Amazon’s new Kindle

Get ready for a new larger size Kindle. Three months ago Amazon launched Kindle 2.0. Now they’re launching a new Kindle at a press conference tomorrow in New York City that will have a larger screen.

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Some folks are saying the larger size will help make newspapers and magazines more readable. Others have stated that the new Kindle will appeal to periodical and academic textbook publishers. According to the Wall Street Journal, Amazon has teamed up with several universities including Case Western Reserve University, Pace University, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia and Arizona State.

Amazon to Launch Kindle for Textbooks

By GEOFFREY A. FOWLER and BEN WORTHEN

Amazon.comInc. on Wednesday plans to unveil a new version of its Kindle e-book reader with a larger screen and other features designed to appeal to periodical and academic textbook publishers, according to people familiar with the matter.

Beginning this fall, some students at Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland will be given large-screen Kindles with textbooks for chemistry, computer science and a freshman seminar already installed, said Lev Gonick, the school’s chief information officer. The university plans to compare the experiences of students who get the Kindles and those who use traditional textbooks, he said.

Amazon has worked out a deal with several textbook publishers to make their materials available for the device, Mr. Gonick added. The new device will also feature a more fully functional Web browser, he said. The Kindle’s current model, which debuted in February, includes a Web browser that is classified as “experimental.”

Five other universities are involved in the Kindle project, according to people briefed on the matter. They are Pace, Princeton, Reed, Darden School at the University of Virginia, and Arizona State.

An Amazon spokesman declined comment. On Monday morning, the Seattle company sent out invitations to a press event to be held Wednesday at Pace University in New York City.

Speaking of Kindle, according to Cnet fifty percent of Kindle users are over age 50 and twenty seven percent are over age 60. I know marketers aren’t thrilled about that. They prefer the under 30 crowd.  But if Amazon wants more under 30 buyers shouldn’t they think about lowering that $359 Kindle price tag?

kindle_20_2

Someone at technology news site, Cnet, came up with the clever idea of running a poll to learn the age of people who use Amazon’s miracle book reader, the Kindle. Seven hundred people responded, which puts the survey somewhat below what researchers would expect from Gallup, but it is a reasonable straw poll, nonetheless.

What surprised Cnet and what should surprise anyone who looks at the results is that 50% of the people who use Kindles are over 50 years old. Twenty-seven percent were over 60. (See pictures of the Kindle and other travel gadgets.)

Since the Kindle qualifies as “new technology”, it is supposed to find its initial market among the young and impressionable. The opposite appears to be true. People who should have fixed habits including reading physical books using reading glasses are buying an electronic book reader instead.

The Kindle is not cheap. With money being tight, it may be that older, affluent consumers are much more likely to spend $359 than the younger, unemployed people who will graduate from college this year.

One response

  1. stephen j. benedetto

    These are critical times for Kindle. After reading about all of the other Kindles that have come out, I prefer the first. I can put an sd card in mine and store an unlimited number of books. I can also change the battery. I think those that are designing future readers are spitting in the wind. Where they improve one thing, they regress in another.

    The mistakes that Kindle makes now could hurt their future. While I love mine, I would think long and hard about getting another at $359. If Amazon raises the price of books, this will also be a factor. If Kindle eliminates the internet, say goodby.

    As far as Kindle coming out with new devices frequently, I would suggest they wait 6 months at least. People order one , and before you know it another is on the market. How many do you think we should buy in one year at $359. ?

    I believe that the planners and manufacturers of this product should pay attention to real improvements when they come out with another. There should be a changeable battery, sd card, color screen, thin device, some type of mouse instead of a roller device, more books & newspapers etc. etc.

    I think you had better be careful with your marketing strategy of coming out with frequent Kindles and releasing them only with a few improvements at a time. It will not take much for people to figure out what you are doing, and when they do, say goodby to Kindle. There are all ready competitors on your tail. Do not try to take advantage of the consumer.

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