Sunday, November 25, 2007

Kindle Sputters My Interest

Ok, I don't usually post comments like this to the blog, but I just couldn't resist. When I saw the news about the Kindle from Amazon, I was pretty excited. This is something I have been looking forward to for a while. I currently own a Treo smart phone from Palm, and I read books every once in a while on it, but its small, back-lit screen just isn't conducive to long-term reading. The Kindle on the other hand looks like it would be great for cozying up with a cup of tea and reading all night. I was completely sold by the sales pitch on their site. I love that you can download books wirelessly directly to it. But... $400? I just can't get over this price. I remember when I watched the keynote speech by Steve Jobs for the iPhone's debut. He convinced me that the price for the iPhone was reasonable. I wasn't quite ready to buy one yet, but even if it had stayed at the original price of $599, I feel I eventually would. He did a whole iPhone + Internet Device + iPod thing that made me say, "Yeah, $599 is about what I would expect to pay for all that." Mr. Bezos on the other hand did not do such a good job. An electronic device that stores a boatload of books, and connects wirelessly to his website to buy those books, and is really easy to use, just does not equal $399 which coincidentally (or not) is the exact same price now of above said iPhone.

I know there were a whole lot of people, smarter than me, that decided the pricing structure, but it seems to me that a better model would be to price it at say $149, and then plan on selling a whole heck of a lot of books. I know I would probably spend considerably more on books at Amazon than I do now. For the convenience the Kindle would give (have your book anywhere, any time), and the discounted price (less than cover price + no shipping) it seems to me they could make considerably more with a lower up-front price.

So respectfully, Mr. Bezos, cut the price as soon as possible (Apple did it, why can't you?) Then I'll buy one, and you can track my purchases on over the next year to see if you made a smart decision.

1 comment:

Russ said...

Give away (or significantly discount) the hardware to sell the service or additional product is a common business model these days as long as the seller has confidence they have something that people will want.

Larger corporations have the financial foundation to do that. Smaller manufacturers, unfortunately, do not. Which makes it difficult to compete.