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Old 08-25-2008, 11:53 PM   #1
NatCh
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Post B.R.O.C. -- Big Reading-Device On Campus?

Information Week Reports That Amazon Is Eying The College Classroom


Information Week is reporting comments from a named industry analyst to the effect that Amazon is looking hard at the textbook market, particularly at the university level:
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After a meeting with Amazon executives, McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Tim Bueneman told the Seattle Post-Intelligencer that Amazon sees a big opportunity in marketing the Kindle to college kids, and it's working on updated version of the e-reader to accommodate this.
This very interesting rumor has the earmarks of being more than just a rumor. Hopefully there won't be any repercussions for Mr. Bueneman or his firm for letting it slip.

Of course, as the article points out, the interface on the current model isn't really suited to textbooks, so that suggests that we might see a pretty radically different design in the rumored forthcoming Kindle models.

And this will come as a complete shock to all:
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Representatives from Amazon remain tight-lipped about any updates to the Kindle.
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Old 08-25-2008, 11:58 PM   #2
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We already confirmed that some textbook publishers were starting to Kindle-ize their books. We also had the CrunchGear rumor of 2 new Kindle sizes in the works. Things are stating to look less "rumor-y(ie?)(ish?)".


Edit: Uh, make that TechCrunch.

Last edited by daffy4u; 08-26-2008 at 01:50 AM.
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Old 08-26-2008, 01:57 AM   #3
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Is Amazon stock slumping?

I FIRMLY believe Amazon is at work on a next generation Kindle, but, to have some low on the totem pole stock analyst be the one to "leak" it?

Riiiigggghhhhhttt.

To add insult to injury, the article (as reported on other sites) went on to say one of the two models is going to have a 9.7 inch screen?

Still seems fishy to me.

Wake me when it becomes official or at least real photos surface snapped with the Kindle 2.0 on Jeff Bezos desk or from the factory floor.
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Old 08-26-2008, 02:24 AM   #4
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To add insult to injury, the article (as reported on other sites) went on to say one of the two models is going to have a 9.7 inch screen?
Most of the ones I've seen are claimed letter size. Now unless such a screen in close to production, and we simply haven't been informed yet (which would be rather odd in itself), then they otherwise mean the reader itself would be that big. The problem which this theory though is that it would mean an awful lot of "device" compared to screen..
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Old 08-26-2008, 04:43 AM   #5
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Well, it seems there is somebody giving out these rumours, and maybe it's Amazon themselves...

Remember last year? All those rumours, but Amazon said "just speculation", then the Kindle store kept going onand off like a broken light-bulb, all those little hints and "glitches" seem too much for a big professional firm like Amazon, so I'd say they are playing the Apple game and letting things slip on purpose to create hype...

I guess it's working...
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Old 08-26-2008, 06:36 AM   #6
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I don't see how a device could be of interest to college students unless it was a much larger screen than the Kindle, was easily searchable, and had well-designed quick flips to other sections or even other texts. It might also need the ability for easily marking of notes and it just might need color. Maybe they could pull off the first 3 items if a display was available. I don't see them doing the last 2 items soon. The cost would have to be reasonable (reader + etexts), too, but to get their foot in the door I don't think it's a requirement that they be cheaper than hardbound texts. Which brings up the mighty book publishers who rake it in at college campuses every semester. I don't think they're going to like this idea much. Scratch it.
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Old 08-26-2008, 07:12 AM   #7
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Well, at least according to BusinessWeek, the next Kindle will have a larger screen, will be designed by another company (in-house actually), and it will be cheaper, too.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:31 AM   #8
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I don't know about anyone else, but if i could have my books on the Kindle? Wow :-D Now, it's not that useful, medical school uses lots of high-detail illustrations, but back when i was studying Law? Wow :-D It would've been a godsend. We'll see what happens. If they are coming out with one the size of a 8x10 piece of paper, that'd be great for reading long text-heavy books.

Sadly, the Cynic in me is screaming, "The College market? You just wait! in a year, Apple is going to come out with one and it'll be announced as NEW! NEVER BEFORE SEEN! And it will sell a ton, regardless of how good it is." Hehe, My inner cynic is a apple hater :-D
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:40 AM   #9
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I'm trying to picture it. A freshman is off to the bookstore. He needs texts for four or five classes - let's pick English, Chemistry, Math, Sociology, and a language. Each has at least one required text but there are some recommended books, too. There probably aren't two from the same publisher. In the first few years after the release of the new Kindle IV (a large screen edition with great search and linking abilities), a few of the publishers have been forced by Amazon and the public to publish etexts so Johnny has the option to buy three of his eight texts in digital form - for which he'll need to buy the digital reader which is kind of expensive because of the large format screen. So instead of lugging around 80 pounds of books he only needs to lug 50 pounds plus his reader.

That image makes no sense to me. I love the long-term vision. But I don't see how we get there.
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:49 AM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
We already confirmed that some textbook publishers were starting to Kindle-ize their books. We also had the CrunchGear rumor of 2 new Kindle sizes in the works. Things are stating to look less "rumor-y(ie?)(ish?)".
I dunno. Just because a rumor is picked up and passed around by alot of places doesn't make it any less of a rumor. Remember, in the days of internet blogs the same information is passed like wild fire. No one does their own research or try to confirm with a source. Even Engaget and Tech Crunch are "blogs" that sometimes get info from other places. I have seen articles at Engaget that are passing around stuff that originated on this site as specuation.

BOb
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:54 AM   #11
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Well if the universities/colleges was in on it they coudl choose books that is available in digital format for the classes... And I know that many of the books I use at my university is jsut recommended and could be replaced with another similar book. It could very well be so that the students start to choose a diffirent book, in let say mechanical engineering than the head of the course has recommended, just because it is availabe as e-book. And when enough students use that book the teachter would prob start to use that book instead.

or not....

But it is a possible scenario, it is not like the students has no influence...
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Old 08-26-2008, 08:59 AM   #12
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Curious. You've described a scenario where the student has some say in the books used in his classes. That sounds so unlike any college situation I've ever seen. Can you say what college has this policy and perhaps how common it might be elsewhere?
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:17 AM   #13
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Vival, there is one thing going on in quite a few colleges, and thats that the professors are getting fed up with the high prices as well. I've heard that more than a few are starting to turn to open source textbooks, or just selling a photocopied plastic bound thing for 10 bucks. I've had more than one in my college years, and that was a few years ago. We'll see what happens...
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Old 08-26-2008, 10:28 AM   #14
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
Curious. You've described a scenario where the student has some say in the books used in his classes. That sounds so unlike any college situation I've ever seen. Can you say what college has this policy and perhaps how common it might be elsewhere?
Many arts courses - to name but one example - merely specify that one has a text of a particular book. They may recommend a particular edition, but they don't insist upon it. For example, I'm doing a Latin course this year with a British "distance learning" university. The set text for the course is book II of Virgil's "Aeneid"; a specific edition is recommended, but isn't mandatory.

"Technical" courses, OTOH, will generally insist that the student has a particular book.
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Old 08-26-2008, 11:08 AM   #15
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Originally Posted by Tom90deg View Post
I don't know about anyone else, but if i could have my books on the Kindle? Wow :-D Now, it's not that useful, medical school uses lots of high-detail illustrations, but back when i was studying Law? Wow :-D It would've been a godsend. We'll see what happens. If they are coming out with one the size of a 8x10 piece of paper, that'd be great for reading long text-heavy books.

Overachiever much? Wow!

Sadly, the Cynic in me is screaming, "The College market? You just wait! in a year, Apple is going to come out with one and it'll be announced as NEW! NEVER BEFORE SEEN! And it will sell a ton, regardless of how good it is." Hehe, My inner cynic is a apple hater :-D
They'll call it the iRead. As in "I Read." Bono will star in the commercial at the Super Bowl.

Quote:
Originally Posted by vivaldirules View Post
I'm trying to picture it. A freshman is off to the bookstore. He needs texts for four or five classes - let's pick English, Chemistry, Math, Sociology, and a language. Each has at least one required text but there are some recommended books, too. There probably aren't two from the same publisher. In the first few years after the release of the new Kindle IV (a large screen edition with great search and linking abilities), a few of the publishers have been forced by Amazon and the public to publish etexts so Johnny has the option to buy three of his eight texts in digital form - for which he'll need to buy the digital reader which is kind of expensive because of the large format screen. So instead of lugging around 80 pounds of books he only needs to lug 50 pounds plus his reader.

That image makes no sense to me. I love the long-term vision. But I don't see how we get there.
Easy. Make the standard format Adobe. Everybody already has it on their laptops anyway. Problem solved.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Tom90deg View Post
Vival, there is one thing going on in quite a few colleges, and thats that the professors are getting fed up with the high prices as well. I've heard that more than a few are starting to turn to open source textbooks, or just selling a photocopied plastic bound thing for 10 bucks. I've had more than one in my college years, and that was a few years ago. We'll see what happens...
My last classes were in the early '00s, and almost every class had the bound copies or else a list of things to copy at the library. The library only charged a "user fee" to cover the cost of paper, so students lined up to copy what was needed. The profs were becoming very frustrated with the way things had always been done. (Continued after next quote.)

Quote:
Originally Posted by HarryT View Post
Many arts courses - to name but one example - merely specify that one has a text of a particular book. They may recommend a particular edition, but they don't insist upon it. For example, I'm doing a Latin course this year with a British "distance learning" university. The set text for the course is book II of Virgil's "Aeneid"; a specific edition is recommended, but isn't mandatory.

"Technical" courses, OTOH, will generally insist that the student has a particular book.
I began to try to save money. I would get the ISBN numbers of the books for the course off of the online bookstore, then search for the ISBN and buy them for a fraction of the cost from Amazon. When I told my Chaucer prof that I'd bought an $80 for $13, she was flabbergasted. Now I'm told she recommends that "under the table" to all of her classes. I also found math books I needed, so perhaps even technical books would work.

So I can see how having etextbooks could be easily integrated into the college system. Just carry around a laptop, a spiral-bound notebook, a pencil, and snacks.
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