|Smartphone versus Kindle
||[Apr. 23rd, 2009|12:49 am]
On my last trip I packed my kindle in my checked luggage instead of my backpack. When I took it out, it looked like this:
It wasn't physically cracked, but half the display was gone, and it won't turn on any more.
I'm going to call and check if my warranty covers it, but if it doesn't, I don't even really care. In the last couple of months, 80% of my book reading has been on my iPod Touch. As it turns out, Amazon has a free and very slick Kindle for iPhone app that lets you read books you've purchased for the Kindle on your iPhone (or iPod Touch). The devices even automatically sync with each other, so that you always pick up where you left off. Of course, the letters aren't as crisp on the Touch as they are on the Kindle (the latter is almost equivalent to paper), but to me this disadvantage is monumentally outweighed by the fact that the Touch fits in my pocket.
There are still many people (albeit a dwindling number) who won't read books on anything but dead trees, but the average person just doesn't care. Consequently, the market for e-books on the iPhone is huge. On the other hand, Amazon's margins on the Kindle device are slim, probably even negative. This is because it uses Sprint's EVDO network, but Amazon eats the cost and doesn't pass it on to the user. Further, there are 10-15 times more iPhones than Kindles in circulation. Amazon has therefore done the obvious thing by allowing even non-Kindle owners to buy books for the iPhone using the app.
I have a hunch that smartphones are going to swallow the book reader market, just as they did PDAs and Internet Tablets.
Edit. Amazon is replacing my Kindle. 1-day shipping on the replacement! Woohoo!