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Old 03-07-2008, 12:19 PM   #16
wallcraft
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I agree that the Kindle is all about delivering the content. For that reason, the important number is not how many Kindles are sold but how many e-books are bought on Amazon. This is what could push the publishing industry into producing more e-books (for all devices).

The Kindle demographic is probably wider than the Sony's, but I don't see it as entirely bestseller oriented. The defining characteristic of the Kindle community is (presumably) that they bought books from Amazon before buying the Kindle. In other words, an established book customer who sees $400 worth of "value" in the Kindle. From this point of view, the potential for Amazon is huge - because their customer base for a $200 device is much larger and at (say) $100 it could really take off.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:26 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by wallcraft View Post
For that reason, the important number is not how many Kindles are sold but how many e-books are bought on Amazon.
Exactly! And because of that, comparing the number of Kindle e-books sold to the number Sony store e-books sold just isn't all that meaningful to the discussion of which device is doing better.
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Old 03-07-2008, 12:32 PM   #18
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Exactly! And because of that, comparing the number of Kindle e-books sold to the number Sony store e-books sold just isn't all that meaningful to the discussion of which device is doing better.
Another factor which may be worth considering is that if (and I don't know if this is true or not) the Kindle is being bought by a rather less technically-knowledgeable customer than the Sony on average, it could well be that they are buying more content rather than creating content themselves.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:09 PM   #19
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You keep on fueling Kindle vs. Sony and posting provoking articles?

You keep on with the ad hominem stuff?

__________________________________________________ ______________
My sister is probably one of the typical Amazon customers that NatCh describes. She reads a lot, mostly best sellers and established authors. Reads and discards.

She is terrified of a USB cable and refuses to even THINK of hooking one up. So without the wireless connection and ease of use she would never ever use a Sony.

BTW my sis is like Nathans Mom, now she is an acolyte for the Kindle and shows it off to everyone. She has met considerable resistance from traditionalists who hold that books should only be paper glue & cardboard and not digitalized.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:16 PM   #20
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Another factor which may be worth considering is that if (and I don't know if this is true or not) the Kindle is being bought by a rather less technically-knowledgeable customer than the Sony on average, it could well be that they are buying more content rather than creating content themselves.
That too, is an excellent point.

Most of us around here "create" even the content we buy, to the extent that most of us seem to modify it to some degree or other.

I'd probably buy more stuff from Sony directly if I could only fix their stupid micro-fonts.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:54 PM   #21
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I'd buy from Sony if I could remove the DRM and change the formatting to what I want.
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Old 03-07-2008, 01:59 PM   #22
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I think we're making some rather.... well, bad generalizations.

The Sony Reader has a base in gadget nerds (if I may use the term, I'm certainly one) because, largely, it's been around much longer and is more widely available (in terms of both the 500 and 505). The Kindle doesn't have the market saturation to see much hacking yet, and we're not sure where that will go.

That being said... between the tools here and the MobiCreator there is nothing I could put on my Sony Reader that I can't put on my Kindle that I'd want there (I'm not going to pretend unconverted pdf files were worth bothering with (for me at least.). So as far as being able to grab my own content - I have that option, and so do other Kindle users who want to do that.

But what really matter is CONTENT. Amazon promises content. Amazon has delivered on content - and solid content, not a bunch of pulp fiction, scifi, fantasy and romance. I can find about 75% of what I'm looking for on the Kindle anymore, and usually at a great price. Compared to Sony's store (a month ago) where I found something along the lines of 10%.

I'm ignoring content from both Amazon and Sony that involves "classics" widely available here or elsewhere, and of course the contents of Microsoft Lit formats are available to just about everyone.

Don't get me wrong.. I love a good hack, and I hope people start doing more with the Kindle but for some of us it's all about content - and while DRM sucks, DRM is everywhere for any text I'd buy. My only option is scanning it myself if I don't want DRM, and that works just as well no matter what device I'm using (actually, it's easier for the Kindle since I can use the Mobicreator program).

So I think we should avoid too much in the way of "most people." There is no doubt the Kindle is more mass market, but that doesn't mean anything in and of itself except you will have more passive users (that probably consists of most SonyReader users as well, proportionately. We are a vocal minority, none of us are the typical users of such devices.)

As far as hacking the Kindle... well, what would you do exactly? You're not going to hack it to read other DRM formats, and almost anything else can already be put in the device. I suppose you could add real PDF support, but given how badly such support would be in the end I see little benefit. This is not to say the Kindle is perfect, but I don't see a lot that can be done given the hardware limitations. It's not going to start displaying comic books or images well or anything.

I really think the Sony Reader is a helluva device, but having been in the unfortunate position to interface with Sony media offers before, I have very little faith in their store acquiring a lot of content at good prices and their DRM is just as nasty. And I admit to missing the sleek little device I could spend hours messing with, but when it comes down to it I have a reader to read - and the Kindle does the best job for me of that.

If we're seeing a lot of noise, it's because people already have relationships with Amazon and trust and like them. Hell, even my mom does the majority of her online shopping there and so do I (I got a great cast iron griddle there just this week!) They played the PR and marketing well, and that's part of a successful device launch. As far as hardware... I think the Sony (505) is definitely a better device, but the library, sample chapters, and periodical support really seals the deal not just with me, but with many users who may have given up a certain amount of freedom in order for the device to do what it is supposed to - let us read what we want easily.

Still, this is all sophistry... there is no good data out there about any of this aside from anecodotal, which hardly counts.

What works for you, works for you. But I don't find the generalizations all that helpful and my points above are only to indicate that the Kindle is a very reasonable option even for someone who hacks just about everything that gets into his possession.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:41 PM   #23
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Hey! What's wrong with pulp fiction, scifi and fantasy?

And I'm amused that you've used one of my favorite words: "sophistry," though I think this is more baseless speculation than true sophistry.
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Old 03-07-2008, 03:56 PM   #24
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Hey! What's wrong with pulp fiction, scifi and fantasy?
In my opinion, a large catalog of these genres is key to success in this market. Most of the people I know that read several books a week are fans of these or romance novels. I know folks like to look down their noses at this stuff but it's serious money. Plus I know plenty of highly-intelligent people who enjoy some fun, lightweight fiction. This is the sort of thing that will drive the volume up and the price of screens down. Then when larger, color screens are cheaper, we'll start seeing more magazines. That'll not only be big money, but a great boon to the environment.
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:00 PM   #25
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Kindle vs. other readers outside the US

But even without wireless as in the rest of the world for the moment, I can do everything on my Kindle by downloading from my PC that can be done on any other reader, such as the Sony, etc., etc.

Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.


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Aren't you forgetting that the Kindle can only be (effectively) used by an almost negligible minority of the world's population, whereas the Sony (and the CyBook) can be used world-wide?
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Old 03-07-2008, 05:49 PM   #26
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Don't get me wrong... nothing wrong with any of that (I like me some fantasy and sci-fi myself) but the 6 dollar paperback are not the books I spend all my money on - nonfiction is. So as far as what I'm in the market for, Amazon has me covered far better than Sony.

When it comes to most fiction, given the prices, I generally don't mind just grabbing the paperback and I don't have too much time to read anything I don't have to, anyway.
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Old 03-07-2008, 06:40 PM   #27
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Sorry, but Kindle is going to eat the Sony reader (and all others) alive in this area.
I have a Sony. I love my Sony. I buy most of my content from Sony. And I think the wireless download on the Kindle is a HUGE feature.

In the US, of course.
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Old 03-07-2008, 07:06 PM   #28
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I'd buy from Sony if I could remove the DRM and change the formatting to what I want.
Same here.
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Old 03-08-2008, 06:37 AM   #29
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But even without wireless as in the rest of the world for the moment, I can do everything on my Kindle by downloading from my PC that can be done on any other reader, such as the Sony, etc., etc.

Charles Wilkes, San Jose, Calif.
With the greatest respect, Charles, you've misunderstood the point I was making. What I meant was not that the Kindle is only sold in the US - that's true for the Sony too - but that you can only buy Kindle content if you live in the US (or if you have a US credit card).
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Old 03-09-2008, 02:33 PM   #30
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If we're seeing a lot of noise, it's because people already have relationships with Amazon and trust and like them.
Pretty much. I also believe that the Kindle is more important to Amazon than the Reader is to Sony, and more likely to be around in the future. I still read on a Sony Clie, but they abandoned that market and I wonder how long they'll keep their Reader line alive. I also have dealt with Sony support on various products, and don't have a high opinion of it.

Which is why I am still on the fence as to which reader to buy, even though I like the Sony's design (and price) better (the Whispernet and keyboard on the Kindle mean little to me).
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