Interesting Kindle 3, eReader updates and news

The delay for the Kindle 3 is still 2 weeks – Kindle 3 orders placed now will ship September 10th which is 15 days after the official August 27th launch date.

There are lots of interesting Kindle 3 and eReader updates today.

Kindle and Kindle 3 related updates

The 1st and 3rd books of Stieg Larsson’s Millenium Trilogy are now available for Kindle owners in Canada though the second book is, for some strange reason, unavailable.

A user at the official Kindle forum reports that her bank account was just debited for a Kindle WiFi purchase. That might mean Amazon is getting things ready to ship or it might mean nothing. There’s another user who had his credit card charged. Both of these are for Kindle orders placed on July 28th.

Another user writes about a Kindle 3 Notice at Target -

I was at the Target today at Flowood, MS, and they had a notice up about “the new kindle in stock by early September” Has anyone else seen this at other Targets? Just wondering!

Kindle 3 showing up at Target early is pretty significant since the eInk Pearl screen needs to be seen in person – photos and videos don’t do it justice.

If Amazon bought Barnes & Noble …

Alan Reiter at Internet Evolution has a very good post exploring what would happen if Amazon bought Barnes & Noble.

These are the things that stood out -

  1. 1,347 stores that people will be able to see and use the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi at.  
  2. Break into the eTextbook market. There are 637 B&N college bookstores (included in the 1,347 count) so Amazon would get instant entry.
  3. More convenience for purchasers.

It seems that Mike Cane also thinks Amazon should buy B&N.

Is there anyone who doesn’t think it’s best for Amazon to buy B&N?

Messing Around with Headlines

Here are some of my favorite Kindle and ereader related headlines and responses -

  1. Analysts say there’s a place for bookstores that do their job very well.  Yes, online.  
  2. Why Nobody will buy a color eInk eBook Reader (Fast Company).  Because they aren’t yet available?
  3. China eReader makers face pressure from Kindle markdown. If Amazon can make Chinese companies feel pricing pressure they deserve an award.
  4. We’re Getting Closer to Releasing Color and Touchscreen eReaders (eInk/PVI). Yeah, you said that in 2005 too.
  5. A Library in Each Pocket. Are you happy to see me or …
  6. Kindle’s Days are Numbered — Long Live Kindle. Good old Huffington Post.
  7. Who needs Publishers? Publishers.
  8. Sony getting on board the Android Gravy Train. Let’s hope it’s not as amazing as the online advertising gravy train newspapers hopped on to.
  9. The Newspaper Goes Digital and You’ll have to buy it. If you say so.
  10. Are iPads eroding eReader sales? You’re two months too late.

It’s a pity that the Kindle killer and Kindle is going to die headlines are slowly disappearing. Those were usually accompanied by posts that were amazingly and unintentionally hilarious.

Are Chinese eReader makers really feeling pricing pressure from Kindle WiFi?

It seems the $139 Kindle WiFi isn’t just killing eReader makers in the US. Lots of Chinese eReader companies are struggling since the $139 price (CNY 1,000) is lower than the prices of their cheap knock-off eReaders.

Here’s a longer snippet from Trading Markets on Kindle WiFi instilling fear into Chinese eReader companies’ hearts -

Such an aggressive markdown put e-book readers in China at a disadvantage … majority of the mainstream e-book reader makers [in China] price their product above the CNY 1,000 level, most of which between CNY 1,400 to CNY 3,500.

EDO has cancelled a planned 500,000-shipment in Europe and the US this year …

A slew of e-book reader exporters in the country decided to quit in the second quarter of the year … the price cutting of Amazon.com have squeezed the room for smaller players to make a profit overseas.

This is truly extraordinary – Can’t think of the last time knock-off device makers in China got priced out of a market.

Strange new concerns about color screen eReaders

News from eInk that Hanvon is going to bring a color eInk screen eReader to market in Q4, 2010 is evoking some really strange responses.

This one from Devin Coldewey at Crunch Gear stands out -

The advent of color and touchscreen in e-readers will also bring them more in line with tablet features — not a good thing, if you ask me. The more people associate readers with tablets, the more they’ll expect from readers, and readers are a whole other product.

I guarantee that apart from a few games and basic reading-related apps, any steps taken toward tablet functionality will be met with “but the iPad does it better” in consumers. Better to reduce prices and make the primary experience (reading) better.

Wait … So after years of saying that without color and multi-purposeness eReaders don’t have a chance the Press is now saying that eReader makers should make single focus devices with black and white screens.

Better to reduce prices … make primary reading experience better.

So, let’s see – the Press attacked the Kindle for the last 2.5 years because it focused on a better reading experience and sacrificed color and muti-purposeness. Now, suddenly, the Press is advocating that same strategy (focus on reading) over adding color eInk screens.

Why the sudden change of heart?  

Bit 101 puts Kindle and iPad displays under the microscope – literally

It would be nice to see this with the new eInk Pearl display. For now there are some very revealing photos at the Bit 101 blog that compare Kindle and iPad screens at roughly 26 times and 400 times magnification.

  1. At 26x the iPad screen breaks into a grid while you can see speckling on the Kindle’s screen. Kindle wins, at least in my opinion, though it’s hard to claim that screen comparisons at 26x magnification mean much.
  2. At 400x you get a fascinating photo for the Kindle screen with tiny eInk capsules (or whatever they are) clustering together. For the iPad you get a very alien looking structure with red, green, and blue cells.
  3. There are also photos at 26x and 400x magnification for book, magazine, and newspaper print. These help show that the Kindle still has lots of room for improvement. The magazine print close-ups in particular are amazing.

A really cool comparison post even though its applicability to reading is probably not very high.

Kindle UK leads to an all-out ebook price war

We’ve covered how Kindle UK Store has ridiculously low prices. Well, WH Smith just responded.

From The Bookseller we find out that WH Smith is standing up to the Kindle UK onslaught -

WH Smith has cut prices on its top 100 fiction e-books by 66%, as retailers become increasingly competitive following Amazon’s launch of its UK Kindle store.

The Short Second Life of Bree Tanner – £4.07. The Lost Symbol – £2.78.

It’s a very good time to be a book reader in the UK.

4 Responses

  1. Why would Amazon be so foolish as to burden itself with a thousand or so buildings to maintain for a failing business?
    Borders and B&N are in trouble; Amazon isn’t!

  2. IS there any truth to an August 17th release date?? From technology talks [link removed]

  3. If Amazon bought Barnes & Noble, the first thing that would happen is that the FTC or the DoJ would file an antitrust suit, and would require that they divest the stores.

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