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Old 11-15-2007, 09:59 PM   #1
NatCh
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Post CNET Pre-Announces Amazon Kindle Launch

CNET goes out on a limb and pre-announces Amazon's announcement of a Kindle launch, but did they take along a saw?

MobileReader Studio717 has pointed out that CNET is reporting that they have word from "an industry source" that Amazon will announce their long awaited Kindle Reader on Monday, November 19th, at the W Hotel in New York.

Attached to this report are a few details, mostly not new to us, but still interesting:
Quote:
The Kindle is equipped with a Wi-Fi connection that taps into an Amazon e-book store, which users can access to purchase new electronic books--and Amazon has reportedly signed onto a deal with Sprint for EVDO access. Additionally, the device comes with a headphone jack for audiobooks, as well as an e-mail address.
...
The Kindle may also lack a backlight. Instead, it comes with a small reading light attached to an adjustable arm.
There's also some word on the presumed delays in the launch, as well as some all too scanty comments about the hot topics of offerings and delivery:
Quote:
The industry source said Amazon experienced setbacks in the process, but attributed them in part to natural difficulties that a retailer would experience when expanding into the hardware business. One of the foremost challenges, the source added, was battery power.

But an even bigger problem was reportedly getting publishers onboard. Amazon wanted to have the biggest e-book catalog of any reader available, the source explained, to give it an advantage over other e-book readers and services that are already on the market.

The company is also said to have forged agreements with somewhere between 50 and 100 newspaper publishers, in addition to the daily New York Times and Wall Street Journal features. Kindle owners are expected to be able to select from a long list of publications for automatic download.

"The hardware isn't necessarily what's important," said Richard Shim, an analyst with IDC. "It's the delivery mechanism for the content. That's where Amazon has a major advantage. They have a huge repository and huge track record of selling content. They also have customers who keep coming back to them. One of the things that companies have neglected in the past is developing an e-book store where you can get the content and use the leverage to get the publishers to get content into a digital format."
I'm hoping they're more right about what little they're saying about the Kindle than they are on their "filling-out" comments toward the end of the article about the Sony Reader:
Quote:
Sony unveiled the second edition of its Sony Reader device in October. The original Reader, released in September 2006, proved to be a bust [links to their own story about how the Sony device was a bust in their opinion]. For the Reader's Version 2.0, Sony maintained the Reader's $300 price tag [dropped it $50, actually), the storage capacity (160 "typical" books [that's double the PRS-500's capacity, in fact]), and the battery life (7,500 "page turns" [one out of three ain't ... totally bogus]), but improved the device's speed and navigation features and slimmed the hardware down [okay, two out of four].
Unfortunately, there's still no answer in sight to the most burning question: Is it still fugly? Maybe will know the answer to that in four more days.

So what do y'all think? Genuine inside info, or just more rumors and speculation?



Full source.
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:18 PM   #2
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this of course is interesting and great news. But the crucial detail is missing: when will it be for sale?
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Old 11-15-2007, 10:49 PM   #3
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Heck, I'll settle for a actual comment of any sort from Amazon at this point. I expect they'll tell us when it'll be for sale once they finally admit that it exists.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:07 PM   #4
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Since we are back into the wild speculation mode again, here is the trademark description of the Kindle:

Quote:
Portable electronic device for receiving and reading text and images and sound through wireless Internet access and for displaying electronically published materials, namely, books, journals, newspapers, magazines, multimedia presentations; computer hardware and software in the field of text, image and sound transmission and display.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:22 PM   #5
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The "between 50 and 100 newspaper publishers" thing is a big deal if it's so.
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Old 11-15-2007, 11:49 PM   #6
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Well, I don't care much about wireless or even newspapers but anything that makes more content available in e-form is a good thing. Just hope that long suffering image was a decoy. That thing as shown is big and ugly.
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Old 11-16-2007, 01:22 AM   #7
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Amazon has reportedly signed onto a deal with Sprint for EVDO access. Additionally, the device comes with a headphone jack for audiobooks, as well as an e-mail address.
So, in other words, just like with the iPod and Apple's infamous deal with AT&T (or whatever money leeching phone company it was) that device will probably a. force you to enter a contract with the phone company (Sprint), b. make the device officially unavailable outside the USA (until somebody cracks the firmware) ??
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Old 11-16-2007, 02:12 AM   #8
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If they want to sell many Kindles they might do a version with just wi-fi and a possibility to use existing wi-fi networks to connect to the amazon store.
Then I would be pretty intrested, specially if someone hacked it and made it possible to dll books from like a ftp server. (access to my personal e-book library from all over the world is nice )
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:31 AM   #9
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Originally Posted by ashalan View Post
So, in other words, just like with the iPod and Apple's infamous deal with AT&T (or whatever money leeching phone company it was) that device will probably a. force you to enter a contract with the phone company (Sprint), b. make the device officially unavailable outside the USA (until somebody cracks the firmware) ??
Never mind "officially" unavailable - it would make it unavailable from a technical point of view. EVDO is CDMA technology - most of the world uses GSM phone networks on which EVDO will not work.
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Old 11-16-2007, 03:34 AM   #10
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Gizmodo's Brian Lam also received word about the immediate launch of the Kindle reader.

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A source in content creation has informed me that the Reader is coming on Monday or Tuesday, just in time for the holiday season. Information was limited, but apparently "a dozen media partners" were to be involved with launch, which implies non-book providers.
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Old 11-16-2007, 05:52 AM   #11
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Is it still fugly?

Since I first saw a picture of it, I thought did they really intend it to be so awkwardly repulsive. Ugly I can put up with if it is functional. I am unsure whether a mini-keyboard is the best option, but I am open to argument.

I look forward to see the release version. In the end if it functions well it will soon enough be seen as a thing of beauty.
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:48 AM   #12
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Do we know the cost of the Kindle?
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:53 AM   #13
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CNET says $399 (as you could've read in the article).
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Old 11-16-2007, 06:55 AM   #14
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It would be great if it is true. The story seems to hang together, and the arguments make sense. For Amazon, the timing is about right -- if I can order it from their website on Monday and it turns up a day or two later then it makes the Christmas/Festive season. But that would mean boxes sitting in the warehouse now, and I've not noticed any rumours at all on that.

As for the appearance, I wonder if the pictures released were deliberately of a less than beautiful device to make the real product look good?
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Old 11-16-2007, 07:04 AM   #15
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more rants on teleread
http://www.teleread.org/blog/?p=7649#comment-626127
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