It's been a year since Amazon released its Linux-based Kindle Ebook Reader into its online store and currently more than 200,000 people have purchased one. Are you going to join the fray at almost 400USD or wait for my bombshell?

I suggest you wait.

There have been several articles surrounding the little Kindle lately but the most interesting one is on ZDNet titled Kindle Economics. It's a good article but I think there's a better way.

Amazon needs to revamp the Kindle into a more reader friendly sized device, perhaps a 9x6 inch screen (The entire Kindle is only about 7.5x5 inches). I like portability too but come on--you're dealing with an aging population here--have a heart.

The real reason I think we should all wait before buying into the whole Kindle thing is that Amazon should actually give away these things or make them available at cost. How will they make money? Simple. Sell a book subscription with the device. It's kind of the same logic as the book clubs that we (or your parents) belonged to. You signed up to get 5 free books and promised to purchase 5 more books over the next 3 years. It was a win-win situation for everyone.

Here's what I propose for the Amazon Kindle: Give away the device or, as I said, sell it at cost and bundle it with a subscription for say 10 ebook purchases over the next 2 years. Students and teachers alike would flock to it--and not just at the University level--all levels. It would make switching to ebooks easy and affordable because right now, it isn't either.

So, how about it Amazon? A Kindle subscription program where everyone benefits sounds like a good idea to me. What do you think?

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Nice thought Ken. Use the razor and cell phone theory of sales. Give away the device or sell it at well below cost, then make money on a subscription model. Very clever, sir. Very clever, indeed.

Ron

Thanks. Maybe Amazon will send me one.

Ken,

I love the idea. Its the Gillette Razor idea. . . give away the razor but keep them buying the blades. With 200,000 people plus purchasing the Kindle I can't see amazon being willing to give it away for free though. In fact, I'd be surprised if they are really making that much margin as the product right now, if anything.
What I would love to see is Apple produce a world class e-book reader. This is what I would call the Holy Grail of e-book reading. An Apple e-book reader would be everything the Kindle is except with an awesome design, improved functionality and an incredible interface. I am considering buying the Kindle for Christmas, but my fear is that soon after the New Year, Apple will announce their own e-book reader . . . I'm also concerned that by the middle of next year we will find that Amazon will release a new Kindle of their own. Alas in the end, with Technology, this is always the case. . . waiting may be the right thing to do.

Niko

You're right, an Apple ebook reader might be the ultimate device. And it would probably only have one button. ;-)

I agree, the Kindle is way too expensive now. There is no reason for the price they are asking. You can buy a complete computer for that price. They need to attract people like me that like paper. Give me a real reason to switch to electronic media.

Well did you notice yesterday's Washington Post article where there's a book rental company shipping out books similar to Netflix? Anyone using Bookswim.com instead of a Kindle?

Here's the article:
http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2008/11/18/AR2008111802563.html