Amazon is usually light on details when discussing Kindle sales, but this time we’ve been granted a bit more data on the holiday season. According to Amazon, the online retailer moved 4 million Kindle devices in the month of December. Additionally, eBook gifting shot up 175%. After all, you can’t give a Kindle without including a few books.
Those with even a passing familiarity with tech news sat up and took notice when Amazon announced a $79 Kindle a few weeks ago. While the e-ink devices are certainly cheaper to make than they once were, iSupplyi has done a breakdown analysis of the device and found that Amazon is losing money on each and every Kindle sold. The total bill of materials? $84.25.
Amazon has made small tweaks to its Kindle e-book format over the years, but now the retailer has surprised the industry again by announcing a new HTML5 version of the Kindle format called Format 8. This approach leverages a toolset that already has wide support and allows a richer experience -- perfect for magazines and comics.
The Kindle 3 appears to be a modest upgrade over the previous generation e-reader. But that hasn't stopped people from throwing their money at Amazon. Analysts had predicted that Amazon would sell around 5 million Kindles in 2010. Riding high on the Kindle 3 wave, Bloomberg reports the retailer is likely to sell over 8 million instead.
To really put this in perspective, in 2009 Amazon moved only 2.4 million of the e-reader devices. Clearly, this last year has been big for electronic books. Users of mobile phones and the iPad are also able to buy into the Amazon book ecosystem with Kindle apps. But contrary to some predictions in the wake of the iPad announcement, demand for the dedicated e-reader is not abating.
The Kindle 3 offers the same size eInk display in an overall smaller and lighter form factor. The new screen also has higher contrast than earlier models. Have you noticed more people buying Kindles this year?
As expected, Barnes & Noble announced the Nook Color today at their event in New York. The device ditches the eInk monochrome screen used by the Amazon Kindle and regular Nook. In its place is a 7-inch IPS color touchscreen. The resolution is a very reasonable 1024x600, and it will come with a special anti-glare film. There is also Wi-Fi, a microSD card slot, and no 3G right now.
This device is utilizing more elements of the underlying Android system, but it is thoroughly skinned. It is clear this is a reader first and foremost. But users will have access to music, the browser, social networking, and a few select apps like Pandora. Since this is significantly different from the stock Android platform, developers looking to get their apps on the platform will have to use a Barnes & Noble supplied SDK.
The Nook Color will sell for $249 when it comes out on November 19. The bookseller is looking to get people reading magazines and newspaper on this device, in addition to regular books. Barnes & Noble may be calling this part tablet and part reader, but they may find that it isn't good enough at being either. Do you think this device is going to succeed?
Barnes and Noble is slated to hold a Nook event on October 26, and we're hearing rumblings of a major hardware revision. The new Nook, according to a source that spoke with Cnet, may have a full color touchscreen in place of the monochrome eInk display it currently uses. The screen would be 7-inches, and the device would retail for $249. The Nook would continue to be based on Android as well.
The Amazon Kindle ereader has seemingly stuck to the eInk route for the time being, and Barnes and Noble may be looking to blow past them technologically. Missing is any information on what type of screen technology the 'Nook Color" would be using. A standard LCD, like the iPad uses, comes with its own set of drawbacks. The color eInk-like Mirasol and PixelQi dispalys have been demoed, but no one has foreseen their use in ereaders so soon.
With Amazon looking to sell you a Kindle for $140, will consumers pay more for a color screen? The $500 price point of the iPad also creates an interesting barrier. Those willing to deal with LCD screens for reading might be willing to pay more for the iPad's increased functionality. What's your prediction for the announcement?
Remember yesterday when everyone noticed the Kindle was out of stock? Well now we know why. Amazon has announced new Kindle, but we kind of expected this one. The new model is just being called the Kindle, and brings a few improvements over the older model. The new eInk screen will have a 20 percent faster refresh rate, as well as better contrast. Internal storage has been bumped up to 4GB from the previous 2GB. Even with the new eInk screen, Amazon is claiming this unit will get a month of battery life with wireless off.
There will be two distinct models of the new Kindle. A Wi-Fi only version that will go for $139, and a 3G version for $189. The higher price is the same as the previous generation model. The keyboard has been altered with a different 5-way control, and slightly larger keys. The device is 21 percent smaller and 15 percent lighter than the Kindle 2 as well. Customers will have the choice of color, either graphite, or classic white.
So, are you going to take the plunge on this new reading device? If so, will you be selling off a Kindle 2 to do so? Tell us if you find anything in this new package compelling.
If you were planning on getting a Kindle from Amazon today, think again. The popular eReader is showing as "out of stock" on Amazon's website, and no estimated ship date is available. There are three competing theories about just what is going on here. First, Amazon just wasn't able to keep up with demand, and there's a temporary supply problem. Second, this is just a system glitch and nothing more. The final, and most interesting possibility, there is a new Kindle about to stealth launch.
The last time the Kindle was "sold out" was back when the Kindle 2 debuted. Amazon was very straight forward with customers about when the new version would ship, but no word this time around. There have been rumors that a new "Kindle 3" was on the way with the sharper Pearl eInk display that the new Kindle DX is using.
There's no telling what's up just yet, but stay tuned for more. Feel free to offer up your best guess of what's going on.
The Kindle, like the Nook, has free 3G wireless data and an eInk screen. Barnes and Noble also announced a cheaper Wi-Fi only model, but it sells for $150. That's only $40 less than the new Kindle price point. The Nook's new pricing tiers are clearly predicated on the Kindle being stuck at $260.
Overall, this is great for consumers. The eReader price war has finally begun, and not a moment too soon. We've always felt that these devices were far too expensive for what they do. Does the new Kindle price change the equation for you?
Bookseller Barnes and Noble is starting to hand out free coffee to encourage the use of their e-book software. For the duration of the limited time promotion, customers need only show a cafe server an open e-book running the Barnes and Noble software. This will net the user one free tall coffee. Devices qualifying for the promotion are iPhones, iPads, iPod Touches, Blackberry phones, the HTC HD2, Windows/Mac computers, and of course the Nook.
Barnes and Noble is in a race to catch up to the Kindle's lead in the e-book space, but the iPad may have them both beaten. If the tide turns against the monochrome eInk screens, these multiplatform apps are the bookseller's best hope.
Barnes and Noble has also been offering access to special content on the Nook that can be downloaded while in the store. They also allow Nook owners to read selected books for free, one hour per day, while in the store. Do these sorts of promotions make you want to live in the Barnes and Noble e-book ecosystem?