Friday, November 11, 2011

Kindle News 11/11/11: Kindle Fire adds HULU PLUS and EPSN. Plus Kindle Fire Newsstand and more


ADDING ON:  Amazon Kindle Fire gets HULU PLUS and ESPN. That just came in. More later on that.

The Newsstand Headline
That's the headline of Amazon's press release today, although the Kindle Fire Newsstand page itself still says "Choose from over 300 popular magazines and newspapers, including Vanity Fair, Elle, O, The Oprah Magazine, and more."

  They do still have 4-6 days to add another 100 :-) In fact, Jessalyn. of MyKindleStuff noticed today and tweeted that NEW buyers are being told on the product page that new Kindle Fire orders made today will be shipped 3-5 days from now.  That means anything shipped 3 days from now, 11/14, with one-day shipping would arrive ON the designated official day for shipping to customers.  As usual, Amazon is likely to be early.

Those who pre-ordered some time ago and who live in less-remote areas may receive theirs by Nov. 15.   They've always shipped new models only to U.S. customers at first, but they plan to ship them globally later.

A Special they're offering mentions that
"Kindle Fire customers who subscribe before March 1, 2012 will also receive an exclusive free three-month trial of 17 Condé Nast magazines, including Vanity Fair, GQ, WIRED and Glamour.

  Other magazines in full-color include Meredith, and Hearst.  Interactive editions with built-in video and audio are also available for many magazines such as Better Homes & Gardens, Allure and Self."

Russ Grandinetti, VP, Kindle Content, mentions "the beautiful, intuitive reading experience we've built for their favorite magazines such as US Weekly, The New Yorker, and Reader's Digest, and that the response from publishers has been "overwhelmingly positive."

  To learn more about the Kindle Fire Newsstand, visit

CNN's Cashmore: "Kindle Fire will be hottest tablet since the iPad"
So, the big day for the first Amazon tablet, after all those months of rumors, is almost here.  An almost typical news story comes from CNN.

Peter Cashmore (such a name!) is founder and CEO of Mashable, a popular blog on tech news and the digital scene.  He mentions that the Kindle Fire and the Nook Touch are both contenders, in what has been an iPad world.   He goes on:
' Of the two, the early favorite to emerge as the iPad's top rival is the Kindle Fire.  More than any other competitor, Amazon is able to spar with Apple by controlling all the pieces of the puzzle -- from the device itself to the content that you'll consume on it.

This "end to end" solution mimics Apple's strategy -- it should mean that the user experience is radically better than other iPad alternatives ... they've also made changes to the interface that make it feel more holistic.
Mark my words: The Amazon Kindle Fire will be the most successful tablet device since the iPad. Five hundred dollars is a steep price to pay for many tablet-craving consumers, but paying $200 for a similar device is comparatively painless.
  At the very least, the Kindle Fire is set to become the world's second-most popular tablet.

At that price, I wouldn't even bet against the Fire dethroning the iPad as the market leader. '

  Well, I sure wouldn't go that far! But that the Kindle Fire is definitely spreading fast.

Kindle Touch 3G   Kindle Touch WiFi   Kindle Basic   (UK: KBasic)   Kindle Fire
Kindle Keybd 3G   (UK: Kindle Keybd 3G)   K3 Special Offers   K3-3G Special Offers   DX

Check often: Temporarily-free late-listed non-classics or recently published ones
  Guide to finding Free Kindle books and Sources.  Top 100 free bestsellers.  Liked-books under $1
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. The first couple of days after the Nook tablet announcement, the technical press was all over the superior specs of the BN device. How BN has more books than Amazon, has Hulu and Netflix and Amazon doesn't.

    The book count thing is totally bogus, and now Amazon has everything that BN has and more. The magazines sound impressive (though not to my taste) -- I'll be interested to see how the Amazon magazine inventory compares with the iPad's.

    I've been saying for a while that all this punditry is largely irrelevant until we have some real live devices to play around with (mine ships on Tuesday). Only then will the reviews have some meaning -- the big kicker is going to be how well the silk browser with the AWS storage combo works out.

    I guess we'll begin to find out in about a week.

  2. Edward,
    I did a blog article about the comparisons being done and MOST that I saw said that while B&N has superior hardware (which it absolutely does!) that Amazon has the ecosystem (all that ready content of all types ready to go), the customer svc savvy, the network/websvcs knowhow, and the right price. I saw only about 10% say the Nook would be a better choice.

    The BN books thing is a misrepresentation that B&N has insisted on since the first Nook, and their oldest comparison charts really were misleading, so even if I'm a paying member of B&N and enjoy my NookColor, I really do not like or trust their mrktg and mgmt ways -- spending entire announcements blasting the Amazon devices. But it's important to us that they survive and I hope they just concentrate on getting the Nook Tablet more stable at the start than the NookColor was in the beginning of last year. They did a great job on the device itself, as I enjoy it a lot. But am looking fwd to the Kindle Fire with Hulu Plus, Netflix, and the Silk-sped browsing if it lives up to expectations, but they have some good experience on things like that.

    Re how iPad compares, magazine wise, I think I read that they have about 230-240 magazine apps, that B&N has about 250 (not accurate, off the cuff) and that Amazon has left the gate pretty fast on all this.

    Even I knew that what B&N was saying was wrong-headed and apparently they don't keep a good watch on what Amazon is up to, and it didn't take long for that to be found out for sure. They said Amazon wouldn't be 'open' letting other media be used and Amazon said at least 4 times in the last 6 weeks that they were partnering with Netflix and Pandora.

    Say! How can over 400 magazines & newspapers all not be to your taste? I guess you meant just the few very popular ones they named? I have only Nat'l Geo on NC and New Yorker (on the Kindle eInks, and it's text searchable, which is important to me) + Sound&Vision for a couple of more months.

    All the punditry is because people like to guess, and no one can know, so I see no harm, and both you and I are into that in no small way :-) I agree with you that no 'review' can mean much at all without putting a product through its paces.

    Already, the Android App store can be slow to browse and they just got an updated interface. So what will happen on the first day ?? when everyone logs on :-)

    It'll definitely be interesting to watch. I hear Opera does well using a similar browser technology, but the load in this case will be tremendous.

  3. I'll definitely try one or more of the '3 month free' offerings. But I doubt I'll stick with any after that. Having tried a few magazines previously through Zinio, I find the digital experience lacking something that I can't quite put my finger on (despite the touch screen ). It should be something more than just a PDF with some navigation improvements.

    It has taken awhile for publishers to get their digital act together, and for the platforms to develop It is only very recently that Apple has had a Newsstand, that tools like Adobe Digital Publishing Suite have matured, so we'll see if there's a 'there there' for digital magazines. I'm kind of skeptical that there is, except for a fraction of what we now see in print, and print itself is dying. I see that at least Fire's magazines will be 'glossy' just as Nook Tablet's are. That should help.

    I think it is a bit wierd that so much attention is given to video streaming on these devices. Okay, I'm sure this will be a popular option for teenagers who hole up in their rooms, but it's really only going to work well at home, where most people already have all those same options, but on much larger screens that can be viewed socially. Away from home, free wifi is a very dicey proposition if you want to watch streaming video. You can't sit in McDonalds or Starbucks for 2 hours to watch a movie, and motel free wifi is increasingly crappy (in my experience). With Apple devices, you have ability to purchase & download video when you have good connectivity, and (with iPad), a 3G option (if you can justify the charges). The Nook doesn't have a 'download' option as far as I can tell; the Fire will, at least for some content (but doesn't have much storage). Aside from all that, streaming video is a horrible waste of bandwidth.

    I too find B&N marketing deceptive and a little desperate in tone (with all the Amazon bashing).

    The best scenario for B&N shareholders would be for them is to sell off the NOOK business as Indigo has done with Kobo. Then they could focus on saving their B&M business with the cash, and NOOK could get the serious investment it needs to succeed. As it is I think we'll see Kobo move to #2 very quickly and NOOK languishing and falling further behind. The Kobo/Rakuten pairing seems very strong and I'm looking for them to provide most of Amazon's competition.

    Google would be an interesting partner for the NOOK business. They already have demonstrated an interest in ebooks, and certainly have the cash and technology resources to do something impressive with it. And 'Google' and 'Nook' both have two 'o's for even more synergy or at least some alliteration.

  4. Today's Best Buy ad says "Kindle Touch arrives in store 11/16" with a footnote "Delivery date subject to change." Misprint? Or is Amazon pushing forward the Touch release date?

  5. brik,
    I don't know. They leave themselves leeway with the "date subject to change" and for sure, the Kindle Fire will be at stores 11/15 if nothing goes wrong with individual store delivery.

    The stories left open when the Touch e-Ink Kindles would be there. Since the Fire is also Touch, we can't be sure what they mean. But at least I'd go, if it's nearby, to check these out.

    Amazon usually gets them delivered to customers a day early if the buyer is not in a remote area...

  6. Well, I have an answer from Amazon via an email order update:

    "We have good news! We're able to get this part of your order to you faster than we originally promised:

    "Kindle Touch, Wi-Fi, 6" E Ink Display - includes Special Offers & Sponsored Screensavers"
    Previous estimated arrival date: November 22, 2011
    New estimated arrival date: November 15, 2011 - November 16, 2011"

    Looks like they are releasing it early! Yay!

  7. brik,
    Where are you located (area of the country?) I'm near San Francisco, and my delivery date for the Kindle Fire is still November 16 though I ordered on September 28.

    The Kindle Touch at $149 is not set for delivery to me until Nov. 23, probably to punish me for cancelling the order for the $189 model :-)

  8. brik again,
    Just got notification my bank card was charged, which isn't done until they ship, so it looks to be shipping and my order was for one day delivery, so the Kindle Fire will probably be on the 15th then...


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