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Old 11-27-2006, 08:42 AM   #1
Alexander Turcic
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Will the Amazon Kindle cost US$50?

Update: Well, roughly a year later the cat is out of the bag. $50 would have been too good to be true. For more, join our Kindle discussions

Rumors are that the Kindle, Amazon's leaked E Ink e-reader, may be heavily subsidized to push the online retailer's e-book sales. Quoting Nick Hampshire of Afaics:

Quote:
This may only be a rumour but it certainly is a viable option, an analysis of the manufacturing cost of the device indicates that a subsidised retail price of about US$50 is possible. And, from market research we know that this would probably be low enough to create a sufficient demand for e-books and e-reader devices to ensure that the company not only recouped its subsidy cost but created a growing market. However, this would mean subsidising the sale of several hundred thousand Kindle readers.
Related: Amazon E Ink reader? (with specs), Remember Kindle? (with pics)
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:05 AM   #2
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If that is true then it may be that a rising tide lifts all boats. However it is more likely that it could become another Beta vs. VHS battle.

Given reviews like the recent one in Forbes, it would seem that they will value number of available texts and total number of features over all other things. Remember that the press is still in love with Amazon.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:14 AM   #3
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Alexander Turcic
Rumors are that the Kindle, Amazon's leaked E Ink e-reader, may be heavily subsidized to push the online retailer's e-book sales.
I would worry about the Kindle supporting non-proprietary formats then.

If Amazon prices the Kindle with the idea that they will "make up for their loss" with eBooks sales, then they will have to do something to force (or at least make it preferable) people to buy eBooks from Amazon.

Support for non-proprietary formats would make Amazon lose money on the Kindle. Of course, support for only DRM-emcumbered eBooks will also make it lose money.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:32 AM   #4
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Even at that price I don't see many people who'd want to be caught with such a poorly visually designed piece.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:39 AM   #5
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yvan, don't be fooled by the pics. It's possible that what we see is just a prototype handed over to the FCC to test the internals of the device, but not the final design.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:42 AM   #6
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I hope so because I love the idea of a keyboard and bluetooth!
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:51 AM   #7
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It can not be, except if they have developed their own operating system.
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Old 11-27-2006, 09:55 AM   #8
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Maybe this is why it's not out yet?
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:37 AM   #9
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Hmm, I think this would be quite "do-able" given some favorable conditions. The proven model has certainly been around a long while (sell 'em the razors and they'll buy the blades etc.) And, the expensive R & D end of things is pretty much done - e-ink is a purchase-able commodity for manufacturers at this point.

Lately I've been musing about why Sony didn't just partner with Amazon in the first place - make Mobi-read a supported platform and voila - instant vast storefront, neat software, software support etc. I'd have loved it (I like the mobi-reader platform anyway) and the book selection would have been amazing.

Will never know the negotiating stuff that goes on behind closed doors of course.
Personally I *really* like the form factor of the Reader vs what is pictured as the Kindle, but being a fickle guy to the core, show me a better product and I'll switch in a heartbeat...
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Old 11-27-2006, 10:59 AM   #10
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I would love anything amazon offers...if it isn't quite as ugly as the kindle shown on the pics...^^

Amazon is one of my favourite shops EVER and i'm very sad that you can't even buy a single ebook on amazon.de at the moment.
I hope Amazon will not go Sony-way and offer their new ebook reader + software + library in the US only...

About the 50$ thing...I'd rather pay 500 for the device and then get the books cheaper...the amount I read makes that solution a lot cheaper for me in the long run. Also, a subscription service like the Zune-thing that is rumoured to come sometime (of course, US only once again...) would also be cool...a book-flatrate...^^
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Old 11-27-2006, 11:28 AM   #11
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It sounds good!
If it is true, it will be the best news in the ebook world~
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:03 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by arivero
It can not be, except if they have developed their own operating system.
About that, I remember that the manual (the one we snaked before they noticed we were looking ) listed .PRC as one of the supported formats ... anybody else wonder if this could be a Palm OS device?
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Old 11-27-2006, 12:37 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by NatCh
About that, I remember that the manual (the one we snaked before they noticed we were looking ) listed .PRC as one of the supported formats ... anybody else wonder if this could be a Palm OS device?
I don't really expect it to be. Heck even Palm doesn't seem to want to run Palm (the 6.0 OS was never picked up by the hardware makers, and now the OS people are looking to put the Palm GUI on Linux), though since I currently read on Palm, and most of my tools and software work on Palm, I wouldn't be upset if it were.

More likely, though, it just reads the PRC doc files, which used to be called Palm Doc (though I think it was more accurate to call them Aportis Doc files). The format does not support formatted text, but it compresses well, and just about all handhelds can read it, so it makes a nicely portable alternative to plain text.

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Old 11-27-2006, 01:06 PM   #14
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On the other hand they could subsidize in a different way: to ask, say, for $500 and to redeem $450 in Amazon coupons for any product, or to ask for $200 and redeem $150 in Amazon coupons for e-books and e-music only. No problem then about supporting open or popular formats.

They could even have more subtle strategies as a monthly subsidy during one year, so that they are sure you connect to Amazon at least once per month.
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Old 11-27-2006, 01:31 PM   #15
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Amazon should rather focus on pushing the ebook price to 25% of the paperbook price, the rest will happen automatically.
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