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Old 01-29-2008, 05:14 PM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Kindle scores high in Disrupt-O-Meter test

If you compare the Amazon Kindle and the Sony Reader using the Innosight Disrupt-O-Meter (which shows how disruptive various technological developments may be to the market, at least in theory), both score well above the halfway mark. But the Kindle scores better, and here is why:

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The device itself is nothing new, but the Kindle publishing platform, harnessing Amazon's distribution power, has the potential to disrupt the way digital content is distributed and produced. Always-on, high-speed wireless, subsidized by subscription fees, allows ease of use for customers buying books or subscribing to magazines, newspapers or blogs. Also, Kindle's easy-to-use publishing platform is open to any content provider who wants to offer something for sale.
Of course we knew all along that Whispernet and Digital Text Platform are two killer features, but do you think they are enough for the Kindle to gain a stronger foothold and bump the older, once-better technology p-paper into oblivion?

Related: Amazon Kindle - driving lots of traffic to Amazon
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:39 PM   #2
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Interesting article. So what do owners of both the Kindle and Sony Reader think of on Mobile Read ?
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Old 01-29-2008, 08:47 PM   #3
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I think they nailed it pretty well. But I don't think there's any of fear of paper books going away anytime soon.

The Kindle has a very "ipod" like quality to it. It's not that it's the first there, and it's not that it is necessarily the best - but for the first time the average user can easily use and find a lot of content for. And it's gotten the public's attention and excitement.

What's working against it, however, is Amazon not being able to remotely keep up with demand. That works well for game systems, but I'm afraid they'll lose some important momentum due to lack of availability.
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Old 01-30-2008, 09:43 AM   #4
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Whispernet is only a killer feature in you happen to live in the USA, so they're not likely to take over the world quite yet!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:10 AM   #5
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Originally Posted by carandol View Post
Whispernet is only a killer feature in you happen to live in the USA, so they're not likely to take over the world quite yet!
But look at it this way. Even if you are not a Kindle fan, Sony and all the other competitors are bound to start including wifi in their own readers just to compete.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:22 AM   #6
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Interesting item in the Teleread blog today: "Discussion in the jkOnTheRun blog area over the kind of E Ink the Kindle is using—apparently not the second-gen Vizplex variety found on the Sony PRS-505." I wonder how that will affect love of Kindle once a comparison can be made.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:25 AM   #7
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But look at it this way. Even if you are not a Kindle fan, Sony and all the other competitors are bound to start including wifi in their own readers just to compete.
I hope they don't. Or at least they do 2 flavours, with and without. I don't need it and I don't need it to affect a size of the reader let alone fugly keyboards and shorter battery life.
Sony, if you hear me, please don't do it!
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:36 AM   #8
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Of course we knew all along that Whispernet and Digital Text Platform are two killer features, but do you think they are enough for the Kindle to gain a stronger foothold and bump the older, once-better technology p-paper into oblivion?
*sigh*

I really wish folks would stop saying things like "bump p-paper into oblivion". Paper isn't going away. Paper books aren't going away. Treating ebooks and paper books as "one or the other" instead of "both" just muddies the emotional waters and obscures the issues.

What's next? "Death to the p-book infidels!"? "eInk and no quarter!"?
Sheesh...
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:42 AM   #9
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But look at it this way. Even if you are not a Kindle fan, Sony and all the other competitors are bound to start including wifi in their own readers just to compete.
Main problem in the UK is that unless you live in a big city, wifi hotspots are few and far between -- you can't exactly download a book wherever you are. Not much point selling a reader with wifi if there's no network to connect to. I guess it could be done with cellphone technology, but that would make for a different sort of reader, I guess.
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Old 01-30-2008, 10:48 AM   #10
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Interesting item in the Teleread blog today: "Discussion in the jkOnTheRun blog area over the kind of E Ink the Kindle is using—apparently not the second-gen Vizplex variety found on the Sony PRS-505." I wonder how that will affect love of Kindle once a comparison can be made.
there is a lot of misinformation out there. Do not believe everything you read. The display is the same but the controller driving the display is older (only 4 gray levels instead of Sony's 8).

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:12 AM   #11
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As nice as the Kindle service may be, I think the one thing keeping it from "taking the market" is the expensive and ungainly-looking reader itself. I've mentioned elsewhere that the Kindle seems like a proof-of-concept or prototype device. If someone manages to create a truly attractive device, especially at a cheaper form factor (or at least better usability with aesthetics), I can see major "disruption" coming on.

Similarly, if Amazon opens up the Kindle system to other hardware, reader-emulators and other wireless access methods, I see disruption aplenty.

And speaking of Forbes' Disrupt-o-meter: I'm not sure I agree with all of their points. For instance, it states that Sony's reader and Connect store lack differentiation from the competition, and I disagree there: Sony's reader is by far more attractive than the other hardware out there, costs significantly less than its closest competitors, and has major brand recognition backing it up. The claim that Kindle's business model "might make it susceptible to competition from Apple" is highly speculative, and I don't see how that makes it a more disruptive influence.

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Old 01-30-2008, 11:35 AM   #12
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The second thing I saw that impressed me is the new Sony Reader. I must admit that the legibility of the e-Ink screen was much better than that of the Kindle and I can see this working even in the low lighting areas in my house. I was also taken with how much smaller that Reader is compared to the Kindle and while there is no option for purchasing ebooks from the device like the Kindle can do it is a very nice ebook reader.
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Old 01-30-2008, 11:38 AM   #13
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As nice as the Kindle service may be, I think the one thing keeping it from "taking the market" is the expensive and ungainly-looking reader itself. I've mentioned elsewhere that the Kindle seems like a proof-of-concept or prototype device. If someone manages to create a truly attractive device, especially at a cheaper form factor (or at least better usability with aesthetics), I can see major "disruption" coming on.

Similarly, if Amazon opens up the Kindle system to other hardware, reader-emulators and other wireless access methods, I see disruption aplenty.

And speaking of Forbes' Disrupt-o-meter: I'm not sure I agree with all of their points. For instance, it states that Sony's reader and Connect store lack differentiation from the competition, and I disagree there: Sony's reader is by far more attractive than the other hardware out there, costs significantly less than its closest competitors, and has major brand recognition backing it up. The claim that Kindle's business model "might make it susceptible to competition from Apple" is highly speculative, and I don't see how that makes it a more disruptive influence.
What would work very well is an add-on module for the Sony that gives a keyboard and wifi that can be removed so we have the sleek design we have now when the keyboard and wifi are not needed.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:07 PM   #14
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The first-gen Kindle strikes me as being more of a Diamond Rio PMP300 than an iPod. It's a strong proof of concept, but at the same time, it's really clunky.

I'm looking forward to the next generation Kindle, as well as Sony's response to it.
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Old 01-30-2008, 12:36 PM   #15
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I agree that the Kindle, as a device, is pretty bad looking and I was sure that I would dislike using it for that reason alone. But since I got it a month ago the looks have become irrelevant: I am looking at the text I am reading, not the device. Looks and allure are, to be sure, important, but the Kindle's appearance has had little effect on its utility and that is what is crucial. Of course, I use a MotoQ and have for almost 2 years, and as you all know it is certainly no beauty either.
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