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Old 11-28-2006, 02:59 PM   #31
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But, NatCh, if you own a cellphone you are already in that kind of situation, limited by some service contract. I completely agree that any such Amazon agreement must be read with GREAT care, as is the case with cellphone contracts. In any case, I was only suggesting the possibility.

Bowerbird's point about standalone reader devices certainly resonates with me: while I wouldn't mind packing a standalone reader when going on a trip, I don't want to carry two devices all the time, and that is frankly the main (though, as you already know, not the only) reason I have not bought the reader.
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Old 11-28-2006, 03:03 PM   #32
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Well, there you go then, another case of nothing is everything.
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Old 11-28-2006, 06:55 PM   #33
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The catch is the e-Ink displays are probably where LCD were about 7 to 8 years ago. In price and defects... ANd if you price a replacement LCD pannel for a laptop. Major sticker shock!

So they would be expensive. But after using it. Its darn well worth the price. ^_^
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Old 11-29-2006, 02:58 AM   #34
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IIRC, Amazon ran at a huge loss for years in order to build the brand and the company. Now, they are doing fine because they (and their investors) took the chance. Amazon does not seem to be scared of taking a loss for a while in order to profit in the future. Maybe something like this would work.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:16 AM   #35
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Quote:
Originally Posted by radleyp
But, NatCh, if you own a cellphone you are already in that kind of situation, limited by some service contract. I completely agree that any such Amazon agreement must be read with GREAT care, as is the case with cellphone contracts. In any case, I was only suggesting the possibility.

Bowerbird's point about standalone reader devices certainly resonates with me: while I wouldn't mind packing a standalone reader when going on a trip, I don't want to carry two devices all the time, and that is frankly the main (though, as you already know, not the only) reason I have not bought the reader.
Choice is obvious! Take the reader and leave the phone!
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:14 PM   #36
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If I could actually buy the kindle (I'm in Canada) without getting completely hosed, I would.

I paid $500 for my Librie. I'd pay $500 again for the kindle if several hundreds of those dollars got rebated or subsidized by Amazon, assuming I could load my own content - it isn't like I wouldn't spend the money there *anyway*.

If there were no rebates, I couldn't load my own content, and I could buy it for $50 I'd STILL buy it, cause at that price it'll be hacked anyway...

People fighting the "Stand-alone" reader concept either don't read enough material "online" (computer/pda/etc) already, or have never used an E-ink device for any time period.

1) Laptops are way overkill - too big, too heavy, too hot, too hard to read (sunlight, backlight induced eyestrain, poor ergonoics for just *reading*). The only thing they do better would be high-res content like PDFs.

2) PDA screens are too small and low resolution. The biggest screen you'll see on a PDA is around 4", VGA resolution, and they share the poor qualities of the laptop LCD - eyestrain and readability issues. The battery life is generally better than a laptop but not great, but you can still run into heat issues. (the bigger the screen, the higher end the PDA, the bigger the processor and the more heat you get out of the backlight. How popular are LED backlights now? None of my devices have one...) PDA's also tend to be clunky and un-ergonomic for reading, even if the weight is in the right range. Add field of view issues for the LCD and it looks even worse. They are more portable and handier than the laptop, while making higher resolution content available (but usually not very well)

3) Other, like cell phones (worse *everything* than PDAs, save for portability), other ebook readers (mostly not bad, save for LCD, battery, and availability), dead tree formats (loss of convenience, bulky, not reusable, relatively expensive to print off or buy everything you'd ever read otherwise...), computer (less mobile than a laptop, uncomfortable to sit in front of for hours on end), etc

Don't get me wrong - I own several laptops, PDAs, and cellphones, and at some point I've read an electronic text on every last one of them and have done so for years. Web pages, documentation, online-only (no dead tree edition) text, books, magazines, manga - the works. Not a single one of the other readers comes anywhere close to how nice it is to read on the Librie. I still read a lot on my "other" devices, but if I have a choice, or I'm going to read for pleasure - it's now on the Librie.

So if you don't read much, have no disposable income, only read in pitch darkness,don't want to carry an extra 255gram device, or if you have no interest in anything that's only available online, it may not be the device for you.

Otherwise you'll find the reader is generally easier to read than a book (no holding pages open), most people find that the refresh doesn't bug you after using it for a while, and the size, shape, and weight beat out most other hand-held electronic devices for reading, hands down. Add that to a low-eyestrain 6" screen with a guaranteed 180degree FOV, and you've got a winner. You just have to try it for a while to realize it.
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Old 11-29-2006, 10:56 PM   #37
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The manual for the Kindle gives an interesting hint as to exactly how Amazon plans to market the device.

P26
Q. I lost my Kindle. How to I cancel my account?
A. Customer service can help you with that.


It reeks of "subscription" to me. If you lose a non-subscription device, why would you care about cancelling your account? You just stop using it.

Subsequent pages also talk about replacing purchased material that you accidently deleted. They mention that all the data you've ever bought will be visible in the "home" screen on the kindle itself, and anything you buy automatically downloads itself directly to the Kindle. There isn't any mention of managing purchases on a PC. (Although, I would imagine that you'd purchase though a web browser in the first place...)

It mentions a Kindle Companion (PC only) program that lets you convert your own data, or being able to load your data directly onto the Kindle when it's mounted like a USB drive, but nothing about purchases on or working with the computer.

Interesting.

Last edited by kahm; 11-29-2006 at 11:02 PM.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:59 AM   #38
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this was originally mis-posted into another thread,
so i apologize if some quotes are from elsewhere.

***

nekokami said:
> I think it depends on what you consider "dedicated."

i can answer that in one word -- e-mail.
if you can read e-mail and write responses
on it, that machine will be "good enough",
at least for a good percentage of people.

if you can throw in general web-browsing,
then i think you'll satisfy almost everyone.
(mapquest on the go is a _big_necessity_.)

on yeah, has to be a phone/mp3 player, as
otherwise, we'd have to carry two devices.

there are machines out there that do this!
i don't know why nobody ever talks about
the sidekick. everyone i know who has one
raves about it. but look at what they cost!
(and then up that price for a better screen.
and notice they are subsidized with plans.)

but on ebay, a used sidekick holds its value,
because people are willing to pay that much
for a machine that can do what it does, and
no profit-minded company will sell for less.
(and anyone who thinks they will is wrong.)

***

jashsu said:
> are you honestly saying that you cannot see
> a massive difference in cost of materials
> between these two?

i'm saying if you can build a dedicated reader
that you can profitably sell for $50, _do_it_!

do it _now_, for crying out loud, you'll sell millions!


> When the dedicated e-book reader is priced at $300,
> its because the company is making a $150 profit selling it.

ya know, i'm cynical about corporate greed -- really cynical --
but even i cannot be _that_ cynical. not even close. you win!

the machine sony sells for $350 _costs_ $350 to make and sell,
once you figure in all the corporate overhead, which you must.
(selling the thing -- which includes support -- costs more than
its manufacture in the first place, often _quadruple_ as much.)

that $50 "credit" that sony gives new purchasers now is the $50
they're willing to lose now so as to get customers for the future.

the $650 iliad probably costs $750 to make and sell (because
the spin-off doing it doesn't have sony's economies of scale).
they're burning the parent-company's money as an investment.

***

radleyp said:
> I don't think Amazon needs any subsidy at all.
> Consider cellphones: dealers will give them to you free,
> provided you sign up for some service contract.
> Amazon could do exactly the same thing: a free reader
> with a one-year subscription, say, to their ebook library.
> The cost of the reader is absorbed into the service contract.

um, except that's exactly what a subsidy is.

and i'm sure they'd be happy to do just that, but
their 1-year plan would likely require you to buy
four dozen books -- just 1 book a week, folks! --
at a price of $25 each, which works out to $1200.

which might not seem _that_ bad -- especially to
those heavy readers out there -- until they realize
the books from which they're allowed to choose are
the ones that sell in the bookstores for $8.99 each...

and don't forget the d.r.m., which means that you
cannot pass the e-books on to friends or relatives,
like you can with those $8.99 bookstore p-books.

(ironically, it will be the d.r.m. which sky-rockets
calls to tech-support, raising that price sky-high,
which is why everything will cost so damn much.)

oh, maybe we forget to mention that, because of
the extra special deal you got on this "$50 reader",
we had to disallow loading "unauthorized content".

and none of your _personal_ content is "authorized".

sorry.

but you _can_ purchase our "blanket authorization",
which we have on sale (this month only!) for $398,
regular price $599, meaning you save _over_$200!_

do you get the picture?

anyway, in summary...

any scheme to "give them the razor for free and
charge them for the blades" is simply impossible
when so many people are giving away free blades.
(more content than you could read in your life is
already available free of charge on the internet.)

so you're chasing a pipedream, folks.

i'm sorry to bear this bad news. but anyone else
who says something different is trying to rob you
by giving you a "deal"... you're too smart for that.

-bowerbird

p.s. however, since i hate to leave you on a sour note,
take heart in the fact that _eventually_, full computers
will weigh less than 6 ounces and have screens that
are visible in full daylight _and_ also glow in the dark,
and can be folded just like a piece of paper and put in
your pocket. (technically, it will _be_ a piece of paper,
one that has had a special electrical grid painted on it.)
and, wonder of wonders, it will cost you a mere $389.
(that might sound like a lot now, but when this miracle
comes to pass, that will be what a loaf of bread costs,
so it'll actually be quite affordable, even to the masses.)
you just have to live for 57 more years for it to happen.
but i'm gonna live until i'm 191, so i'll be _stylin'_... :+)
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Old 11-30-2006, 12:52 PM   #39
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Quote:
Originally Posted by bowerbird
i'm saying if you can build a dedicated reader
that you can profitably sell for $50, _do_it_!

do it _now_, for crying out loud, you'll sell millions!
Now that I agree with whole-heartedly!
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:11 PM   #40
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While Amazon did lose millions of dollars in their early years, they made a "profit" on each item sold. Their early problems wer they were not selling enough items to cover the fixed expenses. At no time did Amazon sell goods below what it cost them except to clear old stock from the shelves.

Their business model is to make a profit on each item. For something like this they may shave their profit toward zero at the start to get people to buy it and then to come back for more books. There is also a huge market for selling maintenance contracts and insurance for devices.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:23 PM   #41
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RWood
...Their business model is to make a profit on each item. For something like this they may shave their profit toward zero at the start to get people to buy it and then to come back for more books. There is also a huge market for selling maintenance contracts and insurance for devices...
Almost the lost leader model.
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Old 11-30-2006, 02:26 PM   #42
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Here is the real catch... Not the reader but how many book are available in E format

In the Razor blades-Handles concept... it was not untill Gelette figured hot how to make blades so cheep and in vast quantity.

Like a video game unit. Normally sold at a loss but made up on games. But if very few games for unit are available then its a looser even if its the best avaiable.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:15 PM   #43
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In the Razor blades-Handles concept... it was not untill Gelette figured hot how to make blades so cheep and in vast quantity..
Actually they figured what to do and how to do it. It was a new concept in metalurgy.
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Old 11-30-2006, 03:57 PM   #44
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Actually they figured what to do and how to do it. It was a new concept in metalurgy.

Thats right... Had something to do with ribbon steel and putting a edge on it.
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Old 11-30-2006, 07:15 PM   #45
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if they undercharge for the machine,
they will overcharge for the books...

and if they undercharge for the books,
they will overcharge for the machine...

what we really want (or _should_)
is for them to charge the fair price
for the machine and for the books.

that's why we need to stop all this
ridiculous twitter on $50 machines.

even if it was realistic (and it's not,
by a longshot, not even close to it),
it simply wouldn't be a _fair_ price...

that's not to say that a _bookseller_
-- especially one as big as amazon --
wouldn't dangle it out there as bait...

but you know what happens to the
fish who go for the bait, don't you?

-bowerbird
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