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Summary:

[qi:038] Wouldn’t it have been cool if Amazon built an e-book reader so inexpensive they could almost give it away for free, then make money by selling e-books for people to read on it (or selling upscale versions of the reader later)? Instead, they stuffed it […]

[qi:038] Wouldn’t it have been cool if Amazon built an e-book reader so inexpensive they could almost give it away for free, then make money by selling e-books for people to read on it (or selling upscale versions of the reader later)? Instead, they stuffed it so full of technological wizardry that it costs $399.

Most people have no idea if they’d really like to use an e-book reader or not. It may be something you just have to experience to grasp. But who’s going to experiment with electronic book reading when the price of entry is so high?

Newsweek’s Steven Levy reports that the Kindle goes 30 hours on a single charge, stores 200 books, and uses wireless connectivity based on EVDO so it operates completely independently of a PC. All cool, but not as cool as an e-book reader that demands only a small commitment of cash. An inexpensive Amazon-branded e-book reader could have been the star of this holiday season.

Disclosure: Our RSS feed is part of the Kindle device, and we are under NDA to comment about its features. We are going to wait till that NDA comes off. Newsweek has pretty much all the feature details in case you are interested. – Om

By Anne Zelenka

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  1. Anna- Steve Rubel added an interesting thought on his Twitter feed; Steve said that it would be great if this e-book service was available through his iPhone. Instead of developing another device we have to carry around it would be great, as Steve suggested, to optimize its content for our existing smart phones.

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  2. Sorry- *mean to write Anne

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  3. Don’t know if eboks really have an edge over audiobooks.

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  4. Getting e-book capabilities into an iPhone or iPod would be nice, that’s true. Amazon and Sony (who makes an electronic book reader also) might be in trouble if that happened, though.

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  5. Oh, and as for the name… a lot of people call me Anna, guess it goes with the last name. At least I think so — I named my second child Anna :)

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  6. [...] interesting little note on GigaOM: “Disclosure: Our RSS feed is part of the Kindle device, and we are under NDA to comment [...]

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  7. hmm, ebook on iphone? right. if so, then we need to carry about a case of batteries around … oh, wait a minute, you cannot change batteries on an ipod or iphone, so you better be near a power outlet. always.

    also, the screen size of an ipod or iphone doesn’t lend itself to reading books … you would be scrolling every five seconds.

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  8. @Anne I read that “Amazon believes it has created the iPod of reading.” http://tinyurl.com/376w9c

    Doesn’t that egg Apple on to really join the competition in this e-book reader space?

    @Chris B. “scrolling every five seconds”- very true. Definitely something Apple would have to work out if it wants to really develop this.

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  9. also, the screen size of an ipod or iphone doesn’t lend itself to reading books … you would be scrolling every five seconds.

    Yeah, so I guess you must cringe at all the poor deluded people who have been actually READING ebooks for years and years and years on Palm/WinMob PDAs.

    And I guess things such as SMS are dumb too. Because, like, u knw 2 fw wrds k?

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  10. I wouldn’t doubt Apple’s ability to bring out an eBook reader version of the iPod. Call it the iBook. It’d probably have crappy durability and battery life just like the iPods. And people would still snap them up.

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