As we wrote in September, The Kindle will be black and white ebook reader that includes WiFi and EVDO. List price is expected to be around $399. The Kindle won’t support open standards, with Amazon using their own proprietary format from Mobipocket, a company they acquired in 2005. The device will be linked into ebook sales pages on Amazon for a seamless experience.
Ebook readers aren’t new with Sony having a product on the market for some time that has failed to capture the public’s imagination. Amazon believes that content is the key to success in the ebook reader business and in this regard they’ll have one big card to play in an age of environmental awareness: newspapers. Reports suggest that Amazon has signed between 50-100 newspaper publishers that will deliver electronic editions of newspaper print editions to The Kindle, including the New York Times and The Washington Post.
It’s an interesting move by Amazon, a company that has single handedly changed an industry that could itself have future growth restrictions as paper goes out of fashion, both on environmental grounds and as the internet replaces traditional print. The few people I know who own the Sony Ebook reader swear by the concept, but I don’t see a lot of appeal, particularly in getting an electronic edition of a newspaper…isn’t that what websites are for? The Kindle will have a lot of resources and content behind it so if anyone can make this work you’d think Amazon could. If it fails Ebook readers can go straight to the deadpool.