Kindle 1.0 Will Flop, Points to Future

KindleKindle, which offers magazines, blogs and newspapers in addition to books, will flop as a consumer device — at least this version. It is WiFi-enabled and has a browser and so could function as an interesting Internet access device in addition to an e-book reader. The WiFi service is apparently free (based on the Sprint EV-DO network), and factored into the cost of products you buy with the service.

Kindle will not succeed as currently marketed because the device itself, as a book or newspaper substitute, is somewhat awkward, ugly and drab (admittedly I’ve only seen the videos and screenshots) and most people are still not going to give up their paperbacks for this. In 7-10 years things could be quite different.

Such devices do have a future. However, in the near term, the best hope for Kindle (and Sony’s e-book reader) is to market it as a mobile Internet access device that also has e-book capabilities. In that guise it instantly becomes more attractive and potentially useful, even desirable. And with a redesign it could potentially be a winner.

If Amazon were to do that it would sell more devices and more books ultimately. It could even take a rev share on ads appearing on the device, which could subsidize the cost of the free access. It would also be really interesting to see Google’s Android on such a device.

One Response to “Kindle 1.0 Will Flop, Points to Future”

  1. kindle3gwifi-dude Says:

    I’m still not sold on these e-book readers. Look’s like so many good e-readers out there. See I love to read real books but the price of an e-reader, I would choose the Kindle 3g, is too not easy to resist. Don’t you get glare with LCD screens? Went to get a Kindle yesterday but seems had none in stock. Thanks for pointing out these issues.

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