Monday’s likely to see the launch of the next generation of the Kindle. I was chatting about that subject this morning and while I think the Kindle isn’t perfect, to paraphrase Alan Kay, it is the first dedicated e-book reader worth criticizing. Here are three things that Amazon got right with the Kindle.
1. Content – Yes, there could be more content available for the Kindle but Amazon made sure there was enough content and the experience was “good enough”. Making sure there were best sellers as well as top tier newspapers made all the difference. It doesn’t matter how good the e-book reader is, if there’s nothing to read.
2. Ubiquity – There’s no PC required to use the Kindle. Thanks to the integrated wireless, which comes at an invisible cost to the consumers, I have the ability to buy content anywhere (anywhere in the US that is) This is super important. Getting the PC out of the loop makes the process a lot easier to use. No issues about conflicts with Mac OS, Windows or Linux.
3. Price – I love eBooks and have for years but eBook pricing has been way too high (what’s the difference between a “hardcover” eBook or a “paperback” one?). Amazon is subsidizing some costs here but getting $9.99 best seller appeals to me (and appeals to anyone else who reads a lot).
It will be interesting to see if Amazon’s addressed some of the other issues, such as form factor, lag when turning pages, lack of backlit display and of course, price. I’ll be at the Amazon event live. It should be a fun morning.