Saturday, January 3, 2009

Throwing Cold Water On Red-Hot Kindle

The stock market watchers at the Motley Fool say Christmas was a setback for Kris Kindle:

The leading online retailer fumbled its handling of its e-book reader over the holidays. A month after Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos pitched the Kindle on Oprah Winfrey's show, the company ran out of the $359 devices by late November, just days before the start of the critical holiday shopping season.

Amazon may have profited from third-party resellers moving marked-up Kindles through its site, but asking potential buyers to wait "11 to 13 weeks" for deliveries cuts against the grain of digital delivery's speed and convenience. Even if Amazon is simply holding back until Kindle 2.0 is launched, it either underestimated the power of Oprah, or underestimated its ability to sell the gizmo.

A Dallas journalist is nonetheless experiencing Kindle love. She likes it for the books, but it could save the news business as well. Speaking of which, USA Today is now Kindled.

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