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There's a blog post in the Personal Technology section of today's New York Times with the title "Why Can't I Try Out the New Kindle?":

http://gadgetwise.blogs.nytimes.com/2009/05/06/why-cant-i-try-out-the-new-kindle/

I think the poster makes a very good point. Especially with the nearly $500 DX, but also with the K1 and now the K2, more people would be convinced to take the plunge if they could take a test drive. I think it would be worthwhile for Amazon to set up Kindle kiosks in strategic locations - perhaps malls or national chains like Target or Best Buy.

What do you think?
 

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Well, existing kindle owners are pretty good evangelists. I have only had mine since the end of February, but I am already responsible for several new purchases - two Starbucks regulars who saw mine there, the administrative director of my daughter's preschool, the rabbi at my synagogue, and the husband of a friend of mine. Seriously. So I don't know that it's really necessary to do kiosks. Also they have a good return policy, so anyone who wants to try it could buy one and return it if they didn't want to keep it. But who would do THAT?? :) The way it is now, Amazon doesn't have to pay to lease space or "waste" units or pay people to stand around to show the Kindle to people who aren't serious about it. People who are serious about it can buy it and return it if they hate it.
 

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With the DX, I think they should get in touch with organizations -- businesses/government/ the military -- that frequently have employees who have to carry around tons of paper and do demonstrations to show how they can help with that. 

Ann
 

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Sounds like Amazon is already selling more than they thought, so something is working right.

I felt some trepidation about buying my K2 sight unseen, but lets be honest here, the device works basically JUST LIKE the demonstration videos. Sure, the screen may be slightly different than what is represented (at least my screen seems to be more gray than shown on the amazon site), but the device is pretty basic and self-explanatory.

They are hurt though because the natural demonstration outlet, bookstores, are probably viewing this thing like a smoking, hissing, ticking package from the devil. But Best Buy can sell mp3 players, so once they get over the fear, I don't see why bookstores won't sell e-book readers (and lights, covers, etc).
 

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Ann in Arlington said:
With the DX, I think they should get in touch with organizations -- businesses/government/ the military -- that frequently have employees who have to carry around tons of paper and do demonstrations to show how they can help with that.

Ann
I don't think the new Kindle would pass OPSEC. My dh can't even take his cell phone in his office.
 

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Googlegirl said:
I don't think the new Kindle would pass OPSEC. My dh can't even take his cell phone in his office.
Depends on the office. . . .I think I mentioned in another thread that a young Air Force friend of mine was Very Interested in my K1. . . .he said they have all the tech manuals for their aircraft on laptops which are fairly portable, but kinda heavy and a bit of a power hog. When they're deployed plugging in can be an issue. He was intrigued by the Kindle and asking intelligent questions like: how long does a battery last, can it display diagrams, and how do you get content on it. The DX would potentially fit the bill for something like that. And, I'm sure Amazon could do a contract to provide a good price for bulk purchase and, if needed, WN disabling to prevent people downloading things they shouldn't. It's the big screen that makes it a plausible solution. . . Plastic Logic's device would work as well.

Ann
Hey look! A new acronym! OPSEC means "Operational Security" -- refers to keeping classified info secure, etc.
 

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jason10mm said:
They are hurt though because the natural demonstration outlet, bookstores, are probably viewing this thing like a smoking, hissing, ticking package from the devil. But Best Buy can sell mp3 players, so once they get over the fear, I don't see why bookstores won't sell e-book readers (and lights, covers, etc).
This made me truly LOL. "Smoking, hissing, ticking package from the devil" is hilarious! Okay... recovering now... You mention Best Buy selling mp3 players, but there is one big difference between that and, say, Barnes & Noble selling Kindles. I own an mp3 player, but I still buy CDs at Best Buy and load the songs on my Zune. Since I got my Kindle in November '08 I have not purchased one DTB. Prior to getting MyK I was buying at least a book a week, so in this scenario B&N is right to fear the Kindle.
 

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True, Best Buy still sells CDs, but notice how small that section has become over the years? And really, is there ANYTHING a CD delivers that a digital distribution model does not (to include album art and lyrics)? A BOOK however, can have illustrations, fold out maps, be signed, have gold trimmed pages, etc to "enhance" the desire to own a physical copy. And even with a fantastical full color KDX, coffee table books are still gonna rule the roost (at least until we all have MS "surface" table ops :p

Anyway, bottom line is that I think bookstores/publishers could do a better job of keeping DTBs relevant as a medium than music can with CDs. To me it makes sense to sell e-book readers in bookstores as you can cash in on those over-priced accessories, go for the impulse buy with colorful titles, nab them with the coffee shop, etc. I see e-book readers becoming much like mp3 players, frequently upgraded. This generates a lot of foot traffic! Plus I doubt e-book readers will EVER reach the penetration of mp3 players and the like, so there will always be folks buying DTBs for themselves or for gifts.

Books can not be consumed like music and movies. You just can't crush through them like songs, so the visual presentation, dust jacket exerpt, and critical reviews are very important. Book stores will always serve a marketing function IMHO, and publishers will see that. I'm unconvinced that the KDX will make text books obsolete in many fields, though getting them into the hands of students will do wonders for increasing acceptance of the device.

I'm sure Amazon has a wide range of kindle to kindle (K2K, that will be $50K, amazon :p ) ideas, things like sharing out documents in real time at meetings, exchanging notes, exerpts from books, music samples, and eventually video clips.....

...hmmm, lost my train of thought there %}

At any rate, Bookstores need to learn to play nice with e-book readers, and IMHO the first one that does will out-last the others.
 

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You can purchase the Sony e-reader at Target and Borders.  It is my understanding that Barnes & Nobles will be distributing the new Plastic Logic when it launches.  I think it does hurt Amazon when people cannot pick up a product in a store and make a immediate purchase.
 

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A repeating question that I see on sites that deal with content, such as authors sites, is when is the Kindle going to be available outside the U.S.?  Sony is appealing for that reason.  And when the issue comes up, most people are not interested in talking much about it so the Kindle often gets back seat to the Sony's availability.
 

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Googlegirl said:
I don't think the new Kindle would pass OPSEC. My dh can't even take his cell phone in his office.
Unless they make a Kindle that does not have whispernet it will not make it into a large number of government offices. There are many places where you cannot bring cell phones, IPods, or memory sticks of any kind into the building.
 

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geoffthomas said:
A repeating question that I see on sites that deal with content, such as authors sites, is when is the Kindle going to be available outside the U.S.? Sony is appealing for that reason. And when the issue comes up, most people are not interested in talking much about it so the Kindle often gets back seat to the Sony's availability.
A NY Times report that I read said that the Sony had sold 400,000 e-book readers total. K1 is estimated to have sold 500,000 in an 18 month period. K2 is selling rather well. So while people are seeing the Sony in stores, more folks are buying Kindles. The Plastic Logic reader looks nice but they are going to need to make a smaller version of it for it to do well. The larger version has its place, but people who want portability are not going to pick up something that size. Sony's are doing well and probably will do better when they get internet connectivity but they are not going to get the Mac market.

Amazon is smart to be the first one out with the larger screen. If people start buying the DX and text book publishers have already signed agreements with Amazon, that is going to give them a huge edge. Students who have the DX are more likely to buy a Kindle 2 for pleasure reading or when they finish school. Why? Because they have books and notes on it.

I don't mind the competition. I think that Amazon is going to be fine. Bezos seems to be pretty business savy.
 
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