an NDA with Amazon, as our news feeds are part of the news section in the reader...while we will still honor that NDA and not disclose any other details (we haven’t, even in the two previous stories we did on it), the Newsweek story pretty much has it all, and more. Reinventing the book: sure. Reinventing PR: oh well...

http://www.paidcontent.org/entry/419-amazoncoms-kindle-book-reader-the-details/

yvanleterrible
11-18-2007, 05:31 PM
I don't get all this worry about how it looks. Is it really important? Surely most of you would agree that functionality and cost are critical, yes? If so, then everything else is minutia, yes? If it had to look like an Etch-a-Sketch to have all the functionality you wanted, wouldn't you rather it did so?Being in a design intensive field, I do care about looks, it can easily offend my senses of proportion. Same thing about cars, you can get from point A to B with any one but which model would you prefer? Don't tell me a PT Cruiser, I'll cry:tired:

THJahar
11-18-2007, 06:08 PM
errrmm...i'm thinking that that cover is misleading as it's showing red text on the kindle.....hmmm, unless it is of course capable of showing colours?

Seriously, am I the only one concerned about the mis-selling of the product by using a mocked up reader displaying red ink???
Surely the readers of newsweek are going to think that this thing displays colour, and they are not disavowed of this idea by the text of the article.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-18-2007, 06:12 PM
I don't get all this worry about how it looks. Is it really important? Surely most of you would agree that functionality and cost are critical, yes? If so, then everything else is minutia, yes? If it had to look like an Etch-a-Sketch to have all the functionality you wanted, wouldn't you rather it did so?

Sorry... it's important. The market says so. Show me how many ugly devices make it big in the market, and you'll have your answer.

As for Kindle... Survey says: Blaaat!!

(In fact, if they'd just ditched the keyboard...)

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-18-2007, 06:15 PM
Seriously, am I the only one concerned about the mis-selling of the product by using a mocked up reader displaying red ink???
Surely the readers of newsweek are going to think that this thing displays colour, and they are not disavowed of this idea by the text of the article.

I think you're right, it won't help at all. Let's face it: Kindle's ugly-factor will only go up when consumers realize it's a black-and-white only reader. Heck, even daily newspapers have color content now.

vivaldirules
11-18-2007, 06:16 PM
Well, seems crazy to me to care what it looks like. But who am I to judge? I've always driven ugly cars and worn ugly clothes, if you listen to what my friends say. I suppose style is important for something - I'm just not sure what!

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-18-2007, 06:21 PM
Well, usually you can get "ugly" for less money. However, that clearly doesn't apply in Kindle's case. (Bedump-bump!) Thanks, I'm here all week! Try the veal!...

tirsales
11-18-2007, 06:24 PM
Let me put it like this: I don't care about my look or my style or whatever.
But: If I have the choice between a device looking ugly as hell and a normal kind of device that doesn't make me run and scream if I look at it, I get the second one.
And: Most people *do* choose by the look. And the kindle is ugly, so ... making an ugly eReader is a bad decision ...

ashalan
11-18-2007, 06:30 PM
Ugly or not ... choosing white sure was a bad move ... I mean, this a device that you will hold in your hands for hours. Even if you wash your hands constantly, even if you bath them in some acid before touching the kindle ... skin tends to leave marks.

But then, after half a year of use it will not only be ugly but also dirty ... which might add some outlaw-rockstar-hillbilly-sexiness to it ... god knows :tipsy:

vivaldirules
11-18-2007, 06:36 PM
Ugly or not ... choosing white sure was a bad move

I can't help but notice how grey the screen looks next to that white cover. Sony's pick of black I think may have been a smarter idea. But then, that's coming from a guy who couldn't care if the cover was pink with purple polka dots!:)

CommanderROR
11-18-2007, 06:52 PM
I would have preferred a sexier device, and a black one too (I like black...) but i'll have to tell you, that if they start selling that thing in Germany tomorrow, I'll be right there and order it straight away.

I love Amazon, I've always been a happy customer there and only stopped shopping there regularly when I got the Iliad. Now I can buy mobipocket books anywhere, but to be able to browse Amazon.de (or Amazon.com if needs be) and just buy what I like would be...a little bit like heaven...call me mad if you like... ;)

Alisa
11-18-2007, 07:39 PM
While ultimately the function matters way more than the form to me, I don't see why it has to be ugly. Why not make something that is both functional and beautiful? I'd settle for at least not fugly. (Plus that white color actually is both an aesthetic and functional problem as others have already pointed out.) I want my world to be a beautiful place. I don't care much for trends and fashion but I do care about grace and harmony. The Sony Reader is dead sexy. The Cybook is at least sleek and actually quite charming in the leather cover. Amazon should set the bar a little higher. Many bibliophiles love the aesthetics of books and can be quite attached to that sensory experience of reading beyond the words on the page. If you want them to put down the paper, you should offer them something similarly intriguing.

modsoul
11-18-2007, 07:56 PM
I don't get all this worry about how it looks. Is it really important? Surely most of you would agree that functionality and cost are critical, yes? If so, then everything else is minutia, yes? If it had to look like an Etch-a-Sketch to have all the functionality you wanted, wouldn't you rather it did so?


nope. looks to me are just as if not more important. honestly i need a device that looks elegent if not cool to be able to use it in public.

would you date a super ugly girl who was super nice and super great in bed over a pretty one who wasn't so great in bed ?

Barcey
11-18-2007, 08:13 PM
I know lots of people that discard perfectly functional cell phones for the latest and greatest sexy phone. I was also reading that teens don't wear watches any more because they want to pull out their cell phones like a pocket watch to impress people.

I'm not that concerned about appearance but I think the mass market they're targeting are. When I pull out the reader in a coffee shop I don't want to feel like an 8 year old dropping his drawers in a locker room full of teenagers, staring at the floor and hoping nobody notices. Maybe a nice leather case that covers everything but the screen and page buttons will solve it. I do think the picture on the cover of Newsweek doesn't look that bad.

Panurge
11-18-2007, 08:46 PM
Two brief comments:
1. recently, pundits were convinced the new iPod Nano was ugly and couldn't believe Apple had actually designed such a device until they saw it in 3 dimensions, when it made sense;
and
2. e-book devices will begin to dominate when they are the norm in education, from high school (or even elementary school) to graduate school. The key is not to sell bestsellers on these devices but to get children accustomed to them from the beginning (and relieve them of carrying 30-40 pounds of books around in a backpack).
My modest comments, possibly altogether mistaken. But I have taught on the university level for 42 years and run a library, so I'm ready to go with the flow.

mogui
11-18-2007, 09:09 PM
would you date a super ugly girl who was super nice and super great in bed over a pretty one who wasn't so great in bed ?
Actually, yes :)

Beauty is only the honey-trap packaging. It is there to attract you and hold you long enough to procreate. Your feelings will change as your oxytocin level drops back to normal in any case. If you haven't become close friends by the time that happens, you will just have to start all over with someone else. The love hormone will only keep you high so long. Then you must have some combination of trust, friendship and great sex to keep it all going. Some couples can coast along on only one of the three.

We will all look like androgynous raisins in the end anyway.

tcv
11-18-2007, 09:17 PM
We could probably debate how much aesthetics plays or doesn't play into a buying decision all day, week, month, year, decade, etc.

I figure that since most companies spend a heck of a lot of money on research, mock-ups, and design they have data that shows it matters. I doubt that after all these years of product and industrial design we'd find out that everyone was wrong.

It doesn't mean that a company can't produce an ugly design, however. And it doesn't mean the design won't affect buying decisions.

Monteagle
11-18-2007, 10:04 PM
Will the $9.99 price be available to other ebook retailers and for other formats? It's about time the publishers made this price point available, but if discounts enjoyed aren't the same, then this is a clear violation of anti-trust legislation. Hope the publishers keep this in mind. Or does Amazon and the web remain above fair trade practices?

AnemicOak
11-18-2007, 10:08 PM
Will the $9.99 price be available to other ebook retailers and for other formats? It's about time the publishers made this price point available, but if discounts enjoyed aren't the same, then this is a clear violation of anti-trust legislation. Hope the publishers keep this in mind. Or does Amazon and the web remain above fair trade practices?

Reading the Newsweek article & the quote from the Penguin guy Amazon isn't getting any special discount from them & is likely offering the $9.99 price as a loss leader.

developerzero
11-18-2007, 10:24 PM
To be honest, I rather like the look of the device. I would prefer black or dark blue for the reasons already mentioned, but I otherwise think it looks pretty nice. However, I reserve final judgement for when I actually hold one in person. Of course, I look forward to this:
But if all goes well for Amazon, several years from now we'll see revamped Kindles, equipped with color screens and other features, selling for much less.

Now I just hope that Sony will release a firmware update for the PRS-500 & -505 that adds support for .mobi (and .epub). (Yeah, I know, wishful thinking. Oh well, I'll probably switch to a black, color-screened kindle in a couple years, and use some freeware program to rip apart the DRM of any books I buy from Connect between now and then. Screw the DMCA.)

Oh, BTW, where the heck does it say anything about Wi-Fi? All I see is EVDO, Whispernet, EVDO, Sprint, EVDO. I don't see one mention of Wi-Fi anywhere in the article.

Nate the great
11-18-2007, 10:28 PM
No Wifi so far. The EVDO cost could be a killer.

nekokami
11-18-2007, 10:36 PM
I really don't think it's that ugly. But then, I usually buy based on function. White seems like an unfortunate choice, for the fingerprints factor, but other than that, I don't see the big deal. There will probably be some kind of form-fitting cover available, anyway.

But I think it was shameful for Newsweek to imply that the screen can display color.

joblack
11-18-2007, 11:20 PM
the device looks kind of cheap ...

Charbax
11-18-2007, 11:29 PM
I think it looks awesome.

- The EVDO connection should be Free, since the EVDO provider simply can sign a deal with Amazon to share the revenue. But there could be some per-MB unlock price if you want to download large files that aren´t part of some of the content payments networks.

- I hope it’ll read any type of open text format, reading any blogs as well as auto-downloading blogs, maybe even doing somekind of ringing noise when there is a new RSS item or email. And I hope one can read any email, not only Kindle emails, also Google Books, Google Blogs, Google News should work on this. Forums like mobileread.com should be reformated to be read on this.

- There should be some type of audiobook text synchronisation, so if someone wants to listen to the audiobook and have the pages scrolling automatically, with a pointer showing on the side of the screen if the user clicks on a function botton. Or to continue listening to the audio-book using headphones if the user is moving for example while walking between the park and the subway, and then moving back to reading when confortably seated in the subway. This could be automated with speech-to-text technology and an online database to synch the audiobook with the book.

- USB host or bluetooth connection to a full sized foldable keyboard should be possible to input text at full speed setting this up on a table with a kickstand or a leather case that can hold it up.

Barcey
11-18-2007, 11:42 PM
Great find! Here it says results: Books (88,203)

Correction: You're right, putting the search term in quotes returns 87,716 "unavailable" results.

Alas the same search of "Kindle Edition" on www.amazon.ca gives 0 hits so it would appear this is going to be a USA only launch.

afiggatt
11-19-2007, 12:20 AM
I have a Sony Reader 505 unit. It will be interesting to see the details on what the Kindle can do and what formats it supports. With the wifi connection and the newspaper downloads, this is going after a different market and use. But my initial reaction is that the 6" screen is too small for reading newspaper or magazine type reading. I want to be able to see more of the article, the photos accompanying the article or skin multiple articles quickly. A 6" screen is just not going to do a good job of replicating the feel/experience of reading a newspaper or magazine.

With the chiclet keyboard, the Kindle is more in line with the Iliad than the Sony Reader. I would be more interested in the Kindle if it had the 8" or 9.7" EInk screen, but then they would presumably have to raise the price to the Iliad price range. Maybe in a couple of years, we will have improved and faster EInk type displays with 10" screens for < $300. Now that will be fun.

talaivan
11-19-2007, 12:23 AM
The Sony 505 is a beautifully designed device, but I couldn't tell that from the pictures. It has the same finished, thought-out feel as most of Apple's products. The pictures of the Kindle look as ugly as its name. Maybe the real device will be different from what the pictures seem to show (just like the new iPod nano, as someone remarked). Somehow, I don't think that will happen.

coffee
11-19-2007, 04:03 AM
http://amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_i_5?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=kindle&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Akindle%2Ci%3Aelectronics

Giving me 5 items, all of which are "Currently Unavailable." (One of which is in the $200-$499 price range.) Looks like it's about to go live.

petermillard
11-19-2007, 04:51 AM
A bit late coming to this thread (been away) but...

One problem they might have is that unless it's available in shops where people can actually go and get a hands on with it, it may not sell all that well. Imaging spending $400 on an unknown item that all you get is a picture of and no ability have actually try it before you buy. I'd be leery of it if I was an average non-tech type person.

But that's exactly the situation that many (most??) potential eBook buyers (i.e. those outside the US) are in right now!:disappoin

As for the Kindle looks, it doesn't appeal to me, but my kids quite liked it in a retro kind of way - so maybe it will have some appeal to high-school or university students. Looks aren't everything (a 2lb lump hammer isn't going to win a beauty contest) and as long as it's functional and robust it'll do the job. Maybe it will look better in the flesh - but unless folks can get their hands on it I suspect they won't buy from the pictures alone.

I'm curious though, about how they'll justify the price point - more than both the Cybook and Sony readers - and as an aside, are e-ink refresh rates good enough for the Kindle to be used as an mobile email reader? I was just thinking that if you had 20-odd emails to plough through, the delay between page turns could get to be a pain in the neck - as well as a drain on battery life.

Still, look forward to reading the hands-on review - any time you're ready gents!

Cheers, Pete.

Alexander Turcic
11-19-2007, 05:30 AM
http://amazon.com/s/ref=sr_nr_i_5?ie=UTF8&rs=&keywords=kindle&rh=i%3Aaps%2Ck%3Akindle%2Ci%3Aelectronics

Giving me 5 items, all of which are "Currently Unavailable." (One of which is in the $200-$499 price range.) Looks like it's about to go live.

Look here: http://www.mobileread.com/forums/showthread.php?t=16229

The 5 items are:

Amazon Kindle
Amazon Kindle USB Cable
Amazon Kindle Battery
Amazon Kindle Power Adapter
Amazon Kindle Book Cover

tirsales
11-19-2007, 05:38 AM
As for the Kindle looks, it doesn't appeal to me, but my kids quite liked it in a retro kind of way - so maybe it will have some appeal to high-school or university students.
Well, speaking as a university student, I think, that the Kindle is ugly and that Amazon's design team would have had quite a number of difficulties to design an even more ugly device.

astra
11-19-2007, 07:06 AM
kezza
dedicated readers are great because they don't do anything but display books. They don't distract you with incoming messages, potential wikipedia searches, stores for browsing, etc. I'd rather use my computer to do all those things on a nice, full-color, fast display. And I don't like reading on my computer because there are so many distractions. It looks to me like the kindle is doing nothing very well, since it will be a sub-standard browsing and email device, and a sub-standard reader. Bleh.


I agree with that.

mogui
would you date a super ugly girl who was super nice and super great in bed over a pretty one who wasn't so great in bed ?
Actually, yes
Beauty is only the honey-trap packaging. It is there to attract you and hold you long enough to procreate. Your feelings will change as your oxytocin level drops back to normal in any case. If you haven't become close friends by the time that happens, you will just have to start all over with someone else. The love hormone will only keep you high so long. Then you must have some combination of trust, friendship and great sex to keep it all going.

You are absolutely right.
But there is one but...one needs to learn about combination of trust, friendship and great sex , however if the interface is ugly...one will never learn about its features.

astra
11-19-2007, 07:17 AM
2. e-book devices will begin to dominate when they are the norm in education, from high school (or even elementary school) to graduate school. The key is not to sell bestsellers on these devices but to get children accustomed to them from the beginning (and relieve them of carrying 30-40 pounds of books around in a backpack).

I see it as a problem right now.
When I bought my reader, I showed it to 3 full time IT tutors in a college. 2 of them are hardware/networking guys and the third one is lady who is teaching VB. The lady is reading a lot of books and always traveling with some paperbacks. They were interested in the device until they learned the price of £250. They said: What? So expensive for a device that allows you to read books? And you still have to pay for content? No way. The lady said: when I travel, I can always exchange books I have finished to read for other books. Wherever I stay there are always a few bookshelves where people leave paperback books they finished to read and may take a few to continue my journey. All of this almost for free because all I have to pay is for the few paperback books I have at the beginning of my journey.

If I could not convince IT tutors in the convenience of eInk reading device, I don't see how it will be possible in the near future, say 5 years at least to convince anyone else in the education.

mogui
11-19-2007, 07:40 AM
mogui
You are absolutely right.
But there is one but...one needs to learn about combination of trust, friendship and great sex , however if the interface is ugly...one will never learn about its features.
I concur with your statement that the combination is important. There are a lot of crippled relationships hopping about on only one or two legs. And there are many quality relationships that somehow got started regardless of the "ergonomics of the interface".
:grin2:

ymabh
11-19-2007, 07:49 AM
My Sony Portable Reader (PRS 505) is a great travel companion. It does not replace old fashioned books. It will be interesting to see how the Kindle develops and how many of its features will be available when traveling outside the US.

Lemurion
11-19-2007, 08:46 AM
I'm hoping to get a PRS 505-- had been considering the Kindle but it doesn't seem to have anything that will really make it worth an extra $100 over the Sony. $199 would have been a much better price.

(I think Bookeen and Amazon both have something to learn about taking over the market. You don't try to displace an existing market leader (Sony) by only offering more expensive products. Somebody should try to come in at $199 or $250 rather than $350-400.)

silvania
11-19-2007, 08:55 AM
They paid a LOT of money for MobiPocket; they must have had a good reason to spend all that money.

Haha, you must not have worked for a big company before ;)

In the 1980's AT&T shut down their wireless division because they saw no money in cell phones. Of course 10 years later everybody was buying cell phones, so they spent billions to buy a company to get back into the cell market, when AT&T themselves had developed a huge chunk of the underlying technology.

Amazon is no AT&T and I do expect this to run some kind of version of Mobi. It will be to Amazon's credit if it is the standard version of mobi that can read content from any mobi retailer.

If it is a "fixed" version that requires the book be sold by Amazon, then I think they are going down the same road that Gemstar (and now Sony) went down. Gemstar was a disaster. Sony is already leaking that they are very dissappointed in their ereader sales so I believe they will dump their reader within 12 to 18 months.

Amazon may face the same fate a couple of years from now if they make the same mistake of closing off their system to other retailers.

The only thing that gives me hope is that Amazon did not stop other retailers from selling mobi when they acquired mobi. Also, Amazon does allow many other merchants to sell off the amazon store, so they may be open minded about this.

We should know in a few hours.

JSWolf
11-19-2007, 08:56 AM
The Kindle is real. I just saw it on Good Morning America on ABC network. They said it is going on sale today.

igorsk
11-19-2007, 09:16 AM
Sony is already leaking that they are very dissappointed in their ereader sales so I believe they will dump their reader within 12 to 18 months.
I don't remember reading this. Do you have a source?

AnemicOak
11-19-2007, 11:26 AM
Sony is already leaking that they are very dissappointed in their ereader sales so I believe they will dump their reader within 12 to 18 months.

First I've heard of it. Everything I've seen officially is that they are quite happy with how it has done so far.

kezza
11-19-2007, 11:35 AM
as an aside, are e-ink refresh rates good enough for the Kindle to be used as an mobile email reader? I was just thinking that if you had 20-odd emails to plough through, the delay between page turns could get to be a pain in the neck - as well as a drain on battery life.

Well put. I was thinking the same thing - I can't fathom trying to scroll through emails or surf the web on something that takes nearly 2 seconds to refresh the screen. Ooof. :knife:

yvanleterrible
11-19-2007, 11:37 AM
I don't get all this worry about how it looks. Is it really important? Surely most of you would agree that functionality and cost are critical, yes? If so, then everything else is minutia, yes? If it had to look like an Etch-a-Sketch to have all the functionality you wanted, wouldn't you rather it did so? Okay, I chose cars to display a visual sense of design because I thought a 'universal' symbol would reach you. I was wrong. Lets say I chose something closer to you. Lets say a comparison between Vivaldi's and Britney Spears' music, wouldn't you say a minimal decorum of esthetism is important? Wouldn't you want to carve out your ears if you were subjected to hours of confrontation with that kind of discrepancy in tastes? Being mostly visual, a bad composition turns me off in a big way, did you get a little feel of what I mean.
The design of the Kindle is purely 'functional' meant to simplify the job for the guy who built the molds, period. As a furniture builder and designer, my job has me purposefully looking for the grace of a sweeping curve, a soft shape, shade, a unity with environment. This constant search can not be turned off, it touches every thing I see.
Oh! I've got it! One who reads and craves only the best of poetry and happens to write it too, would he like the way I just wrote?

yvanleterrible
11-19-2007, 11:40 AM
The Kindle is real. I just saw it on Good Morning America on ABC network. They said it is going on sale today.
:laugh4: Now Jon, you have to be more precise than that! Pfew! Got my breathing back...:laugh4:

Alisa
11-19-2007, 11:41 AM
Well put. I was thinking the same thing - I can't fathom trying to scroll through emails or surf the web on something that takes nearly 2 seconds to refresh the screen. Ooof. :knife:

I don't think this is necessarily intended to be an email reader as most of us use them. It has it's own email account so you can send documents to it. I don't think you can set it up to check other email accounts. I suppose you could try using the Kindle email as your personal mail but I doubt you can set up other mail clients to pick up mail from the Kindle account so it probably wouldn't be a choice many folks would make.

JSWolf
11-19-2007, 11:43 AM
:laugh4: Now Jon, you have to be more precise than that! Pfew! Got my breathing back...:laugh4:
The best thing Good Morning America did was have on their coffee table a pile of random (looked random to me) books. And saying that you can fit them all onto the Kindle was a good idea. Not just a few hardcovers (like Sony shows) and then saying they all fit.

yvanleterrible
11-19-2007, 11:46 AM
I don't think this is necessarily intended to be an email reader as most of us use them. It has it's own email account so you can send documents to it. I don't think you can set it up to check other email accounts. I suppose you could try using the Kindle email as your personal mail but I doubt you can set up other mail clients to pick up mail from the Kindle account so it probably wouldn't be a choice many folks would make.

Good intuition. Maybe the Kindle is so slow that it would clog up the servers if books were directly downloaded. Instead they just mail books you bought to your address on a bigger server where there are no slow hackable transactions.

da_jane
11-19-2007, 11:47 AM
Do you think that Levy got the Penguin guy's name wrong. The CEO of Penguin is David Shanks, not Peter Shanks.

Nyago123
11-19-2007, 01:24 PM
Reading the Newsweek article & the quote from the Penguin guy Amazon isn't getting any special discount from them & is likely offering the $9.99 price as a loss leader.

If that's true, IMO Amazon has made a mistake. They should sell the Kindle as a loss leader, and make money on the content. :knife: It's not something that's "cool" like an iPod, and Amazon is already set up better on the content distribution side than Apple ever was (and I still resist polluting my PC with iTunes to this day).

Aside from that (and assuming no one actually pirates eBooks from torrents or Usenet ;) ) I think the Kindle is a smart concept because it focuses more on content... so it'd be worth $399 to me if only the eBooks were cheaper... maybe $9.99 for new releases is not too bad, but for anything I would otherwise read in paperback, gotta be less than $5. Additionally, I'd want to feel that I'd be able to get the eBooks I want for the foreseeable future.

In that case, I don't mind DRM (though not a fan of it at all), though I wouldn't want not to be able to read my own PDF files as well.

NatCh
11-19-2007, 01:29 PM
Sony is already leaking that they are very dissappointed in their ereader sales so I believe they will dump their reader within 12 to 18 months.I suppose that's why they just brought out a new model. :wink:

Seriously, though, if you've got a source for this I'd love to see it, as everything I've seen is pretty firmly contrary to that statement. :shrug:

Beau
11-19-2007, 02:34 PM
I hadn't really thought about it, but on another blog, the question was posed: Would Amazon try to have "exclusive rights" to publishing content.

They've contacted some publishers who say "NO". They are implying that Amazon is going to have an Amazon specific DRM though...

http://dearauthor.com/wordpress/2007/11/19/no-kindle-exclusivity-for-harlequin-readers/

Don't know if they have any real info to back that up.

NatCh
11-19-2007, 03:07 PM
That's da_jane's blog -- the reasons she thinks that have been discussed some here too, and I think there may be something to it, it depends on some details we don't have yet. :shrug:

jgrnt1
11-19-2007, 03:36 PM
I went to Amazon and was greeted by a welcome letter describing the Kindle. If you click on the link in the letter, the Kindle shows as in stock and available. There are a bunch of photos, too. Also -- "No monthly wireless bills, service plans, or commitments—we take care of the wireless delivery so you can simply click, buy, and read. Does anybody want to buy an iLiad? :)

da_jane
11-19-2007, 03:40 PM
I've contacted Harlequin, S&S, Random House, HarperCollins and Penguin. (not St. Martin or Tor because they don't do ebooks). Oh, I should email Warner. But the first four publishers I listed returned my emails and said no exclusive content for Kindle which makes me happy because I am not buying a Kindle.

nathantw
11-19-2007, 04:46 PM
I see it as a problem right now.
When I bought my reader, I showed it to 3 full time IT tutors in a college. 2 of them are hardware/networking guys and the third one is lady who is teaching VB.
(snip)
They said: What? So expensive for a device that allows you to read books? And you still have to pay for content? No way. The lady said: when I travel, I


You need to remember these are people who probably have limited funds so everything over $100 is expensive, especially if they see it as a luxury. People who have a lot of disposable income look at the device and say "oh, is it more convenient for me? I'll buy it then." Those that don't watch every penny and will bypass anything that cost money if they can get it for free. They'd sacrifice convenience over spending money any day. I speak with experience.

nathantw
11-19-2007, 04:57 PM
Sony is already leaking that they are very dissappointed in their ereader sales so I believe they will dump their reader within 12 to 18 months.


You must be thinking of a different company. Sony has a reputation of supporting their product even if it's been considered "discontinued" for YEARS. For example, I bet you can still buy Beta tapes from Sony. They support their technology longer than some companies stay in business. I don't see them dropping the Reader support any time soon, especially since the new model was just released.

Look at the Playstation 3 for crying out loud. Most companies would have folded by now with their dismal sales. Instead they did whatever they could to get the PS3 business model working. I bet you've seen a commercial for the Playstation 3 on television (if you watch it) at least once.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-19-2007, 05:27 PM
I've contacted Harlequin, S&S, Random House, HarperCollins and Penguin. (not St. Martin or Tor because they don't do ebooks). Oh, I should email Warner. But the first four publishers I listed returned my emails and said no exclusive content for Kindle which makes me happy because I am not buying a Kindle.

I can get behind that. I don't have a problem making my books available for the Kindle, but I wouldn't make it an exclusive deal.

Edit: Amazon's agreement does not suggest that you are entering into an exclusive contract with them at all, so you are free to sell your e-books elsewhere. The rest of the agreement is fairly standard:

1. Amazon will do what it wants;
2. Amazon is not liable for anything it does;
3. You can't do anything about it.
4. Etc.

kezza
11-19-2007, 06:29 PM
I've contacted Harlequin, S&S, Random House, HarperCollins and Penguin. (not St. Martin or Tor because they don't do ebooks). Oh, I should email Warner. But the first four publishers I listed returned my emails and said no exclusive content for Kindle which makes me happy because I am not buying a Kindle.

Oh, that is such good news! It affirms my initial hopes, that this would just bring more publishers on board with ebooks, which is good for everybody. Sony has a lot of muscle, so it shouldn't be long before some of these books make it to Connect, and after that Mobi and eReader couldn't be too far behind. Even if the Kindle isn't the next iPod, it's probably going to expand the ebook industry considerably. :2thumbsup

da_jane
11-19-2007, 06:47 PM
One more update, I heard back from Hachette Publishing and they aren't going to be offering exclusive content to Amazon. Apparently, the only publisher so far that has exclusive Amazon content is Wiley.

yvanleterrible
11-19-2007, 09:13 PM
One more update, I heard back from Hachette Publishing and they aren't going to be offering exclusive content to Amazon. Apparently, the only publisher so far that has exclusive Amazon content is Wiley.Hachette is French and so is Mobi. Coincidence?

mogui
11-20-2007, 12:10 AM
Here it is: http://www.amazon.com/Kindle-Amazons-Wireless-Reading-Device/dp/B000FI73MA/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=electronics&qid=1195529815&sr=1-5
And it is beautiful -- just like the Atari!

They sell a battery for US$19.99. This means you can change it yourself. You can carry a spare!

The EVDO (not WiFi) is free to use for the consumer. No more being tied to your computer!

Best sellers are US$9.99. Top that Sony!

Download newspapers and magazines. Getcher magazines here!

They have a forum. Learn everything here (http://kindletalk.com/)!

Want to know more? The manuals are here (http://kindletalk.com/topic_show.pl?tid=17)!

Kindle will be hard to beat. Is it worth the wait?

Vienna01
11-20-2007, 12:45 AM
Seems Amazon created a SYSTEM not just hardware & a store. If I did not have a 500, I would buy a Kindle.
Sony will have to improve if they expect to stay in the game- Pricing,features and access to books in store. Sony might have to drastically reduce reader price to sell against Kindle.If Sony does the deal with Adobe on shared format and DRM so that folks can get book loans through their local library to read on a SONY, that would give them a plus but it could cannibalize book sales.

astra
11-20-2007, 08:20 AM
Seems Amazon created a SYSTEM not just hardware & a store. If I did not have a 500, I would buy a Kindle.
Sony will have to improve if they expect to stay in the game- Pricing,features and access to books in store. Sony might have to drastically reduce reader price to sell against Kindle.If Sony does the deal with Adobe on shared format and DRM so that folks can get book loans through their local library to read on a SONY, that would give them a plus but it could cannibalize book sales.

I believe they will ditch reader sooner or...yet more sooner.
I don't believe anyone has a chance to beat amazon with their content prices and availabilyty of content.

nathantw
11-21-2007, 02:10 PM
You are aware that Sony is partnered with Borders and that Borders is going to part ways with Amazon, right? Why in the world would Sony drop the Reader if they have Borders to help on the book offerings? I know Sony is shortsighted when it comes to some business decisions, but I've never seen them give up the ghost without a fight. They're not going to drop the PRS-505 just because some competitor has a reader. It's not like Sony is some fly-by-night company where all profits are hinged on one product. They can take it to Amazon the same way they ended up taking a huge chunk of the pie on VHS back in the day and more recently LCD televisions once they became committed. Remember, Sony was committed to Beta (and still are) and when they realized they couldn't compete with consumer VHS they brought out their own VHS model and dominated. They weren't committed to LCD flat panel televisions until they found the market for their tube televisions drying up. Once they realized what was going on they grabbed the bull by the horns and now make some of the best LCD televisions on the market. Do you seriously believe that Sony won't do the same with their Reader?

Amazon, on the other hand, has a track record of abandoning their users and their products if it isn't profitable. If the Kindle's interest fades after the initial buzz, let's see how long the unit lasts on the market.

Sit back and watch the battle. It's just beginning.

Zoot
11-21-2007, 03:13 PM
Sony is a gadget company getting into selling books as a sideline. Amazon is a book company getting into selling gadgets as a sideline. Between the two if what you're worried about is quality and continuity of content then I think I might put my money on Amazon. Not that either's survival in this market is something I'd bet a lot on.

Z.

TallMomof2
11-21-2007, 03:23 PM
Sony is first and foremost a business that makes a profit. If the Reader becomes unprofitable they will eventually drop it just like the Clie. I loved the Clie and finally switched to Palm after Sony stopped selling them in the US and they became hard to find.

AnemicOak
11-21-2007, 03:31 PM
Sony is first and foremost a business that makes a profit.

I'd think Amazon is trying to make a profit too, they're certainly not a charity. ;)

astra
11-22-2007, 05:25 AM
I'd think Amazon is trying to make a profit too, they're certainly not a charity. ;)

Yup, you are right.

That's why Sony is going to loose this market. Because Amazon is going to attract all the customers/money.

HarryT
11-22-2007, 09:22 AM
Amazon were already the leading eBook seller due to their ownership of MobiPocket.

astra
11-22-2007, 09:26 AM
Amazon were already the leading eBook seller due to their ownership of MobiPocket.

Well, I would say they had only some sort of fee from other bookshops who sold mobipocket books. By releasing Kindle and locking it on its own store all the profit is going right in to their pocket.

dugbug
11-22-2007, 10:08 AM
You are aware that Sony is partnered with Borders and that Borders is going to part ways with Amazon

Seeing that ebook sales are largely meaningless to the bottom line of all three involved (amazon, borders, sony) I doubt there will be any fireworks or concerns from Amazon over kindle. This is strictly a niche market at the moment.

It would get interesting if Borders decides to answer kindle and simply adopt the sony unit rather than their current half-hearted "oh yeah, we sell that" attitude, or perhaps the publishers begin to feel threatened by the kindle store similar to the music industry fretting over iTunes.

In either case, the kindle has already (IMHO) overwhelmed the sony in sales, mindshare, and potential. Come 2008 you may be looking at the kindle and another category called "others". Not fair probably, but a MONSTER book site pushes this thing opposed to a tiny sony experiment that nobody but us has ever really heard about.

Had this debate happend a few weeks ago when we had that... "thing" in the FCC photo I would have rolled on the floor at the thought.

-d

jasonkchapman
11-22-2007, 02:06 PM
Sony is a gadget company getting into selling books as a sideline.

Not exactly. These days, a good 20% of their revenue is derived from being a media company, as well. They have the contacts and the expertise to make a go of it, if they so choose. Besides, Apple was a computer company before they became a music distributor/gadget maker. I wouldn't count anyone out, just yet.

Steven Lyle Jordan
11-26-2007, 01:35 PM
In either case, the kindle has already (IMHO) overwhelmed the sony in sales, mindshare, and potential.

I don't know about sales, but certainly having Newsweek cover stories, News.com announcements and featured promotion on the front page of Amazon.com is giving Kindle the kind of exposure that the Sony reader should have used to catch the public's attention. If Kindle outdistances the Sony significantly, promotion will be the reason, even more than features.

tsgreer
11-26-2007, 01:43 PM
I don't know about sales, but certainly having Newsweek cover stories, News.com announcements and featured promotion on the front page of Amazon.com is giving Kindle the kind of exposure that the Sony reader should have used to catch the public's attention. If Kindle outdistances the Sony significantly, promotion will be the reason, even more than features.

Case in point: I was at Taco Bell and some came up and asked me if what I was reading on was "that Amazon ebook thingy" I said yeah and he sat down and I was showing him the different features.

I never had that happen with my Sony Reader. The promotion of the Kindle is making many regular people recognize an ebook reader for the first time...

silvania
11-30-2007, 09:06 AM
Amazon were already the leading eBook seller due to their ownership of MobiPocket.

Harry,

This is simply not true. If you purely want to talk about ebook content (not hardware or software), many other ebook sellers outsell mobi, including ereader.com, fictionwise.com, ellora's cave, and possibly also ebooks.com. Amazon was never even in the top 3 of ebook sellers in the english language, even when they had a big tab on their books page for ebooks and edocs (that was before they took over mobi).

For all the hype, Sony only made it into the top 3 for a brief period of time after they released their reader. And the only reason they made it that far was because they were giving away a $50 content credit with every device sold last year. Once all those $50 credits got used, they fell out of the top 5 again.

The small privately held companies, whose only business is ebooks, have always dominated. I don't see kindle changing that, either, long term. Once the initial hype has died down it will be like sony: they'll pop up in the rankings for a quarter or two then slide back down into oblivion.