Archive for the ‘ Editorials ’ Category

Editorial: Single-purpose devices are not dead

After dissecting Amazon press release from yesterday I noticed the following quote below:

“We’re seeing that many of the people who are buying Kindles also own an LCD tablet,” Jeff Bezos, CEO of Amazon.com, said without citing a specific survey. “Customers report using their LCD tablets for games, movies, and web browsing and their Kindles for reading sessions.”

Does this mean a single-purpose device can still exist? I’m assuming that LCD tablet is an iPad. As you might already know iPads have a free app called iBooks which allows you to read eBooks purchased from the Apple Bookstore. But you can also read books by downloading the Amazon Kindle app.

I’m in the personal opinion that everything should be in one device and devices like the Kindle, Nook, iPod nano and shuffle, would be in compassed by a tablet or smart phone. But apparently the not. Why would somebody one a single-purpose device when one device can take care of that? Mr. Bezos answered that himself below:

“They report preferring Kindle for reading because it weighs less, eliminates battery anxiety with its month-long battery, and has the advanced paper-like Pearl e-ink display that reduces eye-strain, doesn’t interfere with sleep patterns at bedtime, and works outside in direct sunlight, an important consideration especially for vacation reading.”

For a single-purpose device to stay alive it has to be fantastic in what it does. It has to excel in a certain area and not be clouted by other features. With the Kindle, it excels in reading and is not hampered by apps or confusing interfaces. It is absolutely simple to start reading and the battery life is absolutely fantastic. There is no need to worry when you forget to charge the device since the battery will last up to one month?

Another reason iPad owners also have the Kindle, is the Kindle is extremely affordable at $139 and it will only get cheaper. In my opinion, $139 is at an impulse purchase territory.

So manufacturers, if you didn’t get anything else out of this editorial remember this: If you want a successful single-purpose device, keep it simple do not add unnecessary features and keep improving the main purpose of the device with each revision.

State of the eReader: Part 2 Kindle History

Kindle First Generation

The market space for eReaders has really heated up these past 3 years. The First Generation Kindle was announced on November 19, 2007 for $399. The device features a 6 inch 4-level grayscale display, with 250 MB of memory which can hold approximately 200 non-illustrated titles. The Original Kindle is the only Kindle to have an SD card slot for expansion.

Kindle 2

On February 10, 2009, Amazon announced the Kindle 2. It became available for purchase on February 23, 2009. The Kindle 2 features a text-to-speech option to read the text aloud, and 2 GB of internal memory of which 1.4 GB is user-accessible. The Kindle 2 can hold about 1500 non-illustrated books.

On October 7, 2009, Amazon announced an international version of the Kindle 2 that works in over 100 countries. It became available October 19, 2009. The original Kindle 2 uses CDMA 2000, for use on the Sprint network. The international version uses standard GSM and 3G GSM, enabling it to be used on AT&T’s U.S. mobile network and internationally in 100 other countries.

On July 8, 2009, Amazon reduced price of the Kindle 2 from the original $359 to $299. On October 7, 2009, Amazon further reduced the price of the Kindle 2 to $259.

On October 22, 2009, Amazon lowered the price on the international version from $279 to $259 and discontinued the U.S.-only model. On June 21, 2010, hours after Barnes & Noble lowered the price of its Nook, Amazon lowered the price of the Kindle 2 to $189, undercutting the Nook by $10.

Kindle 3

On July 28, 2010, Amazon announced the next generation Kindle. The Kindle 3 is available in two versions. The Kindle Wi-Fi, is priced at $139, and connects to the Internet via  Wi-Fi networks. The other version is priced at $189 and includes both 3G and Wi-Fi connectivity.  The new Kindle with 3G is available in two colors: white and graphite. Both models use the new E ink Pearl display, which Amazon claims has 50% better contrast. Internal memory is expanded to 4 GB. The battery can last for up to one month of reading with wireless radios turned off. The third-generation Kindle is 0.5 inches shorter and 0.5 inches narrower than the Kindle 2. An experimental browser-based on the Web Kit rendering engine is included, as well as text-to-speech menu navigation.

On August 25, 2010, Amazon announced that the Kindle 3 was the fastest-selling Kindle ever.

Kindle Apps

Amazon also has a free Kindle app for Apple iOS, Google Android, Blackberry, PC and Mac computers. These apps are meant to compliment the reading experience on the actual Kindle device. The advantage of these apps is the ability to read books in full color and on the go in the case of the mobile apps. Using Whispersync, users can sync the furthest point they have read on their Kindle to their app and vice versa.

Kindle DX

Amazon announced the Kindle DX on May 6, 2009 with the intention of it being a device for college students but the $489 price point put it out of reach of most college students. The device has a larger screen (9.7 in. vs. 6 in.) than the standard Kindle and at the time was the first to supports PDF files (PDF support came to the Kindle 2 through a software update). It was also the thinnest Kindle to date and offered an accelerometer, which enables the user to rotate pages between landscape and portrait orientations when the Kindle DX is turned on its side. It is marketed as more suitable for displaying newspaper and textbook content. The DX had 4 GB of storage. Like on the Kindle 2, Amazon later realized an international wireless version of the device

On July 1, 2010, Amazon released a new revision of the Kindle DX (3rd Generation Kindle DX). As well as dropping the price from $489 to $379, the new Kindle DX has an e-ink screen with 50% better contrast ratio and comes in a “graphite” color. It is speculated the color change is to improve contrast ratio perception, as some users found the previous white casing highlighted the fact that the e-ink background is gray and not white.

State of the Kindle: Part 1 a Brief Look at the History of eReaders

History

The earliest eBooks were created by Project Gutenberg, started by Michael Hart in 1971. With the first digital book being the U.S. Declaration of Independence. Project Gutenberg wanted to have 10,000 books digitized before the new millennium. In the 1990s, the introduction of the Internet to the general public made transferring electronic files, including eBooks much easier. U.S. Libraries began providing free e-books to the public in 1998, but the eBooks were mostly scholarly and technical and could not be downloaded.

In 2003, libraries began offering free downloadable popular fiction and non-fiction e-books to the public.In 2009, new marketing models for e-books were being developed and dedicated reading hardware was produced. As of September 2009, the Amazon Kindle model and Sony’s PRS-500 were the dominant eReading devices.

By March 2010,  Barnes & Noble Nook may be selling more units than the Kindle. On January 27, 2010, Apple announced the iPad and agreements with five of the six largest publishers that would allow Apple to distribute e-books. In July 2010, Amazon reported sales of eBooks for its Kindle outnumbered sales of hardcover books for the first time ever during the second quarter of 2010, saying it sold 140 e-books for every 100 hardcover books, including hardcovers for which there was no digital edition. In July this number had increased to 180 Kindle eBooks per 100 hardcover. Paperback book sales are still much larger than either hardcover or eBook.

Editorial: Thoughts on the Nook Color

The Nook Color should not be called an eReader, even Barnes and Nobles calls it a Reader’s Tablet. It’s not even a full-fledged tablet like the iPad or even the Galaxy Tab. I’m tired of hearing people call it an eReader.

The reason it isn’t an eReader
An eReader should be a device dedicated to reading. It should not have apps like B&N is planning to do early next year. I don’t care if they are supposed to be reading orientated apps. I’m sure that you are going to see Angry Birds on the B&N app store. And another problem, it’s a little bit on the heavy side like the iPad. After long periods of reading, your arms will start to feel tired.

The reason it isn’t a tablet
The Nook Color is running of Android 2.1 which is rather old as the current one is 2.3. The software updates in between drastically increases the speed of the device. But Barnes and Noble put a rather drastic skin on top of the device. The browser does not have pinch-to-zoom which is really a bummer for a 7-inch screen.

Editorial: Kindle 3 Complaints

I’ve had the Kindle 3 (Wi-Fi) for a month now and found three major complaints with it:

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Editorial: Amazon when is the next Kindle DX coming out?

When Amazon first released the Kindle DX, I thought that it would be amazing and extremely useful for students like myself. But being priced at $489 was the deal breaker for me. Then Amazon released the Kindle DX Graphite, true it was much cheaper but at that time Apple also had the iPad. I know Amazon released the Kindle DX Graphite a little under five months ago. But honestly Amazon it is time for a new model. To be honest I have never seen a Kindle DX in person. I’ve been waiting for Staples to provide a demo model at the store.

(One more side note, while I’m at it. Amazon you need to honestly better market your products in retail stores. It took forever to have the Kindle 3 available at Best Buy and Target. Be more like B&N where there products are more widely available. )

But nevertheless here are some suggestions you should take, that will result in me purchasing a Kindle DX:

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