The Kindle is not a gadget. “The reason people choose the device is that they love reading,” says Russ Grandinetti, Amazon’s Vice President of Kindle Content. We can’t argue with that.
The Kindle has now seen three generations and the Kindle 3 is Amazon’s bestselling product today. With an E Ink Pearl display that makes reading on a screen almost the same as actual paper reading, the Kindle offers a month’s reading time on a single charge, a light and small body, no glare, and access to a huge selection of eBooks on the Kindle store – all for $100-$200.
In an interview with The Telegraph, Grandinetti states that Kindle buyers are not gadget buffs but people who want to “spend more minutes of the day connecting with the words that authors put down”. They are not just early adopters, they are reading enthusiasts.
Amazon’s reports show that customers purchase more books after they purchase a Kindle. Kindle’s mission, says Grandinetti, is:
to make every book ever printed available digitally in 60 seconds to any customer anywhere in the world.
Amazon is doing its bit by asking readers to click on a link Tell the Publisher! I’d like to read this book on Kindle. This will encourage more publishers to digitize books.
The latest Kindle 3 comes in Wi-Fi and 3G+Wi-Fi versions. Readers can download their purchased within seconds, share them with friends, and read them on other devices via Kindle apps. The feature of purchasing a book for a friend is being worked on; it’s complicated because of territorial rights. Sending notifications when a book on the Wish List is available is also in the works.
Apple is pushing enhanced books with interactive graphics and video elements – something Kindle cannot handle yet. Subsequent Kindle versions could bring this support. Meanwhile, the rise of the tablet isn’t really a threat to Kindle because of the latter’s E Ink screen that’s perfect for strain-free reading indoors and outdoors, long battery life, and of course, price.
Amazon is the leader in the digital books market and for good reason.