Books written by Ray Sullivan

Saturday, 1 October 2011

Kindle Fire

It looks like Amazon are upping the ante.  My guess is that after the success of the Kindle 3 they have taken a bity of a hammering by Apple with iPad2.  The Kindle is a great machine but it is a one trick pony - it allows you to read books, in daylight or artificial light - and it does that very well, as long as you are happy in monochrome.

But the iPad does most of this, the exception being the daylight bit, plus many, many other things.  It does need charging up daily (Kindle runs for a month or so between charges) and costs about four or five times as much as the Kindle.  The ebook reader is very intuitive, you can view the covers in colour and because of a quirk in the way Apple price books, some books are cheaper.

I found the last bit out by accident when my wife Lorraine decided to download DLF (also known as Digital Life Form on Apple and other none Amazon booksites due to the Smashwords premium catalogue not allowing titles to be all in capitals - strewth).  Anyway, Apple price all their books in the US in dollar increments starting with $0.99.  (That is, the next price point is $1.99, and so on).  In Europe and the UK they make the starting point 0.99 (Euros or Sterling), then 0.99, 1.49, 1.99 etc.  Amazon just converts the dollar price to Sterling in the UK so right now my books cost £0.86 on Amazon and £0.49 on Apple.

Anyway, Amazon are not standing still.  They're taking the iPad head on with a new tablet, the Kindle Fire.  It's smaller than the iPad, lacks some of the cool bits like a camera, so no Skypeing, but it is touchscreen, colour and it's about half the price of the cheapest iPad.  It's also smaller, but Amazon are pitching that as an advantage - it's pocket sized and therefore more portable.

It goes on sale in the US before Christmas but no release date for the UK yet.   At least we'll be able to gauge user experience before deciding on whether it's the next step in ebooks.

Parallel Lives
The Journeymen

No comments:

Post a Comment