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There are a couple of interesting Kindle-related articles recently in the business section of NYTimes:

Today (1-9-09)
"What's the Kindle Worth to Amazon?," Besides trying to figure out what the financial value of Kindle might be (potentially huge, if sales increase significantly with a second-generation device and margins on e-books sales are factored in), the article says, "This year, Amazon is redesigning it (Kindle), and a student version is also expected, an attempt to snag part of the $5.5 billion annual US college textbook market." http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/09/business/09views.html?_r=1&scp=1&sq=Kindle&st=cse (Registration Required)

On Sunday (1-4-09) another NYTimes article by Anne Eisenberg, "Bright New Phone Displays that Don't Guzzle Power", mentions E Ink technology:
"The E Ink Corporation of Cambridge, Mass., which developed low-power black-and-white electronic displays for many e-book readers, is also working on a color screen that, like Qualcomm's, takes advantage of ambient light. One prototype has a flexible color display on a stainless steel backing. "Our color displays willbe sunlight-readable," said Sriram K. Peruvemba, vice president for marketing, and will require very little power to do their job." "Imagine," he said, "if you are reading the newspaper on your laptop and stop to talk on the phone," the newspaper shown on your laptop will consume power until you return. With technology we are building, though, you can lay down the display and talk and not worry about draining the battery."
http://www.nytimes.com/2009/01/04/business/04novelties.html?scp=1&sq=E%20Ink&st=cse

Glynnis
 

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Thanks for posting, Glynnis.  Wasn't that the name of one of Pheobe's wall creatures from "Friends?"  I digress and probably remembered incorrectly.

So there may be a new version this year.  Two really - an updated Kindle and a student version.  Both interest me a lot.  I also like it that ebook is working on color.  My first ipod didn't have color and I always missed it so that turned out to be one of the impediments to buying a Kindle.  I quickly got over that and have embraced my grayscale Kindle but color would be so nice.  I love color.
 

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KindleMom said:
... Glynnis ... Wasn't that the name of one of Pheobe's wall creatures from "Friends?"
With an unusual name (here, but not in Wales, England, etc.), I'm always curious when someone mentions my name (or one of the variants). I googled this and found a snipet that referred to Gladys, a sort of painting that Pheobe had created ... she's definitely done in Pheobe's unique style :)

Glynnis (the two-n spelling)
 
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I am very curious about how the studend version will differ from the standard Kindle.

While Color would be nice, it's not needed for most of the stuff I read.  Nos if someone is into birds, fish or some other visual type hobby, it would be a Godsend.
 

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First Kindle sales estimate I've seen is hidden in that article--550,000 units.  Not too bad, if it's accurate.  45% better than iPod's first-year sales.
 

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I would guess that a student version would have a larger screen that can handle black and white illustrations and charts. That is my guess. I am thinking of all of the graphs, charts, and pictures that were in textbooks.
 
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I would think it may have more built in references(theaurus for eample) and a better MP3 player.  :)
 

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an theaurus and a spell check feature would be nice for the textbook version of the K would be nice. If it supports more graphs and images. i would buy it. It will probably pay for its self within two semesters..not to mention take a lot of weight of my shoulders as I'd make my way around campus.
 

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Vampyre said:
I am very curious about how the studend version will differ from the standard Kindle.

While Color would be nice, it's not needed for most of the stuff I read. Nos if someone is into birds, fish or some other visual type hobby, it would be a Godsend.
here is what I see as needed for an awesome student version:

1) Bigger screen
2) Folders/better organization
3) More native acceptance of various file formats (ability to load without converting)
4) Touch with handwritting capabilites, including on books/documents (the technalogy is still being perfected to work well with eInk in this regard; neither the iLiad or Sony have it right, but a company is opartnering with the makers of eInk for a viable solution that doesn't take away the benifits of eInk)
5) Some sort of notetaking software (using hand writing reconginition along with supoporting text) that can also work with a computor (for transferring files)
6) Color

Basically - take a couple of the things that make tablets so appealing to students, adapted to the benifits of the Kindle (and eInk), and also compatable with the student's computor.

If the Kindle wants to get into the student markjet - then they need to compete with the Tablet - which already has a lot of benefits...and there are many textbooks you can already access on a tablet, along with pdfs, word, etc - without conversion. You can take notes on documents with a tablet (and the right software) or simply use software to make notes for lectures.

Amazon needs to look at how students use tablets and make sure they can compete (of course excludimng being complete computers)
 

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TM said:
here is what I see as needed for an awesome student version:

1) Bigger screen
2) Folders/better organization
3) More native acceptance of various file formats (ability to load without converting)
4) Touch with handwritting capabilites, including on books/documents (the technalogy is still being perfected to work well with eInk in this regard; neither the iLiad or Sony have it right, but a company is opartnering with the makers of eInk for a viable solution that doesn't take away the benifits of eInk)
5) Some sort of notetaking software (using hand writing reconginition along with supoporting text) that can also work with a computor (for transferring files)
6) Color

Basically - take a couple of the things that make tablets so appealing to students, adapted to the benifits of the Kindle (and eInk), and also compatable with the student's computor.

If the Kindle wants to get into the student markjet - then they need to compete with the Tablet - which already has a lot of benefits...and there are many textbooks you can already access on a tablet, along with pdfs, word, etc - without conversion. You can take notes on documents with a tablet (and the right software) or simply use software to make notes for lectures.

Amazon needs to look at how students use tablets and make sure they can compete (of course excludimng being complete computers)
I remember my college days and buying cases of ramen for a buck because I was poor. A student device with all those features would be too expensive for pretty much every student.
 

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MonaSW said:
I remember my college days and buying cases of ramen for a buck because I was poor. A student device with all those features would be too expensive for pretty much every student.
Most college students have laptops (some colleges/programs even require a tablet). Even some highschools require or at least recomend them.

The purchase of a lot of textbooks also give you access to the book online... If Amazon really wants to break into the student market, then they need to go against what is really their major competitor - which is the tablet.

Unless the price of textbooks are extremely cheaper on the Kindle, they need to find other ways to compete. They need make it so the students can take notes and highlight the text books (in a better manner than now) take their general notes during lectures, easily access handouts without conversion (and again mark them up), and be able to also easly intergrate with their computor.

Right now - the only thing thew Kindle offer is better battery life, cheaper, lite-weight, and better screen - but really lacks the functionality student need.

You can get a decent tablet under a grand - that includes all the functionability (just lacks the batter life and ease of long-time screen veiwing). Students need a compitor anyway - so Amazon has to offer them something to make it worthwhile to have a computor and a Kindle (other than for the reading of books that is the primary fundtion of the Kindle now) to make it worth it for them. If they give it some of the functionality of a tab;let - then it is an easy sell.

The iLiad is actually (hardware wise) closer to where the Kindle needs to be. One exception is that they use wacom for the touch capability (which was there main choice since the touch designed for eInk is still being developed) which kills battery life.

Seriously -if you could choose between a tablet on which you could read your textbooks, mark them up (even by hand) hand-write you lecture notes, load handouts without any conversion process along with marking them up, and so all else that the you need a computor for - or havng the computor and then a Kindle to read your textbooks on with limited capabilites to note take or mark them up plus still needing a sperate computor - which would you choose? Especially since you can get a tablet for the same price (if not less) than a laptop and Kindle?

The Kindle is great for avid readers, and with a bigger screen amd access to textbooks, great for those who are readers and students... but for students that many want it for school - needs a lot to compete with a tablet.
 

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TM said:
Most college students have laptops (some colleges/programs even require a tablet). Even some highschools require or at least recomend them.
That's awful. I had a cheap computer at home and a cheap printer, and when they didn't work I paid to use the campus computers in the library. I can't even imagine having to have a laptop or tablet.
 
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