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Old 09-05-2007, 11:55 PM   #1
Liviu_5
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NY Times new article on ebooks / Amazon Kindle

Highlights: Kindle - October; Google full access books - fall

Here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/te...=1&oref=slogin
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:11 AM   #2
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Liviu_5 View Post
Highlights: Kindle - October; Google full access books - fall

Here:

http://www.nytimes.com/2007/09/06/te...=1&oref=slogin
So is the Kindle going to be a deal breaker for the Cybook Gen3?
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:37 AM   #3
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It probably depends on what "$400-$500" translates into in real-world money. It also depends on what "proprietary format" really means--just Mobipocket, or some Kindle-specific variation? It also depends on whether they are going to rig things so that only the Kindle can access the store.

Since the originally-rumored $50 price tag isn't happening, I'm guessing the store is going to be accessible without the Kindle, because they're not trying to recoup device costs from content sales. That means the store could succeed regardless of what happens with the device.

For me, wireless, Web browser, and keyboard are just useless features that push the price well out of "average joe" range.
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:46 AM   #4
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Yup. I'm glad I didn't wait for the Kindle. It's trying to be an "all-in-one" device - like the Iliad. I just want a reader.
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Old 09-06-2007, 07:30 AM   #5
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Well... I don't understand why Amazon is including Wifi and a keyboard either. A simple device priced around 200$ would be much more attractive for a mass market target. Early adopters might use the Wifi/Keyboard duo, but for most people, this is pretty useless. Amazon should reconsider this whole situation, maybe release 2 devices instead of a single one if they really need to sell a more advanced reader.
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Old 09-06-2007, 08:50 AM   #6
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Well, they could be taking the Apple iPhone approach, the high price for early adopters then a price cut just before (or after) the holidays.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:43 AM   #7
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Quote:
...Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005
Looks like they're just using the standard Mobipocket format. This should be a huge boost for Mobipocket, and if the Kindle thrives, it may pave the way for more publishers looking to Mobipocket. These are all good things, imo.

I wonder if it looks the same as those pics we've seen back in the day. Since they claim it has a keyboard, I'm betting it's going to be that same big, fugly thing.
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Old 09-06-2007, 09:52 AM   #8
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As I read the NYTimes article I was amused at their discussion of the Kindle's advantages, because from what I can see the iLiad already has them. Some choice excerpts:

Quote:
Several people who have seen the Kindle say this is where the device’s central innovation lies — in its ability to download books and periodicals, and browse the Web, without connecting to a computer.
But with the work on Minimo and the new Feedbooks program from Adam, Hadrien, and others, the iLiad will soon be able to do just that!

Quote:
Some also complain about the fact that Amazon is using a proprietary e-book format from Mobipocket, a French company that Amazon bought in 2005, instead of supporting the open e-book standard backed by most major publishers and high-tech companies like Adobe. That means owners of other digital book devices, like the Sony Reader, will not be able to use books purchased on Amazon.com.
Ah, but with the iLiad, you CAN read Mobipocket books...

On the one hand, I agree that the keyboard and scroll wheel seem superfluous. On the other hand, how will you browse the web without a keyboard, if you don't have a stylus? Personally, I think a stylus makes web browsing much more convenient than a scroll wheel can. Maybe I'm just biased.

Actually, I think that such a feature-heavy device will not appeal to the basic user who just wants to read a book on the go. For simple e-book reading, elegance and convenience are the most important. As much as I love my iLiad, I think the device that will contribute the most to ebooks' future will be the Sony Reader.

The news that both Amazon and Google are getting into e-books is very promising for the expansion of the current library of available e-books, both from them and from other publishers. Anything that means I can get more e-books is a good thing to me! The article expresses some pessimism that e-books will catch on, but in my opinion, their past failure has always been due to two problems:
  1. Very few titles available electronically
  2. Poor reading aesthetic of LCD screens.
E-Ink already solved #2. With luck, Amazon and Google will soon solve #1.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:46 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Hadrien View Post
Well... I don't understand why Amazon is including Wifi and a keyboard either.
In the original FCC filing (discussed in the thread Amazon E Ink reader?, which includes links to the manual), the "wireless" was EDVO cell phone network connectivity, not WiFi. This may have changed, since WiFi is becoming more popular, but you don't need WiFi's potentially higher bandwidth for most e-books.
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Old 09-06-2007, 12:48 PM   #10
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EVDO generally has a subscription/service cost associated with using it too, doesn't it?
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:00 PM   #11
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I assume Amazon is going to buy capacity from existing cell phone providers, but I have no idea how this will be paid for (subscription, bundled in the price of the downloaded content, etcetera).
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:02 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Adam B. View Post
Looks like they're just using the standard Mobipocket format. This should be a huge boost for Mobipocket, and if the Kindle thrives, it may pave the way for more publishers looking to Mobipocket. These are all good things, imo.
Very much so. I've said it before and I'll say it again: MobiPocket rapidly appears to be becoming the dominant format for commercial eBooks. With the muscle of Amazon behind it, it can only thrive.

I'll be interesting to see what happens to formats like Sony's "LRX" DRM format in the future. Wonder if we'll see a future Sony Reader supporting MobiPocket?
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:27 PM   #13
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Kindle - too much, too late!!
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Old 09-06-2007, 01:51 PM   #14
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Old 09-06-2007, 06:02 PM   #15
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I recently discovered the joy of making notes in an e-book, using eReader and Mobipocket on my Treo, and exporting them to a memo--it's wonderful for book groups. I never wrote in dead-tree books and I hate reading used books that someone has written in, but note-taking in Mobipocket/eReader is fantastic. I have been salivating at the prospect of a Cybook Gen3, but I would be sad to give up that ability. If the Kindle has e-ink AND note-taking abilities as well as wireless book purchases, I might be swayed over; but if it's that fugly thing they keep showing on Engadget, I might sway right back over to the Cybook again. Amazon can't possibly think that people would pay $400 for that horrible thing, could they?
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