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Old 05-07-2009, 12:50 PM   #1
DaleDe
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Is Amazon Kindle DX using the right business model?

Here is a article in Computer World.
http://www.computerworld.com/action/..._AM_2009-05-07

Quote:
Amazon's newest Kindle raises more questions than answers about how the e-book market might evolve.

"If it had the right business model, it would be a no-brainer," Michael Gartenberg, an analyst at Interpret, said of the new device.

On Wednesday, Amazon unveiled the Kindle DX, the third in its line of e-book readers, and this one is designed for the display of newspapers and magazines. The larger-screen device is also being targeted at students, who can use it to read textbooks.
Well what do you think?

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Old 05-07-2009, 12:58 PM   #2
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Students have been begging to be able to get textbooks on a Kindle over on the Amazon forums. Having a larger form Kindle that can not only hold those textbooks and PDFs on a sharper display *and* still have access to the regular Amazon catalog is a great thing.

As far as newspapers and magazines, it's still a good thing for folks who can't deal with a format that is too different from paper.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:14 PM   #3
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Interesting question. Also asked here:

Kindle DX: Has Amazon Misread the Student Market?

Quote:
In a nutshell, Amazon is trying to make a four-year total cost of ownership case to an audience that just doesn’t have the attention span. So-called “super seniors,” or those on the five and six year college plans, may find some return.
and

Quote:
The Kindle DX is tailored for students that happen to have Wi-Fi in every campus corner. This miscalculation means Amazon has overpriced its big Kindle—to pay for wireless service—and may leave growth on the table. A cheaper Kindle DX that only uses Wi-Fi is the student ticket. Amazon missed the mark.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:25 PM   #4
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A good article, but:

1. I don't know many kids who graduate in 4 years these days. I don't know the actual statistics, though, so I assume the majority are still in 4 years.

2. It misses the convenience factor of carrying the KDX instead of lots of books.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:31 PM   #5
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I think Amazon has made some mistakes in this roll-out.

First, for the student market, the 6 school trial is limited to 300 students total (50 per school). If you're going to have such a small trial, shouldn't you maybe do that before you launch the product? If they had already done small trials, surely rumors would have leaked out before this?

For the newspaper market, I was really hoping to hear details of the subsidized models. If it was something along the lines of $200 + $20/month for 2 years, I may already have put in a pre-order. However, the only detail I've been able to find is that the subsidized version will only be available where home delivery of the paper is not available. One of the reasons I don't subscribe to any newspaper is that I don't want to deal with the physical artifact on a daily basis.

I'm also a bit concerned with the fact that it's not releasing until "summer". I remember the Sony PRS-500 was announced at CES as available in "spring", but was delayed until September. But, that will actually help me, as I can see if Apple announces anything at WWDC next month, and maybe Sony or B&N will have something new in the next couple months. It makes me wonder if Amazon knows something beyond the rumors and wanted to be first out of the gate and to try to lock up pre-orders.

Really, I'm more likely to upgrade my Sony to the 505 and wait to see if Apple really does have a media-pad planned than to get either Kindle.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:56 PM   #6
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I dont think that having a text book on the DX will be an advantage. WHile it will be much much easier to have text books with you, I think that having a physical book to study from may be easier. It is easier to scan pages really quikly... if you use a highlighter, you can thumb through quickly to locate the highlights.
Not only that, I am looking forward to seeing how many companies will discount the electronic version of their texts books when they are already making a killing on pBooks.
Maybe a purchase the pBook, get the eBook free would be an idea to look into.

I know that when I look through a reference book I sometimes look for something to key me into the right information and the search function may or may not work... especially if I am looking for a picture or graph.
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Old 05-07-2009, 01:59 PM   #7
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I think they're missing the biggest thing here targeting the student market = buying back textbooks. Students at the end of the semester sell their books back to bookstores, which helps with the cost of them (or booze, whichever). When I was a student, they had a few books available as ebooks, but the price was only $5 or so less (for a $200+ textbook). I think a lot of students will pass on that.

Heh, if you think Amazon is bad, textbook companies are way way way worse
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:08 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by lilac_jive View Post
I think they're missing the biggest thing here targeting the student market = buying back textbooks. Students at the end of the semester sell their books back to bookstores, which helps with the cost of them (or booze, whichever). When I was a student, they had a few books available as ebooks, but the price was only $5 or so less (for a $200+ textbook). I think a lot of students will pass on that.

Heh, if you think Amazon is bad, textbook companies are way way way worse
Do you think the Kindle version will cost as much as the paper version? If they cost significantly less, there may be no need to re-sell.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if sharing books on the same account will work with the DX or if textbook licensing will prohibit that. It would be cool if students could group together on one account and share textbooks (provided they share many of the same classes).
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:13 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Do you think the Kindle version will cost as much as the paper version? If they cost significantly less, there may be no need to re-sell.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if sharing books on the same account will work with the DX or if textbook licensing will prohibit that. It would be cool if students could group together on one account and share textbooks (provided they share many of the same classes).
So far PDF support does not include DRM and most textbooks are currently PDF.

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Old 05-07-2009, 02:14 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by daffy4u View Post
Do you think the Kindle version will cost as much as the paper version? If they cost significantly less, there may be no need to re-sell.

Now that I think about it, I wonder if sharing books on the same account will work with the DX or if textbook licensing will prohibit that. It would be cool if students could group together on one account and share textbooks (provided they share many of the same classes).
I'm just speaking from previous experience. The chances are extremely likely that the prices will only be 5-10% off. Textbook companies are the greediest publishers of the bunch. They have a billion dollar used book market to fight off, but even if these pick up, they won't drop prices much.

If they do sell them significantly less, I will eat my shoe.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:16 PM   #11
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If they do sell them significantly less, I will eat my shoe.

Mmmmm. Fiber.
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:26 PM   #12
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Mmmmm. Fiber.
Nom nom nom
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Old 05-07-2009, 02:53 PM   #13
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IF the textbooks are mobi/azw it should work okay. If the textbooks are pdf (as people seem to be speculating here that they will be) I think not being able to highlight or annotate will be a problem for many students.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:01 PM   #14
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Not only that, I am looking forward to seeing how many companies will discount the electronic version of their texts books when they are already making a killing on pBooks.
This, I think, is the killer question: Will etextbooks cost considerably less than the p version? The other questions have to do with whether the textbooks "expire". Currently some of the etextbooks are priced within 10% of the p version and self-destruct after x number of months (sometimes as few as 4). Plus there is no resale market for the etextbook, which is a market a lot fo students rely on -- both as sellers and buyers.

No matter what, it will be interesting to see how it works out.
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Old 05-07-2009, 03:30 PM   #15
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They're missing the market for the DX--students don't have money for a $500 book reader (especially given the prices of digital textbooks, and how many aren't available as legal PDFs), but lawyers and paralegals do.

However, to really tap *that* market, they'd need other aspects... like a memory card (so they can put all the documents for a single case on a single card) or folder support.
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