The May ebook price report from Douglas County (Colo) Libraries draws upon the USA Today 25 bestsellers list, which includes a nice mix of fiction, nonfiction, and children’s titles. Overall, 12 of the 25 titles are available to libraries as ebooks; eight are from OverDrive and 12 are from 3M.
From the debut of library lending to the release of its first tablet, the Kindle Fire, Amazon has been making headlines in the ebook world recently. Now it is back in the spotlight with a new kerfuffle over exclusive content deals.
While there’s no hard evidence, I’ve seen rumors around the ’net that make me think this worth betting on. Amazon has all the infrastructure in place to support a tablet, especially after the launch of its very own Android Appstore last week. Amazon is one of the very few companies that has the content deals in place to feed a tablet, and with the cost of their flagship product (the Kindle eReader) going down, it makes sense for Amazon to think about the next stage of content on portable devices.
Think about it: Amazon has its own Appstore, still has the largest eBook selection in the world, and can stream or download movies and music. They clearly know how to produce hardware. I’m going to make a wild guess, and bet that we see Amazon launch its own Android-based tablet for sale this calendar year, probably in time for the 2011 holiday season.
Someone bookmark this, and call me out if I’m wrong in nine months. :-)
Amazon announced today the next generation of their Kindle eReader. Slightly redesigned, the biggest change is that there are now two models of the standard Kindle: Wifi only for $139, and Wifi + 3G for $189. Both models will also come in two different colors, the standard white and a dark grey, which I think looks great (and actually shows off the contrast of the eInk screen a bit more clearly).
There are a number of improvements, including being slightly smaller while maintaining the same 6 inch screen. The controls are more straightforward, the screen has a higher contrast, and Amazon is reporting that the new Kindle will go a full month on a single charge, if you turn off wireless.
All in all, a very, very compelling package. The $139 model is, I think, going to completely own the holiday gift season. Anyone whose been on the fence about trying out an eReader, this looks like the one to take a long look at.
Amazon founder Jeff Bezos: “While our hardcover sales continue to grow, the Kindle format has now overtaken the hardcover format. Amazon.com customers now purchase more Kindle books than hardcover books—astonishing when you consider that we’ve been selling hardcover books for 15 years, and Kindle books for 33 months.”
And it’s still impossible for a library to purchase a Kindle-formatted book and circulate it…at least according to the License Agreement.
Amazon was just awarded a very, very interesting patent on specific aspects of eReader devices, and it might have a huge impact on the Nook and others in the market. Among the many pieces of the patent, they were awarded a design patent on:
A handheld electronic device comprising: a housing; an electronic paper display disposed in the housing and having a first surface area; and a liquid crystal display (LCD) disposed in the housing proximate the electronic paper display, the LCD having a second surface area that is smaller than the first surface area of the electronic paper display.
I don’t know about you, but that sounds a lot like the Nook. It will be very interesting to see whether Amazon uses this patent as a stick (beating B&N with it) or as a carrot, and convincing B&N to work with them in some way.