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Summary:

Today’s launch of a $400 touch-screen e-Reader from Sony had me eager to whip out my credit card, but the mess on Wall Street stopped me cold. Even with the $700 billion bailout, there are going to be some serious consequences for companies — among them […]

Today’s launch of a $400 touch-screen e-Reader from Sony had me eager to whip out my credit card, but the mess on Wall Street stopped me cold. Even with the $700 billion bailout, there are going to be some serious consequences for companies — among them layoffs, lackluster earnings and the chance they won’t be able to raise that next round of capital. On a personal level, I hope my family and friends won’t see too much fallout, but I’m still spending cautiously. That means everything from buying generic food brands to deciding I don’t really need a new pair of boots. It also means I’m having second thoughts about picking up both a Roku box and an e-reader.

I tried the Roku out and loved it, but couldn’t justify spending $99 for a box with such a pathetic amount of content (I’m cheap that way). Now that Netflix is expanding the number of titles it has available for streaming, I’m once again inclined to buy it, but the thought of spending the equivalent of two tanks of gas or a week’s worth of food on entertainment is a painful one.

 

As for the e-reader, I’ve wanted to play with a Kindle ever since it was launched, but again, I’ve had a hard time justifying the $359 price tag. I had settled on asking for one for Christmas, but in light of the past week on Wall Street, I’ve struck it from my list. Check out the interview below to see how Amazon will try to convince people like me to shell out anyway (it didn’t work for me). Although once we’re feeling flush again, that touch-screen Sony Reader might be my eventual choice.

Is anyone else out there rethinking their gadget purchases in light of the crisis, or am I just too cheap for my own good?

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  1. Alan Weinkrantz Friday, October 3, 2008

    I think this is a good time for all of us to take stock of our blessings and re-think just what we really “need” vs what we want.

    What can we teach our children about material things and ask them what they think, what they hear from their friends, and how they can be a support mechanism for friends whose parents may be affected by a lay-off, a reduction in salary or bonus, or having their stock portfolio tank.

    Some of my gadgets are for personal – and business use. In many cases, they cross lines.

    There is always good that comes out of times like these. When the good times roll around again, let’s not forget what we went through.

  2. Don’t worry we always got easy payments of $24.99… oh wait, we’re screwed!

  3. I’ve had a MacBook for a few years now, and I’d replace it with whatever Apple’s current offering is, but I am now considering a “netbook” instead – $500 is my price point. This budgeting is a direct result of the tighter times coming soon.

  4. You are being too cheap for your own good. Be patriotic and spend – the country needs you.

  5. Thos from Gazelle.com here.
    We provide an easy, fast way for people to get cash for the gadgets they no longer need or want. It’s a great way to feed your need for new gadgets by letting go of the things you’re not using to offset the cost of those Bose MusicMonitors.
    By promoting this new way of selling as well as reuse, we hope nobody will have to make the choice between a Kindle and food for the family.

    To help ease the pain at the pump we built a widget that shows you how much gas you could by with the gadgets you aren’t using. Check it out:
    http://www.gazelle.com/gadgets_for_gas

  6. Definitely scaling back. Unless Apple ships a netbook, the next laptop may well be an OLPC give-one-get-one, because I can’t justify spending money on features beyond text editing and full-screen web surfing. Hell, even if Apple ships a netbook, if it’s not $500 or less I may not be able to justify it…oh well, always wanted to learn Linux…

  7. Pattrick Savarna Saturday, October 4, 2008

    Cool information. I wonder how it would work like.
    Sony has just demonstrated a type of flexible screen too. This will enable us to make TVs and computers which can be folded to keep in pockets.

  8. AT&T U-Verse A Victim of the Economy? – GigaOM Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    [...] Higginbotham, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 7:08 AM PT Comments (0) While I worry about buying gadgets there are plenty of people out  there worried about buying far more improtant things like food and [...]

  9. AT&T U-Verse A Victim of the Economy? – GigaOM Wednesday, October 8, 2008

    [...] Higginbotham, Wednesday, October 8, 2008 at 7:08 AM PT Comments (0) While I worry about buying gadgets there are plenty of people out  there worried about buying far more improtant things like food and [...]

  10. Don’t Panic. Gartner Drops Chip Forecast Tuesday, December 16, 2008

    [...] decline only by 2.2 percent in 2009. This is a dismal confirmation that many consumers — like me – have held off on gadget purchases this [...]

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