While meeting with clients this week, the Kindle was brought up as a “must have” product. I admit that I’ve always been curious about it, but have not sought out details. When I got back to the office, I decided to check it out and educate myself. Amazon has converted over 450,000 books into Kindle versions. National newspapers like the NY Times and USA Today are also available. A search feature helps you find exactly what you want, including current NY Times best sellers, classic novels, and even children’s books. I decided to download the free iPhone app for the Kindle to test it out. For my first e-book experience, selected Pride and Prejudice, my favorite novel, and have to say I kind of like it. I’m used to reading off a screen every day, this one is just a little smaller. The real Kindle screen is more comparable to a standard book size, so I know if I could handle it on the iPhone, that I’d be golden with the Kindle. And if I decide to purchase an iPad, I’m sure the app would work just as well there.
From a marketing standpoint, I think the Kindle is very smart through the meaningful selling point it delivers…more reading with greater convenience. Before, more reading meant more books which required more space and created more hassles. Now, with the Kindle, you can fit 1000 books in your beach bag or your carry on. Amazon has not revealed the sales figures on the Kindle but Jeff Bezos, President and CEO of Amazon, said, “Millions of people now own Kindles, and Kindle owners read, a lot. When we have both editions, we sell 6 Kindle books for every 10 physical books”. While I don’t think it is possible for print to go away completely, products like the Kindle and the highly anticipated iPad are making it more convenient for consumers to absorb information in electronic formats. The Kindle seems to be more than another high-tech fad. Its benefit on our lifestyle is valuable and because of that I’m confident it’s here to stay. And probably soon to be on my shopping list.