I’ve been accused of doing a Mary Whitehouse, condemning something without even seeing it.
But I don’t have to see Kindle 2 to know the most important thing about it from fotoLibra’s point of view.
It. Doesn’t. Do. Colour.
And I’m not condemning it. Far from it. I’d love to have one, and I will — once it has millions of colours and works in Wales. But it won’t be replacing my library and it won’t be my primary reading tool. Travel and holidays, great. Sitting at home, uh uh.
Passing into the realms of speculation here, I think Apple and the Chinese, and Japanese, and the Koreans will be watching Kindle sales very closely. At $359 I don’t expect Amazon is making big profits out of the hardware — it’s the ‘get a free car if you only buy our gas’ strategy.
Amazon are attempting to cementing their dominating position, controlling the means of delivery; just where Microsoft were 15 years ago. But it won’t last. It never does.
Ebooks now are at the same stage of customer acceptance as mobile phones were a decade ago. The difference is that ten years ago Europe was way ahead in mobile phone acceptance, with the US lagging far behind, while today America leads the world in ebook usage, with barely a ripple shaking the Euro market. Will a Euro-Kindle change that? Maybe. But the US will stay far ahead for the foreseeable future. One thing’s for sure — nobody in benighted Britain is going to be manufacturing ebooks any time soon.
Meanwhile fotoLibra has to figure out image licensing costs for the time when ebooks acquire colour and do become significant items in publishers’ balance sheets.