Though Amazon’s focus is on Kindle 3 it’s hard not to notice the plethora of options if you’re thinking about getting a Kindle –
- Kindle 3 for $189.
- Kindle WiFi for $139.
- Kindle DX 2 for $379.
- Kindle 3 in white.
- Kindle 2 International (used or refurbished).
- Kindle 2 US (used or sometimes refurbished).
- Kindle DX 1 (used or refurbished).
- Kindle 1 (used).
You could argue that just the first 4 choices are valid since they are the only new ones and my argument would be that it’s still 2 choices too many.
Kindle 3 or WiFi and Kindle white or graphite are confusing most people
This might seem trivial – However, lots and lots of people are in analysis paralysis about whether to get the white Kindle 3 or the graphite Kindle 3. Even more are trying to decide whether they need 3G or not. To make things worse it isn’t very clear what 3G means, what WiFi means, and the benefits of each. Same with the colors.
The product page should clearly spell out exactly what WiFi means and what it means to not have the 3G capability. It should also illustrate the difference graphite makes so that users who choose white know what they’re missing out on.
An even better solution would be to eliminate the number of options.
Surely, you jest about eliminating the white Kindle 3?
Actually, no. People decide they want to buy the Kindle 3 and then get stuck on the WiFi vs 3G and white vs graphite questions.
It’s hard to eliminate the WiFi or 3G because there’s a big price difference. However, Amazon had the gumption to go with a white only Kindle and now it needs to go with a graphite only Kindle.
Will people complain? Yes.
Kindle owners have begun to think the white color of the Kindle has magical properties. It doesn’t.
We need to get rid of the refurbished Kindles too
The Kindle WiFi is at $139 and that’s cheap enough – it’s time we retired a few of the older models.
It’s purely a ‘make things easy for the user’ decision. The more options you get the more confused you become and the harder it is to decide. 2-3 options are better than having no choice – However, when there are 7 to 8 options it becomes confusing.
It also causes problems because the refurbished Kindles make users question the value proposition of the new Kindles.
The flip side – Is it an advantage that users are fixated on one Kindle versus another Kindle?
Yes. Every user fixated on Kindle 3G or WiFi is a user not thinking Kindle vs Nook.
However, just the Kindle 3 vs Kindle WiFi decision by itself is enough to eternally confound users. The other decisions should be eliminated.
Even if Amazon stripped things down to graphite Kindle 3, graphite Kindle DX 2, and Kindle WiFi, there would still be 6 possible decision paths for users. With 8 options we get 40,320 combinations.
It becomes a never-ending cycle of wondering whether the $249 Kindle DX 1 (refurbished) is a better option than the $189 Kindle 3 or if the $109 Kindle 2 (US, refurbished) will re-appear or perhaps the Kindle WiFi is best as who knows what 3G is and it’s probably not very useful.
So we arrive at a straightforward recommendation for Amazon. Cut down the options to 3 Kindles – Kindle 3 in 1 color, Kindle WiFi, and Kindle DX 2, and that’s it.