$0 Kindle, $20 ebooks – CNBC Genius

Words can’t do this anti-Kindle CNBC article justice. Unfortunately, words are all we have. Listing my favorite parts with comments from some readers and my thoughts.

Predicting the Kindle’s death

The opening monstrosity -

From the moment the splashy elegance of the iPad first adorned the de rigueur giant video wall behind the Orwellian figure of Steve Jobs a few months ago, you just knew the Kindle was dead.

Are we talking about eReaders here?

The splashy elegance – Is that really what is going to kill dedicated reading devices?

Lots of comments pointing out that these are entirely different devices -

I agree with baz518–these are two different devices that serve different purposes. The Kindle is an e-reader. I work on a back-lit computer screen all day–my eyes are too tired to deal with one in my off-time. I also often read while outside in bright sunlight. I’ve heard the IPad is pretty terrible when it comes to that.

And the most important factor is that the Kindle fits in any of my pocketbooks!

The ‘iPad users are Sexy’ Angle 

How predictable.

An assiduously bookish young guy sits there with his Kindle, a hipster talisman less than a year ago. Soon as some slinky, black-clad tech temptress sits near him with her iPad, he’s suddenly so dated. He dare not even speak to her.

When was the Kindle ever a hipster talisman? Even more ridiculous is the idea of a ‘slinky, black-clad tech temptress’ - How could a normal human being conceive of such things, let alone fit them into adjacent sentences?

He also quotes Gossip Girl – Yeah, nothing proves your tech credentials like quoting Gossip Girl.

The Genius Idea

You realize why he was invited on TV -

 Amazon should cut Kindle pricing even more: to zero.

That’s right—Jeff Bezos should give away the Kindle free of charge, to spur more sales of higher-profit online books. I made this argument earlier today on CNBC’s “The Call.”

Here’s a user’s comment that’s a swift and effective rebuttal -

What’s Amazon’s profit on a book? $1? $2? How can the Company give away a device that costs 50 to 100 times that?

Kindle users are voracious readers, sure. But this is an evolving product line with more features coming with new generations. A voracious reader’s book purchases won’t pay for the Kindle in a year.

It’s a shame to see ‘Kindle is dead’ rhetoric.

The Kindle is at the forefront of one of the few game changing new technologies of the millennium in portable devices: e-ink, a display innovation singularly targeting high-volume readers.

And another from a kindred spirit -

Listening to these 4 talk about anything tech is painful. The Kindle and iPad covet two different kinds of users.

Sir, I assure you that reading him is just as painful as listening to him.

The 2nd Genius Idea

Yes, it does get better.

Start a new book club, and give away the Kindle in exchange for buying a $20 book each month for two years.

So he expects people to sign 2 year contracts to buy a $20 ebook every month – That’s $480 over 2 years. Makes so much more sense than a $189 device and 24 $10 ebooks which would total $429. Plus no contract plus savings on ebooks and not having to live with $20 ebooks.

The joys of being a Kindle owner

Could there be a clearer indication of how much of a non-reader someone is than the fact that they’re suggesting $20 ebooks?

Could there be a bigger sign of how little thought was put into an argument than the fact that the $0 Kindle plan costs much more than simply buying a $189 Kindle and then buying $10 ebooks?

He considers himself ‘digitally au courant’ and thinks the Kindle is ‘positively passe’. He also refers to ebooks as ‘online books’

This is my favorite ‘Kindle will die’ article of all time. The writing skill exhibited is the polar opposite of the exceptional writing in Nicholson Baker’s anti-Kindle Masterpiece. The technical credibility – well, words elude me. Let’s just say that when someone refers to themselves as ‘digitally au courant’, references Gossip girl, refers to ebooks as ‘online books’, and then goes on to predict the demise of the Kindle it makes me happy beyond words.

10 Responses

  1. An interesting article at Salon about the self publishing industry. I think she misses a lot of important things but it might be fodder for a post:

    http://www.salon.com/books/publishing_news/index.html?story=/books/laura_miller/2010/06/22/slush

  2. I love Kindle, not crazy about ipad. I use my mini more, so go figure. This article forgets to point out one HUGE fact… the Kindle is on Sprints wireless network, for life, included in the price!!! Ipad you have to pay over $689 for the basic!!!
    They don’t compare and I agree, Kindle haters don’t read. Period.

  3. Switch11,
    Thank you for so many guffaws from one great post.

    I saw something similar — the writer wanted Amazon to drop it to $100 and then of course down to $0. I thought it was a parody of the intensely anti-Kindle mindset.

  4. A tweet today from Stephen Colbert: “kindle and nook are in a price war! i know because i read it on my iPad.” Hmmmm bet I can read on my Kindle outside in today’s bright sun better than he can on his iPad. :-)

  5. I LOVE my kindle. It goes where I go. i love that I can read in daylight and take it outdoors. Books are reasonably priced and easy to download. Kindle and IPad are two completely different things. No way would I trade my Kindle for an IPad. My Kindle serves its purpose well, exactly what it was made to be used for, READ.

  6. You left out where he stated that the Kindle had an LCD screen. I stopped reading the article at that point.

    How someone so ignorant could be a “tech editor” is beyond me.

  7. [...] –  Two weeks ago Clayton Morris was recommending we throw away our Kindles for the iPad and now he’s suddenly realized that the Kindle works in direct sunlight and [...]

  8. Would I be totally out of like if I told the author of the article to bite me? I *LOVE* my Kindle. Will defend my Kindle in any debate, even if I have to resort to insulting one’s parentage.

    My Kindle cost me all of $89 tax and yeah, I had to join audible.com to get it but I like the one book I get there each month free. So all said, I’m paying right about original price. Do I care? NO! It’s my electronic baby and like any new mother I’m fiercely defensive. And I dress it really cute, too. Have you seen Bunny Blossoms by GelaSkins? That’s the current skin.

    Love me, love my Kindle. (crosses arms & makes mean mommy face)

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