MacRumors

macrumors bot
Original poster
Apr 12, 2001
54,171
15,972
https://www.macrumors.com/images/macrumorsthreadlogodarkd.png


051008-41bYgwfum2L_425.jpg


The big non-Apple tech news yesterday was Amazon's announcement of the Kindle 2. The Kindle was Amazon's first entry into the gadget market with an electronic book reader that was described as "the iPod of reading". The original Kindle offered sales of eBooks over the air through a wireless EVDO connection without a monthly contract.

The new Kindle has made a number of steady improvements over the original design. Features include:

- Thinner. 0.36 inches thick.
- 3G wireless, no monthly fees
- Improved 16 grey-shade display
- 25% longer battery life. "read for days"
- Faster page turns
- More storage (Up to 1500 books)
- Instant dictionary lookup
- Text-to-Speech

The new Kindle will cost $359 and ship on February 24th with pre-orders starting now.

With the introduction of the original Kindle, some Apple customers have hoped that Apple might also enter the eBook market. Jobs dismissed that possibility in early 2008 when asked about the Kindle:
"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore," he said. "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore."
Meanwhile, the iPhone may have inadvertently become the largest eBook reader with the introduction of various eBook apps through the iTunes App Store.

The main issue with these free iPhone readers, however, has been the lack of premium content (new releases) that is found on the Kindle. In the future, there may be more synergy between the technolgies as Amazon also announced last week that they would be working to make Kindle books available "on a range of mobile phones", leading some to believe that the iPhone could someday gain access to Amazon's digital library.

Article Link: Amazon's Unveils Kindle 2, eBooks for the iPhone?
 

Forever

macrumors member
Aug 7, 2006
32
0
Wish i could get the new kindle in the UK (unless you can and im stupid)
 
Comment

kwfl

macrumors 6502
Aug 20, 2007
403
0
i guess i will have to buy my ebooks from amazon? Can i use any pdf i made by my own or a professor sent?

EDIT: You can email your pdfs to kindle2 and amazon will sort it out for you. (i dont know how).
 
Comment

talkingfuture

macrumors 65816
Dec 4, 2008
1,216
0
The back of beyond.
It still looks like an R&D project that not finished to me. When these things are available with colour touchscreens then they will have a chance of replacing printed media. For now it looks like an expensive toy to me.
 
Comment

arn

macrumors god
Staff member
Apr 9, 2001
15,968
5,122
really, once you can buy premium book content on your iPhone, then the kindle becomes pointless. It's a specialty device whose functionality will be absorbed by smartphones.

The trick is getting that premium content accessible on the iPhone.

arn
 
Comment

entropys

macrumors 6502a
Jan 5, 2007
864
1,449
Brisbane, Australia
Well, premium book content isn't all it cracks up to be.
The main problem is that 'premium' bit. I am at a loss to understand why an ebook costs more than a paperback, in fact I would think a couple of dollars at the most would be a fair price. Anyway, Stanza can upload all kinds of things, and the 'premium' issue completely goes away..:)
 
Comment

anti-microsoft

macrumors 68000
Dec 15, 2006
1,665
6
Edinburgh, Scotland
Won't Amazon just kill themselves if they sell eBooks on the iPhone? It has all the advantages over the Kindle! Smaller, Higher capacity, colour display, larger market, etc.

Ams.
 
Comment

manu chao

macrumors 604
Jul 30, 2003
7,170
2,993
really, once you can buy premium book content on your iPhone, then the kindle becomes pointless. It's a specialty device whose functionality will be absorbed by smartphones.
Partly yes, but the larger screensize (+long battery life) is something smartphones will not offer. I agree that a dedicated eBook reader is as pointless as an iPod, except that there are price and size niches which a one-size-fits-all smartphone might not cover.

The conflict between fitting into your pocket and readability will always exist. As nice as the iPhone is, I don't like reading on it for long.
 
Comment

BryanLyle

macrumors 6502a
Aug 2, 2005
721
15
Worst part about the kindle for me is the fact that it relies on Sprint's 3G coverage to deliver content. My wife would love one of these, but unfortunately, we live in an area where Sprint coverage is poor.

Is it that hard to add wi-fi to this? or do they have some agreement with Sprint that would prevent it?
 
Comment

C14ru5

macrumors member
The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore
It's strange to hear that from a person who back in the days had to promote a computer for personal use, even when "no people would be interested in such a product".

If you limit the statistics to fiction books, I'm one of those "one book a year people". I can think of two reasons why:

1) Media overload. It's not that there isn't enough time to read books, it's that my everyday life is overloaded with information through different media. It's not that it's impractical to read (for some it is, and they simply use audio books) - it's that there are too many stimuli throughout the day. In the old days, people had to escape from their everyday physical work routines by consuming culture. Today, many people escape from the stress of culture consumption by doing physical activities (exercise, traveling, sports...)
2) The book medium is changing, as is our way of reading. We're waiting for something as different from books as Project Xanadu, but we're not sure exactly what would work. I can only hope that this is what Apple means by their statement on eBooks, but judging by the wording in their statement, it doesn't look like it.
 
Comment

Veri

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
611
0
the joy of books

1. Easy to read - I'm not staring at/near a light source, just reflected light;

2. A physical size appropriate to the material - there's an art to page layout, and a technical text is not a fiction paperback;

3. Can have 2, sometimes 3, pages open at once without the need to resize;

4. Can annotate with a comfortable, soft pencil;

5. Original text and annotations at a fantastic resolution;

6. Can be taken into the bathroom - how I love to read in the bath;

7. If lost or damaged, most don't cost the earth to replace;

8. Heuristic "I saw it on or around that page" search algorithms quicker by flipping through pages rather than typing in page numbers then clicking forward/back;

9. Allows wider overview or review of book or chapter through more aggressive page-flipping, with semi-conscious memory reinforcement;

10. Can lend book for an hour or so to friend in class / on train / at work without giving them short tutorial on how to use book;

11. Finding a book on a well-organised bookshelf is quicker than locating and opening an e-book, as well as allowing the eye to take in a huge list of related books with cues on size/shape/etc to help identify and remember them;

12. Indeed, recollection from a physical book seems easier as information can be associated with a particular page and its nuances: the physical layout, the weight of each side of the book, the angle at which you held it, how easy the page was to open, perhaps a slight change in ink tone, a blemish...

13. A good index is almost always sufficient, and the act of scanning through the index helps either jog memory or provide related words (as better electronic search engines are learning to emulate).

If reading on a Kindle is bad, then reading on an iPhone is like squinting at a text through the keyhole of a prison door - sure, the information is there, and to some people that's good enough, but what inefficiency, sterility, and strain on the eyes!
 
Comment

alexbates

macrumors 65816
Nov 24, 2008
1,082
0
Georgia, USA
Worst part about the kindle for me is the fact that it relies on Sprint's 3G coverage to deliver content. My wife would love one of these, but unfortunately, we live in an area where Sprint coverage is poor.

Is it that hard to add wi-fi to this? or do they have some agreement with Sprint that would prevent it?

Yeah, that doesn't seem to make much sense. Even though it doesn't have a monthly fee, I would still rather have it go through WiFi.

Does Amazon have something similar to the App Store but just for eBooks? If they don't, that might be something good to have in the future.
 
Comment

netdog

macrumors 603
Feb 6, 2006
5,759
37
London
While the good old book has very strong merit as a format, I have become convinced that the Kindle is a viable format for reading lengthy works on the go, and probably much better than a computer. While this format is still new and there is a long to go in terms of developing this medium, I think it works much like the early iPod did.

What really cracks me up is people suggesting that the iPod Touch and iPhone are suitable devices for reading books. While they are useful for finding passages, these devices are crap for reading lengthy works in their entirety. Even though books have long been available for these Apple devices, and I even have Shakespeare's collected works and a number of other books on my iPhone and Touch, I don't know anybody who has actually read a book on it (which isn't to say that people haven't), whereas given Amazon's e-book sales figures, clearly a lot of people are reading books even on the first generation Kindle.

Bezos has a winner on his hands as they are clearly selling a lot of electronic books, ones that cost them very little beyond the initial investment to create and distribute, and they are selling well, particularly given the relatively small number of devices out in the field to date.

couldn't they do this for the iPod touch? Add 3G without monthly fees? That would be awesome!

Ams.

An iPod touch user is going to use a lot more data than an e-book user, so my guess is that they would have a tough time negotiating that with the network carriers. It may even be that part of the cost of each book or periodical subscription is passed on to the providers in a sort of pay as you go scheme in which the consumer never sees the expense that he is actually paying to Sprint or whomever.
 
Comment

afd

macrumors 65816
Apr 12, 2005
1,080
261
Scotland
Ereader, available on the app store from the beginning has a good, if not brilliant selection of premium(ish) ebooks. I think I have read more books on my iphone recently than paper ones. I am perfectly happy using my phone to read books as it's always with me.

Having said that I now need reading glasses for the first time in my life, coincidence I hope....
 
Comment

albusseverus

macrumors 6502a
Nov 28, 2007
744
154
Curiously Amazon are bringing books to iPhone. Let's face it, if you have iPhone, you don't want another device.

Nobody is going to take Kindle seriously as any kind of replacement for books until it has a good Spotlight-like search, hypertext indexing and comprehensive annotation options - including URLs, images etc.

Not that anybody's offered that on an iPhone reader. I sure don't want to buy Kindle, but my iPhone reading experience still leaves a lot to be desired.

And 3G seems like overkill for a device that's delivering small amounts of text. Isn't EVDO cheaper and more reliable? Is there some plan to shut down the EVDO network? 3G reliability just isn't there yet.
 
Comment

peter2

macrumors regular
May 15, 2007
248
383
really, once you can buy premium book content on your iPhone, then the kindle becomes pointless. It's a specialty device whose functionality will be absorbed by smartphones.

The trick is getting that premium content accessible on the iPhone.

arn

I bet you've never ever held any e-ink display based product in your hands. For reading (books) normal displays are a piece of crap. Not to mention battery life implications. So, you will possibly be right once the displays of smart phones at least start to approach the parameters of e-ink ones.
 
Comment

peter2

macrumors regular
May 15, 2007
248
383
Quote:
"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore," he said. "Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore."


Oh oh oh, Mr. Jobs, I've got some news for you:

1. people != US people
2. could it possibly be, that even the US people don't read too much partially because it is inconvenient to carry around tons of paper?

The above words by Jobs is an idiocy compared probably only to the well known Gates' opinion on ultimate computer RAM needs (for all of us, again). ;)
 
Comment

weg

macrumors 6502a
Mar 29, 2004
888
0
nj
Won't Amazon just kill themselves if they sell eBooks on the iPhone? It has all the advantages over the Kindle! Smaller, Higher capacity, colour display, larger market, etc.

Ams.

They're earning money with books, not by selling devices. Unlike Apple, who don't make money with the songs they sell via iTunes. That's why they don't support any other players except the iPod (I know that you can just copy the MP3s to whatever player you have, but it's not seamless integration).

As for the advantages over the Kindle, I doubt that the battery of the iPhone lasts as long and that the display is as suitable for reading books as the display of the Kindle.
 
Comment

Jayomat

macrumors 6502a
Jan 10, 2009
703
0
really, once you can buy premium book content on your iPhone, then the kindle becomes pointless. It's a specialty device whose functionality will be absorbed by smartphones.

The trick is getting that premium content accessible on the iPhone.

arn

nothing more to add:rolleyes:

this is where apple says: "hey amazon, don't do it like this, simply hand over your content and we'll settle things" ;)
 
Comment

Veri

macrumors 6502a
Sep 23, 2007
611
0
The above words by Jobs is an idiocy compared probably only to the well known Gates' opinion on ultimate computer RAM needs (for all of us, again). ;)
I think all Jobs' "people dont want ____" are carefully worded, "Competition, are you listening? We're not even considering this market. We think it's such a rubbish market to enter. So don't bother entering it. (aside to audience) What he doesn't know is that we're considering this market and wouldn't want others to before us." Especially because Apple is the kind of company to make people know what they want, as it were, rather than follow what people ask for.

(That's not to say that Apple isn't regrettably following the volume dollar.)

On a related note, well over 40% of people in America spent one day or less using an Apple computer or iPhone last year. Quick, Dvorak, use this statistic to write one of your hilarious if predictable articles!

people != US people
As you suggest, it's a cultural thing. GoTo Russia - how many people do you see hanging around or on public transport reading books?

I see some people commenting that people don't read because books are too heavy and they clamour for a decent electronic reader. Lol what, have we suddenly all become chronically weaker in the last few decades? I have RSI and find holding a book up in the air for too long painful, but there are so many other ways of positioning it. I admit though that a lot of textbooks are made horribly over-sized, W I T H S O M U C H W A F F L E A N D T Y P E S E T T I N G T H A T C A U S E S I N F O R M A T I O N T O B E S P R E A D L I K E A bah you get the idea.
 
Comment

SeaFox

macrumors 68030
Jul 22, 2003
2,583
895
Somewhere Else
I wish they'd get rid of that stupid keyboard. People don't spend much time typing while reading, and a touchscreen keyboard that's simply not there when you don't need it would be better IMHO for an eBook reader.

I'd love to have an eBook reader, but first the price has to come down, and the screen needs to get to US Letter or A4 at full size. Too many PDFs I read are laid out for printing on an actual sheet of paper.
 
Comment
Register on MacRumors! This sidebar will go away, and you'll see fewer ads.