Thoughts on Kindle 3, Nook 2, Sony 650, and the week ahead

The Kindle 3 will start shipping this week – It’s supposed to ship August 27th. However, there are still a lot of unknowns.

The next week (or this one if you consider Sunday the start) is the last full week of August. Does that mean we finally hear the full details on Sony 650 or will Sony wait till September to announce details?

There are still no details on Nook 2. All we know is that B&N is going to do a big retail push in early September – Is that going to coincide with the Nook 2 release? Or merely with the announcement of a Nook 2 that arrives in October or November?  

Will Kindle 3 reach new Kindle 3 owners by the 27th of August or the week after?

What’s happened to Google Editions – Wasn’t it supposed to arrive by summer 2010? Perhaps it’s going to be a joint launch with Sony Reader or Nook 2.

Both PVI and Qualcomm are claiming that color screen eReaders are going to arrive by end 2010 with their respective color ePaper screens – Really?

How will people react to Kindle 3? To Kindle WiFi?

People are really excited about the Kindle 3 – Will the high expectations make the real thing a disappointment or will Kindle 3 be able to meet the high expectations?

How much of a difference does the new browser make? Does Article Mode really work or only on some websites?

Is the new Kindle 3 good enough for blind readers to use by themselves? What about turning on Voice Guide – How do blind users figure that out?

You have to imagine there are a lot of people waiting for videos and photos to arrive so that they can see what the Kindle 3 is really like. Other people are probably waiting for Kindle 3 reviews from the big sites or for kindle 3 reviews from actual end users.

How will all these people react when Kindle 3 details are out?

Are Kindle WiFi owners going to be thrown off by the WiFi? There must definitely be some Kindle WiFi owners who don’t understand WiFi at all or expect Kindle WiFi to ‘magically’ work just like Kindle 1 and Kindle 2 did.

How many people are waiting for Nook 2 and Sony 650 to make a decision?

In a strange way not announcing details helps B&N and Sony – they can add-on features at the last minute and they get some portion of users to wait before making a decision on which eReader to buy. However, they also lose out on some sales.  

There must be a significant number of people waiting for Nook 2 and Sony 650 details – Will they change their minds and order Kindle 3 if the reviews are very good?

What happens if neither Nook 2 nor Sony 650 are impressive? What if no details are revealed for another few weeks and people keep reading about Kindle 3?

Could one of them be better than Kindle 3?

How are the Press going to react to Kindle 3?

We had a stretch that was very pro-Kindle and then $200 Android Tablets and the iPad 2 again became the center of attention. How are reviewers going to react to Kindle 3?

You can see some hedging of bets (Example: Jason Perlow who’s now started writing that Kindle will win the eReader wars). Is this because he’s been playing with a Kindle 3 and now feels it’s very good? Is this him just hedging his bets since the iPad didn’t kill the Kindle?

Walt Mossberg and David Pogue and the other ‘reviewers’ – How important will their opinion be?

What happens if they love the Kindle 3? What happens if they hate it?

This week is pretty important for Kindle 3 and for eReaders

Kindle 3 has been anointed the saviour of eReaders although it’s questionable whether eReaders ever needed saving. Everyone seems to love the Kindle 3’s features and even the Press has started writing about eReaders positively.

There’s a lot dependent on the Kindle 3 having a good release.

This is also an opportunity for the Press to do what it did with the Nook – talk it up and then find one weakness and brutalize it. If Kindle 3 is very solid then we won’t see any attacks – However, if there are 1 or 2 big weaknesses it wouldn’t be a surprise to see the Press focus on those.

What are the weaknesses – the lack of ePub support and the lack of library books, the lack of touch, the lack of color, doing nothing other than reading. Are we going to see the Press turn on the Kindle 3 now that their attention seems to be gravitating to the iPad 2 and Android Tablets?  

This is the week all the Kindle 3 details we’ve been waiting for are revealed and it’s going to be very, very interesting.


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