Sep 302011

Amazon sells us everything. They have all of our credit card numbers. A few years ago they started selling us books electronically, and the Kindle to read them on. Later they added music and video to the offerings. And now they’ve announced the $199 Kindle Fire to consume all this content on. And they have a giant cloud service to support it.

The Kindle Fire is going to be the second successful tablet computer and the first real market competition to the iPad. Coupled with their cloud services they have a mobile platform second to none.

Suddenly Amazon is where Apple wants be.

Very interesting.

Oct 062008

Electronic book readers are the redheaded step children of mobile computing. Too big and feature-limited to be called PDA’s, too small and – um, feature limited to be portable computers. But a niche is a good thing to have, if you can make it work. And Amazon and Sony are both still digging for that niche:

PC World: Amazon Kindle 2 Details and Pictures Leaked
NYT: Sony Expands eBook Reader Range

Thank goodness Sony and Amazon keep slugging away at it, because I love the idea of something that can replace a stack of books. It’s eco- and back-friendly. The new electronic paper displays on these devices makes them low-power and they ‘feel’ more like a book page because they are static. No scrolling, just page-flipping. If these can catch on in higher-education it could completely transform the economics and relevance of the textbook market. Eventually we all could be carrying around a library in our tote bags.

So I say you go, Amazon and Sony. I might not be ready to buy another expensive, fragile single-purpose portable electronic device, but I still think electronic book readers are a good idea.