Disclaimer: The last book I fiction book I’ve read was probably in high school, and probably The Catcher in the Rye. However, I read. From technical books, to blogs, to magazines… to me reading is reading.
I’ll get straight the point since this post won’t carry much weight anyway. I don’t see the point of the Kindle DX. Let’s take a look at it from various value propositions.
Great. Let’s go green, get rid of the insanely inefficient newspaper delivery system. From paper, to ink, to delivery trucks, to ultra-wasteful fully stocked newspaper machines going digital will do everybody a whole lot of good.
Consumers get their news faster, the newspapers cut out fixed costs and go digital. WIN-WIN. The only thing I see missing from this picture is the advertising space that newspapers are missing. But that can be mitigated by selling more targeted ads, better ad targeting system, and geo targeted ads even. Right now there’s little or no metrics on ads put into newspapers.
This all sounds great, except for the fact that I already get all these newspapers digitally. nytimes.com, NYT iPhone app, it’s already here and it’s free. Why would I need a Kindle for this? On top of that, does the Kindle version of NY Times off the crossword puzzle?
Textbooks cost, $80, and you have to buy them every year. There’s no pricing yet on Amazon’s digital versions but I’m going to go out on a limb and say they’ll be less than $80. Fantastic! Cheaper textbooks (forgetting the fact that the Kindle itself will be $489 unsubsidized) are a win for any college student. However, you’re missing the tactile feel of having a physical book. Dogging pages, highlighting excepts, scribbling notes on the sides. You’ll be missing all those!
What would be great would be a touchscreen notebook reader that OCRs your scribbled notes. That way you can get full indexing and search.
Granted, I don’t read much outside of magazine or blogs. That might be because I have ADD but it might just be that I like my news and information in bit sized portions. If they made the Kindle color (which I think you need to properly absorb a magazine article) and offer me a subscription of magazines delivered digitally then I might just consider it.
In the end, Amazon jilted their Kindle fans, who most likely just purchased a Kindle 2 months ago by launching the Kindle DX. They got the pricing wrong, $489, when they should have worked with newspapers to offer some sort of subsidized version of the Kindle. They obviously didn’t get the textbook replacement since only a small handful of universities are taking part in the pilot.
But who knows, maybe piracy will save the Kindle.