A blog from Tonto Books, featuring musings from the publishing world and some occasional special guest appearances.

Thursday, November 22, 2007

Amazon's Kindle ain't no iBook

So Amazon has launched its electronic book reader, the Kindle. It uses the same "paper-like" display as Sony's reader, can store 200 books, and offers wireless connectivity. At a hefty $399 (Amazon won't ship them outside of the US) it's sold out already. But not everyone is happy with their purchase. The average customer rating as of today is just 2.5 stars out of 5.

My initial reaction, judging solely from the photos, is that it looks pretty ugly. It looks dated in "Apple White", which Apple stopped using a few years ago. Jonathan Ive certainly hasn't been anywhere near this one. Some of the features seem unnecessary. It allows users to read newspapers and blogs - but so does the internet, available on most modern mobile phones. Also, although Amazon's backing means a large number of titles will soon be available for download, at around $9.99 each they're not much cheaper than a good old paperback.

I can see how something like this would be useful for business purposes, to carry many previously bulky reference and text books, but for leisure I think people will stick to old fashioned books - at least until Apple comes up with something more desirable than Amazon's effort.


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