All the tablet pundits predict that tomorrow Amazon will formally announce their 7-inch Android tablet which is rumored to be called the Kindle Fire. The predicted price is $250.00 and the machine will be geared towards surfing the net but mostly for buying more stuff from Amazon and streaming Amazon’s movie content but only in the US as Amazon is not permitted to stream to folks in this part of the world. Amazon Prime members in the US are currently able to stream many movies at no extra cost but Prime member outside the US will just have to suffer without any extra benefit for the same price. The Amazon device most likely will not have the E ink screen, but a color touch screen like any other tablet. The 7-inch tablet is supposedly designed to be addictive and cause people to be more tied to Amazon than they already are. It is expected there will be a huge rush to buy this tablet as the mindless gift-buying for those special someones season approaches. On a related issue, Netflix is now allowed to stream to the Caribbean and Latin America but if you are a typical movie and TV series viewer from Trinidad and Tobago, you will find half of Netflix’s content is in Spanish with no English option. The other half is mostly garbage. However you can sign up to Netflix for the first month free and see if you have to stamina to weed through the garbage to find the odd gem.
I noticed only today there was a sudden price drop at Amazon of the Samsung Galaxy 7-inch, 16 GB, Wi-Fi tablet from $350 to $300, indicating a tablet price war may be looming as tablet makers come to terms with another potential Amazon bulldozer. Hooray for the strong-minded consumer who is strong enough to survive outside the Amazon box. I am not very sure how useful a 7-inch tablet will be in becoming a person’s soul mate but I think a 10-inch device will perform much better than a 7-inch one despite being more expensive and a shorter battery life. Good things will come to those who wait for the early-adopters bugs to be ironed out.
- Amazon set to unveil Kindle Fire Wednesday (bizjournals.com)
- Kindle Tablet is coming, what it means to consumers (zdnet.com)
- Amazon’s Android Tablet: Kindle Fire (techie-buzz.com)
- Here’s What To Expect At Amazon’s Kindle Fire Tablet Tomorrow (AMZN) (businessinsider.com)
- Amazon ready to launch a full-featured Kindle tablet tomorrow (oregonlive.com)
The Kindle 6″ Wi-Fi is shipped in an unattractive box and but as the old saying goes, never judge by box alone. The package is certified (by Amazon, I assume) to be frustration-free which is something that should be extended to people as well. On seeing the box, there is the usual excitement due to anticipation of the thought of a new box and what it will bring.
I can also certify the box is frustration-free and once it’s opened, the Kindle is on and ready to use. The battery life for the Kindle is amazing and the folks at Amazon, including Jeff Bezos, made sure the battery technology in the Kindle could live up to reader’s expectations. When last did a paper book need to be recharged using a USB port?
The paper manual included with the Kindle is a quick-start guide. For more details on how to do fancy stuff like uploading PDFs, making the Kindle talk, searching, play MP3s etc, the user would have to either download (in Kindle format) the real manual or simply visit the Kindle page at Amazon.
Simplicity is the motto in designing the Kindle so using the Kindle, including charging should be intuitive. If you get one cable and one AC adapter you will not have to think too much, just like using paper books.
The Kindle is easy to hold though thinner than most good books. It leaves the reader feeling confident that he or she holding on to something that is of high quality and being assembled in China is irrelevant. Everything good now comes from China like the iPhone, the Kindle, the corruption-free construction industry.
I showed the Kindle to several people – skeptics and believers – and everybody agreed that reading anything on the Kindle was effortless and just like reading on paper. The Kindle is a black and white only device which for most readers, is not an issue. So far, I think the Kindle is amazing and useful, but in the short- term, it will not replace paper as many books are not available in Kindle format for complicated reasons that might sound either stupid or greedy to most.
Setting up the Wi-Fi is easy and buying books is a little too easy. One-Click-Ordering was designed to make buying effortless, but in the hands of the weak and impulsive, it is good for the American economy.
Maybe the Government should give students Kindles instead of paper text books as it would help save trees and protect the backs of students from muscle strain and also reduce incidents of slip disk. This e-text book idea is already being explored in Africa.
- Amazon Kindle: Great Reading in the New Year (seattlepi.com)
- Amazon: Tablets Aren’t Kindle-Killers After All (dailyfinance.com)
- Is Kindle the Best eReader? (brighthub.com)
- Amazon: Kindle 3 Our All-Time Bestseller (pcworld.com)
- Amazon Says New Kindle Is Top-Selling Product (wired.com)
- Kindle Vs Nook Vs iPad (pctechmojo.com)
- Report: Apple Slows iPad Production, Kindle Moves to Mass Market (cultofmac.com)
- Kindle WiFi sold out for Christmas, Kindle 3 available (ireaderreview.com)
- WiFi Kindles back in stock at Amazon (teleread.com)
- Oprah Kindle – Dec 6 may be Oprah Kindle day (ireaderreview.com)
I held and cuddled a Kindle in the palms of my hands on more than a few occasions and it made no emotional connection like the paper book it was designed to replace. The Kindle is supposed to be an alternative and an improvement to the paper book but I am not sure if people who are addicted to the mysteries and smells of books and bookshelves will appreciate Amazon’s creation. I think one of the problems Amazon is trying to solve with the Kindle is not only how to make books more accessible but how to make more money by turning a want into a need. What you can’t do as easily with a Kindle compared to a real book is sniff the paper, ruffle the pages, put dog-ears on them or enjoy the thrill of breaking down a friend’s door to retrieve your long overdue book. I am not sure how resilient a Kindle is to the spilling of rum and Coke or withstanding a leaking chicken roti but most real books survive these everyday occurrences if acted on promptly. If these spills happen to a Kindle it might have to be returned to its makers for evaluation, deodorizing and a hefty repair bill. I would hate to think I can’t read any of my favorite books because the curry went out of control.
The Kindle is affordable to those who can easily afford to blow TT$320 at Movietowne twice a month. For those who can’t see or read too well, the Kindle can read to you in a voice reserved for curing bouts of insomnia. It is easy to read a book on a Kindle and the adults of tomorrow will wonder how people ever read a paper book without audio. The Kindle is now US$189 down from US$259. Only yesterday on Amazon’s recently acquired popular online store, Woot, the Kindle was being sold for US$149 but those sold out in record time.
The Kindle will work in Trinidad and Tobago as Amazon has negotiated worldwide roaming data charges with cell providers. In Trinidad and Tobago we do not have the fast 3G networks like some parts of the US and Colombia which means we will have to settle for our books being delivered at not significantly slower times using GPRS/EDGE. What customers and potential Kindle customers in Trinidad and Tobago must also note is that not every Kindle book that is available to US customers will be available to us. Many new bestsellers will not be available and we in the backward Third World may have to wait months or forever to have these books on Kindle. Of the top ten bestselling Kindle titles today, only one is available in our region. Don’t blame Amazon for this but blame the wicked and greedy book publishing and distribution mafia. Also blame yourself for being a Third World citizen. Don’t panic too much as Amazon has made 417,446 Kindle books available to the Caribbean and Latin America. But when you consider US customers can buy around 620,000 books, you feel you are being discriminated against. A few newspapers are also available for subscription via kindle like the Shanghai Daily in English at US$9.99 a month and Brazil’s Jornal de Santa Catarina in Portuguese at US$11.99 a month.
There is one very serious issue which makes the Kindle unattractive to US residents and ugly to people not living in the US – the new Kindle has to be shipped back to Amazon to have the battery replaced. The battery may last years but that is a hope and a guess. I can’t recall ever having to return a real book to Amazon or even RIK to so that I can read it. One other issue with the Kindle in Trinidad and Tobago and most countries outside of the US is that web browsing is blocked probably because of the high roaming data charges, so blogs are obviously not supported via the Kindle in our region. If the Kindle had Wi-Fi, web browsing may have been possible outside the US.
As far as the international market is concerned, Amazon has nearly all of the portable ebook market. Their major competitors in the US is the Nook from Barnes and Noble which is still a US-only device. The Nook has nice features that are not present in the Kindle such as a colour LCD touch-screen, SD memory expansion, and Wi-Fi. Despite the Nook having Wi-Fi for downloads of books, any attempt to buy books using a foreign IP address or non-US issued credit card will be blocked. We are not a global society as some like to boast and people in the Third World should always know their lesser place. You can also get Kindle books on your iPad, iPhone, PC or laptop but the Kindle is pencil thin and easier and cheaper than an iPad to fall asleep with. Kindle for Google Android phones are supported in many countries but not as yet in Trinidad and Tobago. Kindle for Blackberry is not supported for customers outside the US, including illegal US immigrants who don’t have a US credit card account.
I doubt I will be getting a Kindle soon since the Kindle doesn’t solve any problems I have or satisfy any cravings except the need to show off. The Kindle is however a good device to travel with since airlines are now charging extra for every ounce of overweight luggage and bookshelves.
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- Amazon Kindle DX e-Reader with New Low Price (crenk.com)
- Amazon’s latest moves, Kindle Previewer, and more Kindle (ireaderreview.com)
- Amazon Introduces New Supersized Kindle (dailyfinance.com)
- You Can Preview Kindle Books On the Web Soon [Kindle] (gizmodo.com)
- Amazon now gives authors 70% royalty option on Kindle (slyvisions.com)
- Kindle Deal – Kindle 2 for $155 at Woot (ireaderreview.com)
- Amazon.com offers new Kindle DX, lowers price to $379 from $489 (taragana.com)
- Amazon raises the specs, cuts the price on latest Kindle DX (macworld.com)
- $189 Kindle – Amazon Kindle now just $189 (ireaderreview.com)
- Amazon Launches Cheaper Kindle E-Reader- Battle of the eBook Readers (foxnews.com)
Amazon will finally be offering the Kindle for sale in Trinidad and Tobago from October 19th. It will be sold for US$279 which is about TT$1,775. I am not sure if local customs will classify the Kindle the same as a laptop or computer and charge no taxes or if it will be considered a high-end luxury device and add between 45 to 55 % tax. If this luxury tax is added it will keep the Kindle, a reading device, out of the reach of anyone who aspires to be a book collector on a budget but especially those who are already saving for the new property taxes and migration fees.
If you don’t know what a Kindle is by now you are probably not passionate about books and have decided to close your mind to new ideas like ebooks and aluminum smelters emitting toxic dust. Kindle is a device and software platform launched by Amazon in November 2007 for reading digital media such as ebooks. The Kindle has been a great success since that time and like the Wii, people had to wait in line to get one. For details on the features of International Kindle, click here and here.
The main argument against the Kindle is that it is not paper and cuddly and I also thought so until I picked up a 6-inch Kindle and enjoyed reading on it. Still, I don’t think it will replace paper in a hurry despite the fact the world has grown fond of cuddling up with battery powered devices of various sizes for years. The Kindle being offered to international markets will hold about 1,500 books and the rest can be archived by Amazon. People with the International Kindle in Trinidad and Tobago will be able to buy Kindle books and download them wirelessly and tirelessly with just a click or two. It appears that Amazon will be using the local GSM/GPRS networks from Bmobile and/or Digicel. Amazon said there will be no charge for using the network in Trinidad and Tobago – you only have to pay for the book.
Typically, ebooks are cheaper than paper books, and for example, Cafe au Lait by Liane Spicer sells for US$6.99 in paperback but for US$4.79 in Kindle format. That is about a 30% saving, not including the cost to ship the book to Trinidad via a Caribbean Express box. The Kindle is tempting because of the lower book prices and it is tree-friendly. What the Kindle will also do for the book world is reduce the incidents of book borrowing and recovery through threats and violence. The Kindle is a black and white, or more correctly, a few shades of gray device, which would rule out certain types of porn. Still, I am for the Kindle even if it threatens property tax as the main reason for poverty.
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- Smaller, faster, cheaper Kindle e-Reader on the way (gizmag.com)
- Buy New Amazon Kindle WiFi for $135 Only [Video] (quickonlinetips.com)
- Kindle Million Club (kottke.org)
- kindle graphite vs kindle white – which Kindle 3? (ireaderreview.com)
- Nook’s Kindle Counterpunch: The Hands-On Approach [Nook] (gizmodo.com)
- iOS Kindle App Brings Google, Wikipedia Search to iPhone, iPad (pocketnow.com)
- Revamped E-Books – The New Amazon Kindle has Some Exciting New Features (GALLERY) (trendhunter.com)
- The New Kindle, And Ebooks Generally: My Questions Answered [Video] (crunchgear.com)
- Will Kindle 3 end the eReader wars? (ireaderreview.com)