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Summary:

Walt Mossberg and Jeff Bezos are talking Kindle. No details on actual unit sales or downloads but Bezos does toss a news bone — the Kindle…

Walt Mossberg and Jeff Bezos are talking Kindle. No details on actual unit sales or downloads but Bezos does toss a news bone — the Kindle is now responsible for 6 percent of the sales of the titles sold by Amazon (NSDQ: AMZN) on Kindle and in print, That’s roughly 125,000 titles, which sounds like a lot (and is more than any other e-book).

– The $50 price drop doesn’t mean a second version is on the way. Bezos: “There will be a first version and a second version and a tenth version.” But, as he noted at the start of this chat, “it will probably take us 10 years to develop it but you have to get started.” (As a current user, I’d rather hear that Amazon is adding a major amount of titles. Despite the size of the catalog, the gaps can be frustrating.) The price drop is a response to taming the supply chain.

– Changes will come. “We’ve heard this feedback loud and clear.”

– Bezos has a sort of knee jerk reaction to hearing that people miss the tactile feel of books, pulling out comparisons to horses whenever the subject comes up. One example: “I’m sure people loved their horses too but you’re not going to keep riding a horse to work.”

Feature creep: Kindle has an experimental area but Bezos explains “What we’re working on with Kindle is purpose built for reading.” They’re offering a form of browser but electronic ink is the right display for high-end web browsing. This time the comparison is to cell phones and digital cameras — the Kindle is the cell phone in this case. As for using e-ink for a web browser, in a constructed world where it’s possible, yes. But nowhere near that now.

– Can you imagine a day where Kindle is a really significant part of overall business? Bezos answers yes — without hesitation, What’s meaningful? Amazon did $14 billion in revenues last year, Bezos says, but won’t attach a number to it. He recalls being asked by his CFO when the Kindle process started: “how much are you willing to invest in Kindle?” His response: “How much do we have?”

More to come.

  1. Hi Staci,

    I have seen the interview of Mr Bezos. I believe he said that E-Ink is not the right medium for the rich internet experience (no color, no animation, no Flash etc). He never said "electronic ink is the right display for high-end web browsing".

    And regarding the digital camera and cell phone comparison, Kindle is compared to the digital camera and not the cell phone. Digital camera is only for taking pictures and excels in its functionality (taking good quality pictures) but cell phone can also take pictures but cannot substitute a digital camera. Similarly, Kindle excels in providing a reading experience that cell phones cannot compete.

    Any yes, I own a Kindle.

    Manas

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