Thursday, May 12, 2011

Jeff Bezos talks about possible Tablet and concerns over adKindles


"Asked today about the possibility of Amazon launching a multipurpose tablet device, the company's president and CEO Jeff Bezos said to “stay tuned” on the company’s plans.  In an interview at Consumer Reports' offices, Bezos also signaled that any such device, should it come, is more likely to supplement than to supplant the Kindle, which he calls Amazon’s “purpose-built e-reading device.”

I'd prefer the words "would supplement" to "more likely" ... but he's likely being cagy with the "should it come" that Consumer Reports' Editor, Paul Reynolds, reports.

Bezos added, "We will always be very mindful that we will want a dedicated reading device,” he said. “In terms of any other product introductions, I shouldn’t answer."

There's a video of another talk with CR yesterday.   Pressing 'play' on it may not work.  If not, just move the pointer forward a bit.  I haven't listened to it yet.  Kindle-Blog edition readers won't be able to use this video link on a Kindle and will need to view it on a computer, smartphone with data plan, or tablet.
  It's a pretty lively conversation, from what I can see.

  Re the new ad-subsidized Kindle With Special Offers and ads of course, CR reports that Bezos said it shouldn’t be interpreted as a stepping stone to a future Kindle that’s more multipurpose or that allows e-commerce to intrude on the reading experience.

  Re Library Lending, Bezos didn't feel he could say more than “sometime this year” for when library lending would be available on the Kindle.  "But he did say that users should expect a lineup of titles that’s at least comparable to those available for competing devices that support library e-books."

 In Len Edgerly's conversation with Jay Marine the other day, it seemed that "by the end of the year" was brought up.  The last time I heard that phrase used (and it was for Kindle book loans between Kindle owners), it was finally announced as ready on Dec. 31, so I wouldn't count on it being any sooner.  It'd be nice to be surprised though.

  CR reports that Bezos said again that Color E Ink “is not ready for prime time…the colors are very pale.” And Reynolds notes that 'he added that “it continues to be improved” and “it makes a lot of sense for there to be a low-power, reflective color display.  I think that’s something you could build a fantastic product around.”

  Well, I don't think they can afford to wait for that before offering a color tablet.  Quite obviously they're working on one, and I'll be adding more on the possibilities soon.

Kindle 3's   (UK: Kindle 3's),   K3 Special, $114   DX Graphite

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  1. I don't think that Amazon is creating so much of a color Kindle in this rumored colored device but rather an Amazon-branded Android tablet to compete with all the other Android tablets out there, as well as the iPad. Amazon will have a leg up on many of the generic tablets out there because they can directly sell books, music and apps better than their competitors. In fact, this new tablet may be the first real competition to the iPad if Amazon plays this right.

    My hunch is that there will always be a basic E Ink Kindle dedicated primarily for reading. This will be a product alongside their tablet. Lots of folks have room for both. I have an iPad and a Kindle 3 and I use both every day for different purposes. I think Amazon would just rather have an offering for customers to choose that competes with the iPad. I doubt I'd get one, but I definitely will keep my Kindle.

  2. R.,
    If you've read my earlier blog articles, you'll see I write a LOT about the coming Android Tablet, starting in August when I quoted a Computerworld article that Amazon sources had confirmed they'd be doing an Android tablet.

    However, I was quoting what he said in answer to questions by CR ...

    Thanks for your feedback. I agree entirely with what you say. I have a NookColor for color magazines and portable WiFi webbing...

  3. Well after the success of the Nookcolor it's been obvious that Amazon would sooner or later offer sth. similiar. I hope they get their package (capabilities vs. price) right and i would be tempted to buy a Amazon tablet. Although i am also hoping for a refresh of the Kindle DX after their special Easter offer for 299 $. That hopefully was the first step towards a clearance sale for a new model. My only fear is that they drop the DX entirely and just go for a Tablet and a 6inch Kindle device portfolio.

  4. Verres,
    Yes, although they were apparently planning it before the success of the NC.

    I doubt they'd drop the DX. I have one and it is so clearly better for PDFs and illustrations with small text that I can't imagine their dropping it. But I think they need to do one with WiFi capability. While a color tablet might suffice for some people, the DX is so beautifully clear in any light and so relaxing on the eyes, it just doesn't make sense to drop it. Improve it and then they have something because other e-readers aren't doing it. That may be because of the cost though :-)

  5. Andrys,

    "...I doubt they'd drop the DX. I have one and it is so clearly better for PDFs and illustrations with small text that I can't imagine their dropping it. ..."

    Is my impression correct that the DX does not have the latest PDF support otherwise available in the Kindle line?

    Thanks, Don Lloyd

  6. Don,
    Yes, your memory is correct that the current DXG doesn't have the added support for PDFs such as screen-contrast control and some normal Kindle features made possible for Kindle 3 PDFs, even though the K3 uses the same but smaller screen. They'd only need to update the software for the screen capabilities. I don't know why they haven't.

  7. Well as i already wrote before commenting went down...

    It makes perfect sense that Amazon after the success of the Nook Color starts to sell their own Tablet device.

    I just hope that the special offer holiday prices of 299 $ for the Kindle DX indicate that they are going to roll out a refreshed DX soon and this is just the beginning of a clearance sale. Although my fear is given that they don't bother to sell the DX via the Kindle UK and Germany stores and aren't updating it's software to the capabilities of the K3 for so long could also mean that they are going to abandon it completly.

  8. Verres,
    Before Google's Blogger went down, I did see your note and answered it too. Hmmm. They say that they're trying to get all comments back, so maybe later on Saturday your comment and my reply will be here.

    Essentially, I could not understand why, eventually, they would not do a software update on the DXG to have the ame PDF features as K3 since it has the same screen. I remember saying that there should always be a place for the DXG even if rather high-priced since it is SO clear for PDFs.

    Time will tell us...

  9. Verres,
    I also remember saying (before Comments had to be removed on Thursday) that Amazon was said to have started on the Kindle well before NC had such an effect...


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