All 2 entries tagged Amazon
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May 06, 2009
I’ve already blogged about how silly I find the Amazon Kindle. The fact they’ve brought out a second version today (because the normal one’s too small for newspapers and textbooks) seems to perfectly sum up why paper is best.
But this new release has also got me thinking about Amazon. They’re not really a hardware company. Yes, there’s a lot of hardware behind their website and in their enormous distribution centres. But they don’t really understand how to make and market hardware yet.
The clearest sign of this is the fact that neither the Kindle, Kindle2 or the new Kindle DX are available in the UK, or anywhere outside North America for that matter.
And that’s not just because they haven’t got round to it yet – all three Kindles use EVDO, a wireless modem that’s completely incompatible with phone networks outside the United States. That, to me, is a crazy decision, and makes me think Amazon don’t really know what they’re doing when it comes to selling hardware.
February 09, 2009
I don’t get the Amazon Kindle.
Someone basically saw the iPod and thought “Yeah, we’ll do that but with books”.
And that was probably as much thought as went into it.
The device – and it’s newly announced successor the Kindle2 – is jaw-droppingly expensive. $359, or £240. For something that replicates, albeit badly, the idea of a book.
Don’t forget that unless you’re going to commit to a life of nothing-but-Dickens, you’ll still have to pay another £5 for every book you want to read on it. And that’s before we get to the device’s USP, newspapers and blogs. They also cost money to read (up to £7 a month), even though they’re available online completely free.
Some of the technology is very clever – the so-called ‘e-ink’ is impressive and it does look more like reading a book than your typical computer screen. And yes, you can store billions of words all on one little chip.
But then some of it is awful. It’s got a wholly unnecessary keyboard. It has an operating system that takes up more than 600Mb (for a book!). And it tries really hard to make you hate it by banning RSS feeds.
The Kindle completely kills the idea of what a book is all about. Books can be shared, given pride of place on a bookshelf, passed down to future generations, and loved.
The iPod made music portable. The Kindle is just making books look like even better value.