Amazon is expected to unveil a new Kindle Wednesday. The new model is reportedly designed for newspaper and magazine reading, and the New York Times is partnering with Amazon on the reader. The new Kindle is one of several e-readers being developed for newspapers and periodicals. Hearst (owners of our city’s struggling San Francisco Chronicle, which recently bought out some of its best columnists), announced in February that it is developing its own device. Rupert Murdoch’s News Corporation is also launching an e-reader next year, as is Plastic Logic, a well-financed German
Brad Stone, writing in the New York Times, makes the point that Amazon’s new Kindle will be better suited to the type of advertising used in print. Perhaps . . . assuming that model still proves viable.
ZDNet’s Larry Dignan believes that the new Kindle is more likely aimed at the textbook market, as book publishers continue the heroic quest to stop used books from cannibalizing the market for $150 Basic Italian texts.
There have been no comments from Amazon or the New York Times on the new Kindle, so we’ll have to wait until Wednesday.
The only thing preventing mainstream adoption of e-readers is price (besides the fact that it’s not quite so easy to fold up a Kindle and carry it in your back pocket, unless you’re Caprican).
The existence of the Internet invalidates any argument that folks just don’t like reading on machines. We’re just waiting for a reasonable price.
And if Moore’s Law can take us from a smart street grid to the Skynet apocalypse in only four years, it can definitely push out some cheap e-readers faster than that.