Kindle DX: Amazon's next *big* thing

In Thursday's IT Blogwatch, Richi Jennings watches reactions to Amazon's Kindle DX launch: bigger, better, pricier. But the savior of newspapers? Srsly? Not to mention Error'd...

Stacey Higginbotham summarizes (in case you've been living under a rock):

Amazon Kindle DX
Amazon today unveiled a large-screen version of its Kindle e-reader, fulfilling the predictions of hundreds of tech bloggers. The Kindle DX has a 9.7-inch electronic paper display, a built-in PDF reader, an auto-rotate capability like that of the iPhone, the same 3G wireless technology as the old Kindle, and storage for up to 3,500 books. It will cost $489 ($130 more than the smaller Kindle) and will ship this summer.


In a twist on the cell phone-subsidized equipment model, the Washington Post Co. and The New York Times Co. will subsidize the cost of a Kindle DX for readers who live in areas where they can’t get home delivery of a paper, and who sign up for a long-term subscription ... at $13.99 a month for the Times.

Diane Mermigas puns it up:

In a world loaded with simplistic, superficial, jump-to-conclusions digital judgment calls, Amazon’s (AMZN) Kindle is an over sized target.


Amazon Creator Chairman Jeff Bezos ... said the latest generation device would better accommodate serious readers of newspapers, business documents and tedious scholastic works. It eventually could make campus book stores, highlighter markers, textbook publishing houses, bathroom reading materials and Microsoft (MSFT) software obsolete.

Harry McCracken remembers his youth:

A bunch of textbook publishers have signed on to produce tomes for the new Kindle, and several colleges say they’ll distribute Amazon’s new gadget to students. Sounds good to me: I still wince when I remember lugging my backpack full of books, and wince even more when I recall how absurdly expensive many textbooks were.


The Kindle DX would seem to be a great big Amazonian shot across the bow of Plastic Logic’s similar reader. Plastic Logic announced its device last September, but doesn’t plan to ship it until early 2010, which gave Amazon plenty of time to steal some of its thunder. It too has a big E-Ink screen and PDF capability (as well as support for Microsoft Office and other formats); it uses a touchscreen instead of buttons and a keyboard, and has Wi-Fi instead of the Kindle’s EVDO. It’s still an intriguing device.

Melissa J. Perenson opines, "Kindle DX Won’t Save Newspapers":

The popularity of the Internet, coupled with the current economic downturn, has left the newspaper industry in a shambles ... we have too many ways to get our information for free. We can read the news via the Internet, our cell phones, and other handhelds such as the iPod Touch.


I can't justify paying $14 a month for an electronic version of The New York Times delivered to my e-reader. After all, I can read it online or download The New York Times iPhone App for free. Will the Kindle DX change my opinion? Not yet.

Charlie Sorrel has been reading that very organ:

Yesterday’s New York Times ... goes off into a kind of newspaper fantasy land, full of unicorns, marshmallows and time-reversals. The big hope for the Big Kindle is that it will somehow reverse the fortunes of the the spluttering print news industry.


The trouble with this business “model” is that it forgets that there is an internet, while at the same time using that same internet as a convenient distribution system an order of magnitude cheaper than pulping trees, running them through a building-sized press and then moving them around the country in trucks.

But wait! What's this? Stryker McGuire has his ear to the ground:

Murdoch’s News Corp. has set up a global team, based in New York, London, and Sydney, to create a system for charging for online content in an environment where consumers have come to expect to get it for free.


The team is said to be “looking at hardware” to deliver the content in a “user-friendly way”—a prospect that will surely catch the attention of the developers of Amazon.

And finally...

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Richi Jennings is an independent analyst/adviser/consultant, specializing in blogging, email, and spam. A 24 year, cross-functional IT veteran, he is also an analyst at Ferris Research. You can follow him on Twitter, pretend to be Richi's friend on Facebook, or just use boring old email:

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