Amazon Kindle: Too little too late.

Amazon KindleA friend on Facebook suggested that Amazon’s Kindle was perhaps the perfect eBook reader and worth a try. I haven’t tired it.. and wont.

The reason is that I have been using the hacked books app fro the iPhone for a while now. The iPhone has a great screen, intuitive interface, and not only fits in my pocket, but it is always with me. When (they have too) apple releases their own eBook reader hooked up to iTunes there will be no competition.

I am afraid that I have to agree with Tim O’Reilly, while Amazon’s Kindle is a good product, it is too little too late. My question isn’t whether I should buy a kindle, but when can I get ALL my books on my iPhone?

4 thoughts on “Amazon Kindle: Too little too late.

  1. It’s too late?? In a market that has yet to be even marginally realized? FYI – not everyone has (or wants) an iPhone. (Yes, that’s just because they don’t realize what you and I know – that it rules)

    I’ve not seen or played with the Kindle, but the eBook reader and its market is FAR from over. I’m surprised it’s taken this long to get to the place we’re at, certainly, but I think the next few years will prove to be quite interesting on this front.

  2. By the way, the iPhone, in its current iteration is NOT acceptable for nearly anyone as an eBook reader. If you sit down to “read” (not pass time by reading, which is what most of my current iPhone reading is), how long will that batter last? Is the screen big enough to not get eye fatigue? Yes, I can zoom in and out to make the text big enough, but does big enough = left/right scrolling? What a pain.

    For *you* the iPhone may replace an eBook reader, but I think for anyone near the mass, non-geek audience, the iPhone is not even close to a replacement for the eBook reader (at least as they are currently envisioned).

  3. Hi Jake,

    No the iPhone is not perfect for reading, but it is good enough for most (assuming Apple adds a decent iPhone eBook reader to iTunes).

    We also have to be careful when we generalize our perception of what is acceptable. What is acceptable to one generation may not be to the next. Reading books on the small screen will be normal to the next generation. Let your teenagers give it a whirl and give you feedback.

    So why will good enough win?

    1) Ease of use ( The darn thing is intuitive )
    2) Convergence ( I already own an iPhone )
    3) Convenience ( I always have it in my pocket )

    Of these arguments “Convergence” is the most interesting. It really isn’t just about already having an iPhone. It is also about how it fits into our lives and the value you get from something.

    While most people will not buy a separate eBook reader (hey I can just buy the book), everyone owns a phone. The perceived value of the ebook reader is not as high as an iPod for most people, but when its a feature of something else they already own they may use it.

    In the end having eBooks on my iPhone is not only convenient, but in turn reduces the emotional friction of purchase/use to an acceptable level.


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