The Amazon Kindle Has Arrived
After months of media anticipation and speculation, Amazon.com introduced its portable reader, Amazon Kindle (http://amazon.com/kindle), to the marketplace Nov. 19. With Kindle, users are able to wirelessly purchase, download and read books, newspapers, magazines and blogs without a computer, access to a Wi-Fi hot spot, or syncing.
The Kindle wireless delivery system, Amazon Whispernet, uses the same nationwide high-speed data network as advanced cell phones. Amazon pays for the wireless connectivity, so there are no monthy wireless bills, data plans or service commitments for customers.
“We’ve been working on Kindle for more than three years. Our top design objective was for Kindle to disappear in your hands––to get out of the way––so you can enjoy your reading,” says Jeff Bezos, Amazon.com founder and CEO. “We also wanted to go beyond the physical book. Kindle is wireless, so whether you’re lying in bed or riding a train, you can think of a book and have it in less than 60 seconds. No computer is needed––you do your shopping directly from the device. …”
Priced at $399, the Kindle is currently listed as out of stock on Amazon.com with a note that it will not be available in time for the Christmas holiday. For those who were able to get their hands on the new e-reading device, the Kindle Store offers more than 90,000 books, many of which are priced at $9.99, as well as hundreds of newspapers, magazines and blogs. Customers can download and read the first chapter of most Kindle books for free.
Other key features of the Kindle include:
• a high-resolution display technology called electronic paper “that looks and reads like real paper, even in bright sunlight,” according to Amazon.com;
• a built-in memory that stores more than 200 titles, and hundreds more with an optional SD memory card;
• built-in access to “The New Oxford American Dictionary” and Wikipedia.org;
• a keyboard that allows users to add annotations to text. Users also can edit, delete and export these notes, highlight and clip passages, and bookmark pages for future use.
Publishers and authors can submit their content to be made available to Kindle customers by using Amazon’s new Digital Text Platform (http://DTP.Amazon.com), a self-publishing tool that allows anyone to upload and sell their books in the Kindle Store.