Amazon Introduces New Kindles
September 28, 2011 – by Per Christensson
Amazon is a company that I've grown to admire over the years. It is one of the few dot com startups that survived the 2000 bubble burst and has actually thrived since then. How did they do it? I believe there are two primary reasons. First of all, Amazon focused on delivering the best online shopping experience available – and succeeded. Secondly, Amazon has continued to innovate year after year and has evolved with technology, keeping the company ahead of competitors.
The most notable recent innovation from Amazon is the Kindle, an e-reader designed to replace the old paperback. In a move that some said would sabotage their own business (after all, Amazon.com was originally an online bookstore), Amazon released a groundbreaking digital device. Even Steve Jobs was quoted as being skeptical of the Kindle, saying, "The fact is that people don't read anymore." While Jobs has been right about most technology trends, he underestimated the potential of the Kindle. It has been a huge success.
Today, Amazon released the latest Kindle family. The new line of Kindles includes the standard Kindle, the Kindle Touch, the Kindle Touch 3G, and the Kindle Fire (see the above image). Not only are they improvements over the previous Kindles, most models are significantly cheaper. The entry level Kindle is only $79. I think that price point is low enough to bring droves of consumers off the sidelines and into the e-reader market. Personally, however, I prefer the $99 Kindle Touch (no 3G, thank you). For only $20 more, I think a touchscreen is well worth it. At this point, any portable screen that doesn't have touch feedback seems broken to me.
The $199 Kindle Fire is also interesting, since it has a color screen and supports downloadable apps, just like the iPad. At this price, it will easily be iPad's biggest competitor. Not only will it siphon hardware sales from Apple, but it will provide a huge boost to the growing Amazon Appstore, which competes with Apple's App Store. While I love my iPhone, most people close to me know I don't much care for the iPad (more on that in a later blog). I'm excited to see how the new Kindle Fire changes the tablet landscape.
I'm pretty excited about the new Kindle lineup, especially since I recently started reading books again. Unfortunately, it looks like the new Kindles won't be available until late November. :-/ Maybe I can find a few more paperbacks to tide me over until then.