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Kindle is a hot commodity

by on26 March 2008


Amazon out of stock

Amazon unveiled the Kindle in November, 2007 and immediately sold out of them. Retailing for US$399, the Kindle is an e-book reader that allows users to wirelessly download books, newspapers, magazines and blogs.

It is a handheld device about the size of a paperback book, the screen works using ink (but displays the ink particles electronically), looks and reads like real paper and weighs just 10.3 ounces.  Unlike most electronics it does not use backlighting, which can lead to eyestrain and glare that is often caused by common electronic display devices.

Amazon offers Kindle users a selection of more than 90,000 books that can be wirelessly downloaded in less than a minute. Most book downloads cost $9.99 and the Kindle can store at least 200 books. More storage can be added with an optional SD memory card. In order to download newspapers and magazines, Kindle users pay subscription fees ranging from $5.99 to $14.99 per month for newspapers and $1.25 to $3.49 for magazines.

How does it work? Kindle uses Sprint's high-speed data network (EV-DO), which Amazon pays for.  Amazon predicts the service will be highly successful because users can think of a book they want to read and have it wirelessly at their fingertips in the time it takes to download it. 

They can subscribe to newspapers and other periodicals without having to carry around print media, and can have automatic updates sent to them.  Amazon claims it’s all about convenience and immediacy.
Amazon has restocked the Kindle, and has sold out again, but claims more are on the way. Amazon’s founder, Jeff Bezos, indicated that Amazon has been working on an e-book concept and with the Kindle idea for about three years.

While Kindle hopes to ignite a rebirth in the passion of reading, we’re not so sure that this replaces the experience of a trip to the library, and browsing among the thousands of books in the quiet of a big building that contains food for thought. However, in this fast paced world where everyone is on the go, the Kindle does put literature and information at your fingertips in an instant without having to leave your bedside or access a computer.  Amazon is banking on our need for speed and convenience.

Last modified on 26 March 2008
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