Early Thoughts and Questions from the Kindle Announcement

Expert publishing blog opinions are solely those of the blogger and not necessarily endorsed by DBW.

There’s so much to unpack in the new Kindle announcement I almost don’t know where to begin. Let’s start with a few thoughts and questions:

1. With Amazon and Kobo both announcing more, specialized devices today, it seems that specific devices at various price points that fit the needs of pockets of niche consumers is the wave of the future for devices. If Apple announces the anticipated mini-iPad, this hunch will be confirmed.

2. Amazon now has devices ranging in price from $69 for the basic e-ink Kindle without 3G, to the 8.9-inch Kindle Fire with 4G LTE connectivity (for only $49.99 a year) and 32 gigabytes of memory for $499. The latter device is the most expensive Kindle ever, edging out the original Kindle DX oversized e-reader from 2009 at $489.

3. Will the big Kindle Fire be as good as an iPad? I’m going to get personal here. I’ve been very patient with my Android phones. I’ve played a lot with Android tablets. I just got an iPad 3 and I have to say it obliterates the competition. Apple devices just work so much better across so many types of functions at this point. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos seemed pretty excited when announcing the new Kindle Fire and it does seem to have some really good features — almost Apple-like in its innovation. But will it be even half as usable as an iPad?

4. We now have an e-reader at $69. Also, Jeff Bezos said during his presentation, “We want to make money when people use our devices, not when they buy our devices.” So when will we see a free e-reader?

5. I hate to say it, but Kobo’s devices sounded pretty good when I was reading and writing about them last night. After the Amazon announcement, they look like last year’s crop.



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