Thursday, April 14, 2011

More Amazon quotes on $114 KindleSO. Controversial analyst thoughts.

Read the first article for the earlier Amazon quotes including their response on the hope for a "free Kindle."

There are a few interesting quotes not mentioned yet that will answer a couple of questions and also an article that actually encourages Amazon to put ads into e-books.

Another columnist thinks this Kindle model is "the future of gadgets."
The controversial columns do invite comments and feedback at their linked pages.

PC Magazine's Don Costa has a few quotes in his story:
' Current Kindle users will not be able to upgrade or participate [in] the offers program, although Kindle representatives did not rule this out in the future.  "I wouldn't want to speculate on future implementations," said Grandinetti.
. . .
Screen saver ads could change and update over time, though the frequency of those changes will, Grandinetti added, depend on customer feedback.  The program is launching with relatively few advertising partners because, up until now, the Special Offer program was a confidential project within Amazon.
. . .
Since Special Offers isn't available with any other Kindle model, those initial ads may be seen by relatively few consumers.  Amazon execs, however aren't concerned. Grandinetti said Amazon obviously does its best to predict scale and is "confident advertisers will be able to reach a large group of people this way."
. . .
"Our goal is to make the device as available as possible," Grandinetti says. "I think $25 is a lot of money these days." '

Here's one from CNet's David Carnoy
' "If we do a great job with the special offers--and that's our intention--people are going to feel pretty excited about the option and having access to it," Grandinetti says. '

Business Insider's Dan Frommer:
' Grandinetti also tells us that the company is not trying to jam ads in e-books, at least not in the forseeable future.

"We're pretty skeptical" that people would want that, he says.  Like a paper book, the idea behind the Kindle is for it to "disappear" while you're reading.  So a jarring ad that interrupts that experience isn't something that Amazon is looking to do, he says. '

From my read of various forums, the reception is mixed, with some looking forward to it and some not, to put it gently.

Edward C. Baig
USATODAY's Edward C. Baig writes that
' [Forrester analyst James McQuivey] doubts there will be many customers put off by the new model. “Who is going to object to buying a cheaper Kindle just because the screensaver has a Buick ad,” he asks? '

Jared Newman calls for ad-supported e-books
Macworld's Jared Newman feels that "Ad-supported e-books are where it’s really at."

But Amazon doesn't agree, though they did get a patent for ads in e-books a couple of years ago (in case publishers want it, I suppose), but many authors would not like it either. 
' Amazon has no plans to stuff ads inside e-books, says Amazon vice president of Kindle content Russ Grandinetti.  Grandinetti told Business Insider that the company is “pretty skeptical” that ad-supported e-books are something people would want. '

Newman thinks that's "too bad" and adds, "If e-books could be had for cheap—or even free—in exchange for the occasional ad, I’d download them by the dozen."

He gives many reasons why he feels this would work better, and you can read them at the article.

I read a posts from a few forums last night that said that if the choice was between a $7.99 e-book with ads and a $12.99 e-book, they'd chose the former ... in other words, the idea here is that the reader gets a choice, but I do think the danger is that it would then eventually cost more to get an ad-free book than it does now.  At any rate, a provocative column by Newman.

Dan Frommer
Business Insider's Dan Frommer makes a spirited defense of the ad-supported model, calling it "the Future of Gadgets." Anyone interested should follow the link to read the whole thing there.

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

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.
UK-Only: recently published non-classics, bestsellers, or £5 Max ones
    Also, UK customers should see the UK store's Top 100 free bestsellers.

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  1. I can't see why Amazon would make the Kindle free without limitations. Some people would say, "What the heck!" and pick one up as a coffee cup coaster. But I can see the Kindle being 'free' in certain situations:

    1. People whose Amazon purchase history suggests they'd buy enough ebooks from Amazon to recoup the cost. One example would be those who read a lot of paper novels. Even if they turned out to dislike reading on a Kindle, they'd probably pass it along to a book-reading friend who would buy enough to justify the cost.

    2. People who join a program Amazon is running, perhaps an ebook club, whose fees would cover the cost.

    3. Perhaps the smallest and quirkiest group for which it makes economic sense for Amazon to offer a free Kindle are those with early cellular-only Kindles who download enough free ebooks (and little else) that Amazon could save itself money by exchanging that older Kindle for a free WiFi-only model.

  2. Mike,
    Thanks. Especially interesting was #3.
    I remember reading (& reporting) that news reports were that someone had figured out how many new accounts Sprint had when Amazon's Kindle came on board and which were using what seemed to be Sprint's underused bandwidth of some type, and they figured out that Amazon may have been getting a price of only $2 per customer per month based on expected usage, averaged, when cost to individual customers was $30-$60 /mo. at the time.


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