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Old 06-14-2010, 10:29 PM   #1
BenLee
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$49 Kindle [could win the ebook war]

Hi everyone,

This is my first post! Hope to share in all the eReader love around here.

Anyway, this caught my attention just now so I thought I'd share it...

Seth Godin just posted about a $49 Kindle. He says that Amazon can quickly leave the pack behind by releasing a "paperback" edition that can gain mass acceptance quickly.

Check it out:
http://www.teleread.com/2010/06/09/s...erback-kindle/

and the original post

http://sethgodin.typepad.com/seths_b...ck-kindle.html

I personally love the idea. I'd snatch up a $49 in a heartbeat and wouldn't have to worry about breaking my current Kindle anymore

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 06-16-2010 at 09:33 AM. Reason: Potentially misleading Title
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:39 PM   #2
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the 5 inch e-ink display costs about $45-$50 dollars in volume from PVI. Sure a $50 dollar device would be nice. but you just cant make it that cheap. The only way to get a reader that cheap (for the next year at least) would be to subsidize it like a phone - offer it with the purchase of a book club subscription that you are locked into for 2years....

thats my idea btw- consider it copyrighted and trademarked by me today 2010
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:56 PM   #3
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Sure. Make sure to tell amazon where to mail the checks ; )

Yea it may seem a bit unreasonable at the moment, but I really think the first company to do it will gain a significant user base. And in the end, it's the user base providing the repeat sales (with minimal delivery cost) that will make up significant profits. It may not be a bad idea to go with a loss initially just to get that customer who will probably buy a bunch of books over 2 years time.
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Old 06-14-2010, 10:59 PM   #4
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If they could find a way to make that price work it'd be great. cheap enough to let children use it. Imagine the Judy Bloom collection in one little machine for say $100 or the Harry Potter magic e-reader with all 7 books plus the extras for less than the set of hardcovers. They could even avoid DRM problems by putting it all in firmware, of just neglect to add a usb port. They could do it with a read only SD card like a game boy cartridge. It would take up less space than an anthology, have first sale rights, lending rights, the copyright cartel would get their money. A cheap e-reader the size of a dvd case would be the ultimate win.
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:04 PM   #5
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That's an interesting idea.. They already kinda do that with Ipods preloaded with all the titles from XXX series. Next thing you know, there will be the U2 edition of the Kindle :P
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Old 06-14-2010, 11:06 PM   #6
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Jeff Bezos said he would consider that approach if customers wanted a lower hardware cost and higher operating fees, but:

Quote:
But, Bezos told Wired’s Steven Levy at Wired’s Disruptive by Design conference in New York, it’s cheaper in the long run for customers to pay something akin to the actual cost for hardware. And fees and minimum purchase requirements create friction.

“We did consider [the cellphone model] for Kindle,” Bezos said in an interview with Wired’s Steven Levy at Wired’s Disruptive by Design Conference in New York. “Instead of driving the cognitive complexity of a two-year commitment, [we] just tell people, ‘This is the actual cost of the device,’” he said.


“We sell a lot of cellphones for a penny, and you know, when you’re buying a cellphone for a penny, there’s got to be a catch — and there is” in the recurring cost of monthly service which is free with the Kindle’s Whispernet service.
One thing to realize with Amazon-if they subsidize the hardware costs of the Kindle with book sales/book clubs/etc...they are basically using their own income (books) to help subsidize the hardware...whereas Apple is using someone else (AT&T) to pay for the subsidizing of the iPhone. And, for Apple, their iTunes and App Stores are basically a wash income wise, as a way to spur hardware sales.
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Old 06-15-2010, 01:33 AM   #7
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Quote:
Originally Posted by kjk View Post
Jeff Bezos said he would consider that approach if customers wanted a lower hardware cost and higher operating fees, but:



One thing to realize with Amazon-if they subsidize the hardware costs of the Kindle with book sales/book clubs/etc...they are basically using their own income (books) to help subsidize the hardware...whereas Apple is using someone else (AT&T) to pay for the subsidizing of the iPhone. And, for Apple, their iTunes and App Stores are basically a wash income wise, as a way to spur hardware sales.
What?!
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Old 06-15-2010, 02:04 AM   #8
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You can already get a Kindle for $100 off if you sign up for a 1-yr Audible subscription at $14.95/mo. So we each got out K2i's for $159 a piece as we still have separate households. We also would have gotten new Audible accounts this year anyway so it is not out of the realm of reasonable that this could easily be accomplished.

And Dulin, love ya man, but I ain't buying into the cost of a 5" panel STILL being $50-$60 after, what, 2-3yrs since the iSuppli teardown cost of the Kindle (I think it was the K2) placed whole sale cost of a 6" panel at $60 back then. I simply am not able to accept the costs are still that high. If so, then that is a shame. Before I am willing to accept your cost for the panel as accurate I need to see real data that can be substantiated.

I have also been curious about how the panels are produced, meaning can different sized "master sheets" of panels be produced then cut down to yield an optimum number of device sized panels for the production hardware. If the mfg has not become significantly more efficient in their production process by this point in the game it's a shame on them and I suspect a signal that this tech is at a dead end. Such a scenario just goes against everything we have ever experienced in the tech field. I mean it smacks of publishers whinging about the "high cost" of reformatting back catalog, or new, titles being the reason for higher ebook prices. Just sets off my crap detector is all.

If production flexibility is significantly rigid and for some reason they can only produce a couple sizes of master panel sheets, it could very well be the case there is a lower per sheet yield for 5" reader panels compared to 6" panels making the cost of a 5" panel higher. So, if that is the case, more than a few engineers need to be fired.

But my money is on the ever increasing assembly line efficiency on the manufacturing end of these screens/panels. I mean if efficiency has not at least doubled from 2-3 yrs ago, then the e-ink brand tech is indeed at a dead end in terms of viable consumer product. This is especially true considering the competing brands of reader panels that have been demonstrated over the past 6-9 months.
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Old 06-15-2010, 05:43 AM   #9
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what's the catch ?

Oh I know, lock the device into one bookstore and charge more for the books in order to make up for a cheaper front-end price...

Wait !

It's been done ..... !!!!
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:06 AM   #10
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A $50 reader, from a major name store, would go a long way to boost mass acceptance of ebooks in the US. Even if it were tied to one store's format.
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Old 06-15-2010, 08:16 AM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by GeoffC View Post
what's the catch ?

Oh I know, lock the device into one bookstore and charge more for the books in order to make up for a cheaper front-end price...

Wait !

It's been done ..... !!!!
"Oh I know, lock the device into one bookstore ---"

We know that isn't true. (As you can download from other sources. Just not wirelessly). But I think that many Kindle owners may believe that to be the case.

"and charge more for the books ---"

Unless you have a deal with the publishing companies as Apple seems to. Thanks agency pricing.

BenLee may end up being right in the short term.

I think that a new higher contrast screen is coming out soon. Sony dropped the PRS-600 by $100. Others will too. A short term deal would get rid of the old screens.

Amazon is the only one likely to accomplish such a deal.

Last edited by SameOldStory; 06-15-2010 at 08:20 AM.
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Old 06-15-2010, 10:33 PM   #12
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As I recall, it wasn't until DVD players hit a critically low price point that the medium basically exploded and took over VHS for good. It may be a few more years before eReaders are as common as cell phones, but it may not be as far away as we think.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:05 PM   #13
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If the Kobo was priced at $99 and fully functional, we may have been very close to the critical price.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:42 PM   #14
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Exactly. I would definitely Kobo for $99.
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Old 06-15-2010, 11:52 PM   #15
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A $50 reader, from a major name store, would go a long way to boost mass acceptance of ebooks in the US. Even if it were tied to one store's format.
Not for me!
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