The murmur of the snarkmatrix…

August § The Common Test / 2016-02-16 21:04:46
Robin § Unforgotten / 2016-01-08 21:19:16
MsFitNZ § Towards A Theory of Secondary Literacy / 2015-11-03 21:23:21
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 18:39:56
Jon Schultz § Bless the toolmakers / 2015-05-04 16:32:50
Matt § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-05 01:49:12
Greg Linch § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 18:05:52
Robin § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 05:11:02
P. Renaud § A leaky rocketship / 2014-11-04 04:13:09
Jay H § Matching cuts / 2014-10-02 02:41:13

Ghost of Kindle yet to come

As somebody who uses his Kindle (and Kindle apps) approximately 100X more often than his iPad, I’m excited at the hazy prospect of some tablet competition from Amazon.

You know, it’s funny—I feel a real rooting interest for this company, and I think it’s largely based on spillover sentiment from two services:

  • Amazon Prime, which continues to make random everyday purchases feel basically like magic.
  • Amazon EC2 and the rest of the Amazon Web Services family, which have become such an amazing engine of growth and experimentation. You might not realize it, but half the new-ish web services you use and enjoy are running on EC2. Apple has nothing like it; they’re not participating in the modern internet ecosystem in any remotely comparable way.


I’m pretty fiercely loyal to Amazon, too, for all of the reasons above. I also just think they’re an amazing digital retailer, and we don’t have very many of those. In media, it’s like Amazon, Apple, and…. AbeBooks? Zappos? See, very quickly we get outside of media.

I wrote about future Amazon tablets a smidge at Nieman (it’s pretty deep down in there).

Short version: unlike Marco, I don’t think Amazon will go with a 7″ color tablet, but replace the DX with an iPad/DX-sized competitor. I think 7″ is a great format for reading, but the Kindle already does really well here. The Nook does pretty well too, but for magazines and newspapers and videos and apps and stuff, 10″ is pretty optimal. Also, why go penny-ante against the Nook and Blackberry and a bunch of Android tablets when you can go right for Apple’s jugular? That’s what I’d do, anyways.

Remember, Amazon’s even LESS interested in hardware for its own sake than Apple is. Amazon wants a platform to sell its digital media. Once you go color and video-capable, then that big screen is just too good.

Eventually, the screen technology (Mirasol or whatever) gets there where you have a Kindle reader that can go color or full-video just for fun. But if it’s an LCD thingie, I bet they go big.

BTW, I like seven-inch tablets for PLENTY of other reasons too. See “How 7-Inch Android Tablets Can Succeed.” That form factor is part of why I like the Kindle. But I dunno, I don’t see them scrapping what’s working for them already. Change the DX, ’cause that doesn’t really do what it was supposed to do.

Amazon is pretty cool. They managed to do what many others have not by expanding on their core website business into other equally successful and related ventures. They are innovators. And they are leading and not following.

My husband and I have used the Kindle Store platform to sell our self-published novels since 2009. Of all the large conglomerates, Amazon has reached out the most significantly to indie authors and also make the least amount of trouble for them in uploading–in not requiring a credit card or too much information–as well as taking the most reasonable percentage of each sale. As much as the Kindle itself seems to fall behind the consumer trend of all-in-one devices (with color) it could be made into the best single-use device of all time, building on its dedicated fan base and solid eBook sales. I just hope that the company sticks to improving what it is currently doing, verses cantilevering themselves over the device abyss a bit too far.

The snarkmatrix awaits you

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