Friday, October 7th, 2011

Cheap Kindle is Cheap

This is exactly what Amazon wants: cheap, ubiquitous devices that run their digital media stores. Because while most people focus on the purchase price, buying a Kindle is a lot like buying a game console: it’s not very useful until you spend more money feeding it with content, and Amazon takes a cut of all content sales.

From the cables to the screen to the ads it serves, the new $79 Kindle is cheap in every way, which in the end perhaps becomes a virtue: it's on the way to becoming disposable. (Well, for the 1%, obviously.)

7 Comments / Post A Comment

bennimaddi (#314)

my kindle has broken twice in a year, but amazon is so desperate for me to have one that they have overnighted me a new one for free both times

KeithTalent (#2,014)

@bennimaddi Had the same experience. They couldn't get another one in to my hands fast enough – it seemed like there was one at the door by the time I hung up the phone. I suspect kindles cost Amazon about $1.36. It's the razor blade, printer ink gambit all over again. Of course reading is more fun that shaving.

deepomega (#1,720)

@KeithTalent Yeah, I literally managed to throw mine at my bed post, exploding the screen. It was covered under "warranty" or whatever and now I have a new one.

KenWheaton (#401)

Whereas when I dropped my paper copy of The Art of Fielding in the toilet (don't ask), neither Little Brown, nor the book store would replace the copy. (And it's not like they don't have a warehouse full of the damn things.)

Mr. B (#10,093)

@KenWheaton "I dropped my copy in the tiolet" would make a great blurb for the paperback.

NinetyNine (#98)

Considering how many people consider it life-affirming to upgrade their iPhone every time a new one is announced, carping on the disposability of consumer electronic devices is a bit much.

JW Mason (#10,308)

An interesting thing about the Kindle is that it reads pdfs as well as Amazon's proprietary format. And an interesting thing about pdfs is that literally millions of pdf books are available for free download at

Why Nairu decided to become the Somalia of IP piracy I don't know, or how long they can sustain it. But right now, there's really no need to pay Amazon for most of the books you might like to read on your Kindle.

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