The Kindle is Dead
The Amazon Kindle is dead.
Oh, Amazon doesn't seem to know it yet. After all, they just rolled out the Kindle 2 and apparently have a textbook Kindle in the works to compete in the college market, but nevertheless, the device is dead. As much as Amazon has been at the forefront of web retail, the Kindle may go down as one of the biggest technological blunders of all-time. Rest assured, the Amazon Kindle is dead.
The philosophical flaw in the development of the Kindle is this: it's a device for old people. It's a device that's supposed to bring people who like to read books into the digital age. Huge mistake. The entire basis for developing the Kindle almost completely ignores how the net generation uses technology and what's out there competition-wise. It's a mistake a lot of people are making.
The Kindle is designed for people who like books, so it's designed to have properties similar to a book with the convenience of a new-fangled electronic device. Reading the screen is a reasonable process process with the e-ink and navigating through different publications is easy. Downloading books is simple also through Amazon's 3G network. You can download the latest bestseller or subscribe to the New York Times.
I own a Kindle 2. It's a really cool device. I also own an Iphone. It's a better device. The difference between reading on my Iphone and reading on my Kindle isn't significant enough that I'm going to haul around both pieces of hardware. I can put my Iphone in my pocket. I can't do that with a Kindle. I can access the Internet with my Iphone – look up stocks, check out ESPN, bid on Ebay. All I can do with the Kindle is download subscriptions to books and periodicals – and pay out the nose for them, I might add. Frankly, I'm not paying $10 for a book I don't get to keep. That is what's called a butt-fucking stupid model.
While the older generation may prefer the Kindle for reading books, who gives a shit? You can't design a device for a generation who would just assume carry a book around with them. Sure, I can put 10,000 books on my Kindle or whatever, but so what? I don't own them. Ownership is important to these people. I can't go into my library and smell them or see them. Remember, this is a generation that likes books. They may like the Kindle too, but for $359, they're likely to stick with what they know.
To the net generation, the Kindle is antiquated, and this is precisely the market who's supposed to get excited about these devices. They're not excited about the Kindle. Jeff Bezos, CEO and founder of Amazon has designed a device for himself and for Stephen King. Unfortunately, where such devices are concerned, they're old and irrelevant. Does it play music? Store pictures? Link to Facebook? Then who gives a shit? Reading on the old paradigm is dead to this generation and the Kindle is just another reminder of days gone by. Shit, maybe Bezos's next big thing will be an abacus.
A year from now, nobody is going to be talking about the Kindle. In fact, you might be able to purchase one off Ebay for $1 because there won't be anything you can do with it. One of the bummers of a technologically advanced society like ours is sometimes you create a device that's outdated before it's released. The Kindle is one such device.