In just three days after it’s release, the Kindle DX has already completely sold out.
Amazon has stated that they will restock their coffers with Kindles by June 17th, but there’s no word on how many they’ll be bringing in, or if they’re producing more to meet the overwhelming demand. It’s expected that the Kindle will bring in $1.2 billion in sales in 2010 and a whopping $3.7 billion in 2012.
A couple of announcements surfaced today, one each for both of the smartphone heavyweights - Apple's iPhone and T-Mobile's G1. If you own, or are considering, one or the other, keep reading.
Amazon Updates Kindle App for iPhone
Score a win for iPhone owners, who now have an improved Kindle app to mess around with. Now in version 1.1, the updated release addresses a few customer complaints, one of them being that users can now read in either portrait or landscape mode. And to make reading easier, you can now change the background and text color combination. Other changes include tap support for turning pages, and multi-touch pinch to zoom in on images.
G1 'Cupcake' Update Pushed Back Until June
G1 owners who have been anxiously awaiting the much anticipated 'Cupcake' update (Android 1.5) will have to wait a little longer. What was originally supposed to be an "early May" release looked like it was finally going to start trickling out this week in the U.S., but word has come down that the update has been delayed at least one more week.
"We are working diligently to get Android 1.5 out as soon as possible, while aiming to ensure a consistent, positive experience for our customers," a T-Mobile forum moderator announced. "We're finalizing this build this week to ensure optimal functionality and smooth delivery. Therefore, the rollout schedule has been reset by approximately a week, and we expect all G1 customers will have the update by early June."
Barring any last minute changes, Android 1.5 will add on-screen keyboard support with auto-correction, text prediction, user dictionaries, and third-party keyboard layouts, live folders, folder shortcuts for YouTube favorites, starred contacts, MPEG4 and 3GP video playback, stereo Bluetooth, a new Linux kernel, browser enhancements, and several other goodies.
As expected, Amazon today officially unveiled its large-screen Kindle eBook reader, the Kindle DX, making the announcement in a lecture hall at the downtown Pace University. Speculation and rumors preceded the announcement, none of which matters anymore now that Amazon has put up a product page. Some pertinent specs for the new DX revision:
9.7-inch display with 16 shades of gray
Hold up to 3,500 books, periodicals, and documents
Slim form factor measuring just over 1/3 of an inch
Auto rotating screen
Much anticipated built-in PDF reader
The new kindle measures 10.4 x 7.2 x 0.38 inches, whereas the original measured 8 x 3.5 x 0.36 inches. It also costs a little over a $100 more than the original, part of which goes toward the added storage capacity.
You can pre-order the Kindle DX now for $489 with free shipping through Amazon.com.
A bigger version of Amazon's Kindle eBook reader is expected to debut this week, possibly as early as tomorrow, that will be tailored for displaying newspapers, magazines, and college textbooks. The big mystery is what exactly will the supersized Kindle look like, and Engadget appears to have solved it by posting several leaked photos of what will reportedly be known as the Kindle DX.
According to Engadget, the new Kindle will bump the screen size up from 6 inches to a 9.7-inch display, and at long last, it will come with a built-in PDF reader. Users will have the ability to add notations, as well as notes and highlights, which should prove popular on college campuses. The DX also looks to come with an improved web browser, but no other details are yet available.
Still no word on price and whether or not it will come with a touchscreen.
According to a report in The New York Times, Amazon is thinking big (literally) with its Kindle eBook reader and plans to introduce a larger version later this week tailored for displaying newspapers, magazines, and possibly textbooks.
"We are looking at this with a great deal of interest," said John Ridding, the chief executive of the 121-year-old, salmon-colored British newspaper The Financial Times. "The sever double whammy of the recession and the structural shift to the internet has created an urgency that has rightly focused attention on these devices."
Larger eBook readers like the upcoming Kindle could prove game-changing in how media outlets do business. The current business model calls for newspapers and magazines to offer up content on the web for free, which The New York Times said is being viewed by many as a "critical blunder that encouraged readers to stop paying for the print versions." But not everyone sees a black-and-white eBook reader saving the day.
"I don't think we would be anywhere near as excited about anything in black and white as we about high-definition color," said Tom Wallace, the editorial director of Condé Nast, who publishes magazines like Vogue and Wired. "But technology changes at a pretty high clip these days, and if we are now in the Farmer Gray days, it will be only a very short while until we are in the video game era."
Thoughts on the upcoming Kindle? Hit the jump and sound off.
We're not the least bit surprised that the lower-aged demographics would rather be immersed in a videogame than dive into a book, but who would have thought that more Kindles would end up in the hands of those who have been around for half a century or more?
You better believe it, says Stephen Peters, author of the Kindle Culture blog. Peters claims to have sifted through 1,387 responses in a 70-page Amazon.com forum thread discussing "Average Kindle Owners' Age," and the results are pretty surprising. According to Peters' data, the majority of Kindle owners are in their 50s (21.2 percent), with the next two largest demographics aged 40-49 (19.1 percent) and 60--69 (18.3 percent). The numbers drop off significantly after that, but still add up to 67 percent of all Kindle owners aged 40 and over.
There are obvious scientific flaws in relying on a forum thread alone to cultivate data, but it appears that at least when it comes to Amazon's Kindle, seniors are not shying away from technology, and in fact leading the charge. One reason for this, CNet points out, is that the Kindle is easier to handle than regular books for arthritis sufferers.
No matter what the reason, you might want consider the Kindle the next time your siblings put their heads together to come up with the perfect 50th birthday gift idea.
Amazon this week announced some changes to its Personal Document Service, with the biggest one coming to its fee structure. Starting May 4th, no longer will it cost a dime for every document Kindle owners send to their eBook reader (via Whispernet, the Sprint-based EV-DO network that delivers books and user conent to the Kindle), where they're automatically converted for viewing. Instead, Amazon is switching to a consumption-based billing model and will charge 15 cents per megabyte, which will be rounded up to the next whole megabyte.
The other change is the addition of RTF and DOCX file formats. These will be added to the current supported file types, which includes DOC, HTML, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP, TXT, AZW, MOBI, and PRC. PDF documents are also somewhat supported, although Amazon warns that "Some complex PDF and DOCX files might not format correctly on your Kindle."
For those looking to avoid fees altogether, Amazon reiterated that users can still send their personal documents as an email attachment to "name"@free.kindle.com, where they will be converted and emailed back to the recipient free of charge.
Normally, we lead off reviews with the relevant speeds and feeds, but in the case of an eBook reader, like the Kindle, that’s not necessary. The Kindle 2 is about the same thickness as this magazine and the size of a trade paperback, but packs enough internal memory to hold an incredible number of books—between 1,000 and 2,000, depending on the length of the books. But that doesn’t really matter. What matters is that the Kindle 2 is a great way to read and purchase books.
Over this past weekend a reported glitch caused 57,310 books, primarily those with gay and lesbian themes, to lose their important sales ranking on Amazon. The sales ranking, which allows users of Amazon to find best sellers easier, is important not only to potential readers but to authors as well. And, while according to Amazon it was “an embarrassing and ham-fisted cataloging error” that caused the removal, a hacker is taking credit as well.
While Amazon maintains that the error was caused by a “glitch in our systems,” a (yet unnamed) hacker took credit for it, claiming that he used bugs on Amazon to trick people into flagging gay-themed books as inappropriate. The whole issue even caught the attention of Twitter users, who began using the hash tag “#amazonfail.”
Though, according to Mark R. Probst, author of “The Filly,” a gay western romance aimed at young adults, “I believe it was an error. I don’t think it was anything malicious they were trying to do.”
However, others aren’t so easily convinced. Author Daniel Mendelsohn, whose memoir “The Elusive Embrace” lost its ranking, says, “There are mistakes and there are mistakes. At some point in this process, which I don’t understand because I’m not a computer genius, the words gay and lesbian were clearly flagged, as well as some kind of porno tag. I say, do I want my book in anyone’s mind to be equivalent to a porno? And the answer is no.”
Say it isn't so, Amazon! Taking a page from iTunes' recently announced (as in yesterday) variable pricing scale, Amazon has decided to follow suit just one day later. Boo, hiss!
Apple's iTunes yesterday introduced a variable pricing model where songs sell for $0.69, $0.99, and $1.29. The move earned Amazon some short-lived praise for staying under a buck, but that all goes out the window today.
To be fair, the blame more than likely goes to the music studios, who may have raised prices in exchange for serving up DRM-free titles. Amazon and Apple aren't alone in switching to variable pricing, as it appears to have also affected Real's Rhapsody store and Lala. Prices are up at Wal-Mart too, with some songs reaching $1.24.
Reactions to what looks like an industry-wide price hike? Hit the jump and sound off.