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Old 01-20-2008, 08:48 AM   #1
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Whispernet is a luxury

If I had a choice, I would rather not have whispernet at all or paid for the whispernet on a per usage basis....instead of having unlimited usage built into the cost of the device.

They could have built wifi into the device for internet access.

The Kindle probably would have cost $200 if the whispernet were optional.

The question is whether the convenience factor of whispernet as compared to wifi is worth $200. And don't forget that you will probably upgrade every 3 years on average at the least. so you are actually paying $200 more everytime you upgrade the kindle reader.

I have internet access through my blackberry, home wifi network...etc. I only turn on the whispernet when I want to download a sample or buy a book. but usually i research the book using my laptop or desktop first.

I think there are people who want whispernet....so it is a nice option. although they might not have the economies of scale to make it an optional feature.
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Old 01-20-2008, 08:58 AM   #2
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I think you're grossly over-estimating its cost. The EVDO chipset that the Kindle uses probably costs well under $10. The screen is the main cost - a 6" eInk screen costs something of the order of $250 from the manufacturer and probably accounts for at least $300 of the Kindle's $400 price-tag. You cannot currently build a 6" eInk device which retails for $200.

It may have knocked $10-20 off the price of the Kindle not to have had EVDO. Are you really that bothered about that amount?
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:25 AM   #3
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I think you're grossly over-estimating its cost. The EVDO chipset that the Kindle uses probably costs well under $10. The screen is the main cost - a 6" eInk screen costs something of the order of $250 from the manufacturer and probably accounts for at least $300 of the Kindle's $400 price-tag. You cannot currently build a 6" eInk device which retails for $200.

It may have knocked $10-20 off the price of the Kindle not to have had EVDO. Are you really that bothered about that amount?
you are forgetting about the service cost of the EVDO. that's what i was talking about. the cellular data service cost.

also, the sony reader is sold retail.....whereas the kindle sells directly from amazon. thus, all else equal, amazon could make the same profit at a lower price point.
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Old 01-20-2008, 10:30 AM   #4
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you are forgetting about the service cost of the EVDO. that's what i was talking about. the cellular data service cost.
I very much suspect that's taken from Amazon's profit margin on the books, rather than from the up-front price of the Kindle.
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Old 01-20-2008, 02:11 PM   #5
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I wouldn't be surprised if there's a one-time registration fee for each device on the Sprint network, too. It's probably only a few bucks. People make such a big deal out the wireless internet browsing. These are mostly people who haven't tried it. It's fantastic for getting content and hair-pullingly frustrating for anything else. They have no need to charge for web browsing yet bc there's not much you're going to want to do with this thing besides get content. Now if Kindle-friendly websites start popping up, that may change. I doubt they will be that attractive anyway since access to the rest of the web is pretty darned slow. I'm thinking it's throttled because I have Sprint EVDO on my smartphone and it's WAY faster. For now, the dime-per-dowload charge is easy to just build into whatever you buy.

Is it a luxury? Not really. It's a nice convenience and an interesting model for single-purpose network access that could work for many kinds of devices.
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Old 01-21-2008, 07:56 PM   #6
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I beg to differ. I think the market does not need another Sony reader. In fact, the built-in EVDO network is exactly the reason I ditched my Sony reader. If you don't like it, you can always buy the sony reader. And I suspect that they will ever come up with a sans-evdo kindle since it seems that their strategy is center around the whispernet.

On the other hand, I speculate that Amazon may get a excellent deal out of Sprint considering that they are in deep water right now. Going forward, I can even imagine that Amazon/Sprint's deal set an excellent business model for other carriers seeking to monetize their data revenue.
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Old 01-21-2008, 08:06 PM   #7
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soon as someone hacks the Kindle and people start using the EVDO service for something other than Amazon intended, looks for Amazon to start charging monthly fees
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Old 01-21-2008, 09:28 PM   #8
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soon as someone hacks the Kindle and people start using the EVDO service for something other than Amazon intended, looks for Amazon to start charging monthly fees
I bet it's only a matter of time until someone tries to extend the serial console hack from http://igorsk.blogspot.com/2007/12/h...shell-and.html to provide internet connectivity to an external device. Cross-compile something like Slirp, toss it on an SD card, and have a laptop connect to the internet via PPP and a serial cable (at 115,200bps no less).

Without owning a Kindle, I've no idea whether this would actually work in practice. Whispernet might not expose TCP/IP connectivity to the OS, and SD cards might be mounted with a permission mask that prevents the execution of binaries.
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Old 01-22-2008, 01:37 AM   #9
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They've promised to keep certain things free: the transfer of their purchased content and Wikipedia search. Everything else they said they may start charging on a usage basis. I'd be very surprised if they started imposing a monthly fee across the board. Charge for bandwidth would target the hackers and allow them to stay within the promises they've already made. They have no need to do anything but that if someone succeeds in hacking.
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Old 01-22-2008, 08:34 AM   #10
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having been snowed in a mountain house with no wifi, and parked on an atlanta airport tarmac for hours I can say EVDO came in quite handy

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Old 01-22-2008, 01:34 PM   #11
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Most of the time when I'm in an airport and there actually is a hotspot, it isn't free. It's usually $8 or $9. I'd have to pay the price of a book just to get on the wifi and get a book. Of course, it's not like I have nothing to read on my Kindle besides what I just finished but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for what's left, which is my PD classics. I would imagine that's what I would likely read if I had a Cybook or a Sony in that situation. I just think it's really nifty that I can get something else if I like. Plus I don't like to buy a book until I've read the sample, so I usually read through the sample and click the link to buy it at the end if I liked it. I don't buy books ahead of time. If I'm in the mood for a modern book, then that will be sampled then purchased. I'd like to think it's a money saver since I'm unlikely to toss away a book half-finished if I read the first chapter or two and liked it, but it's just too easy to buy more books.
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Old 01-22-2008, 09:01 PM   #12
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Most of the time when I'm in an airport and there actually is a hotspot, it isn't free. It's usually $8 or $9. I'd have to pay the price of a book just to get on the wifi and get a book. Of course, it's not like I have nothing to read on my Kindle besides what I just finished but sometimes I'm just not in the mood for what's left, which is my PD classics. I would imagine that's what I would likely read if I had a Cybook or a Sony in that situation. I just think it's really nifty that I can get something else if I like. Plus I don't like to buy a book until I've read the sample, so I usually read through the sample and click the link to buy it at the end if I liked it. I don't buy books ahead of time. If I'm in the mood for a modern book, then that will be sampled then purchased. I'd like to think it's a money saver since I'm unlikely to toss away a book half-finished if I read the first chapter or two and liked it, but it's just too easy to buy more books.
I just recalled that somebody else said in this forum: the sampling feature indeed made him/her purchasing more. Same thing happened for me after visiting some deal-hunting website, my credit card usually got another round of assault.
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Old 01-25-2008, 12:47 PM   #13
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The Kindle probably would have cost $200 if the whispernet were optional.
I love how you just pulled that number out of your rear end. Unless you have some hard facts to base that assertion on, please don't throw around numbers that you made up as if they were real.
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Old 01-28-2008, 12:41 PM   #14
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I love how you just pulled that number out of your rear end. Unless you have some hard facts to base that assertion on, please don't throw around numbers that you made up as if they were real.
well...we actually had a discussion on this previously and established the wholesale cost of the sony reader 500 as in the $200 range.
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Old 01-28-2008, 01:01 PM   #15
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well...we actually had a discussion on this previously and established the wholesale cost of the sony reader 500 as in the $200 range.
Just because you "discussed" it doesn't make it so. If you really wanted to figure out the cost, then you need to break down an actual Kindle, look at each component down to the circuit board and individual chips. Then compare each component;s costs to its wholesale costs and give us the total.

This is done all the time by reputable research companies on all kinds of electronics. Most notably they did it with a PS3 and XBOX 360 to see how much each manufacturer was losing per sale of each console.

Until you guys actually did that, talking about it doesn't mean anything.
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