The Kindle - Amazon.Com's all Time Best Seller

Electronic Gadgetry

Have you recently considered rewarding yourself, your spouse, child, your boyfriend, girlfriend, relative or best friend? How about an electronic gadget they will never forget? My love for electronic gadgetry extends to those whose utility goes beyond the sole purpose for which the item was manufactured. A few years back, digital media like e-books were hardly the in-thing for many lovers of books. This could probably be attributed to our love for the physical tangible book and its durability.

The attachment we have developed towards hardcovers owes to our traditional upbringing which took long to kick considering the fact that old habits die hard. I have read many e-books on my phone's e-book reader despite their minute screens. I still have many friends who do not take kindly to staring constantly on the computer terminal's screen. What of the glare, eye strain and sitting posture to name a few.

These negative implications have gradually changed with the advent of new reading devices that offer comforts that were absent earlier on like the Kindle.

The Kindle

When I first read about the Kindle, my thoughts were “Another miniature electronic gadget that will not even be able to read my formats of e-books”. Little did I know that the gadget would soon become a darling to many lovers of books. Amazon.com reveals that the Kindle has maintained top position as a best seller item for two years running. It is also deemed as the “most wished for electronic item on Amazon.com”.

Millions of Kindles were sold by the end of 2009 and tending to higher figures by the end of 2011 in both USA and UK. Several Kindles have been produced as upgrades to the original gadget with notable changes that endear the device to users. Many users cite its portability, compactness, less expensive books compared to hardcovers, variation of lighting and the ability to browse the Internet for books newspapers or magazines as reasons for purchasing the Kindle.

The latest Kindle referred to as Kindle DX or Kindle 3 (3rd generation) features built-in free 3G Internet connectivity, Wi-Fi, a 9.7 inch (24.6 cm) screen with E-Ink Pearl Technology, volume control, headphone jack, USB and power switch all valued at $369 (Used) and $379 (New) at Amazon.com. The Kindle operates on the Linux Operating System with a CPU operating at 532 MHz and works on a 3.7 volt lithium polymer battery that is claimed to last one month (Reading time).

The gadget features a storage capacity that is upgrade-able up to 4GB and comes with a flash memory card of 2GB and weighs 247 grams. For users with visual impairment or those who get tired of handling or reading physically, the Kindle can read to you loudly or privately via your headphones. The Kindle can carry approximately 3500 books, each taking one minute to download depending on its size. It costs about £149 in the UK with promises of drops in price and availability in slightly more than 100 countries.

Amazon has already reported a one million unit sale of Stieg Larsson's book “Million Trilogy” which has for the first time ever, superseded the sale of hardcover books. This aspect might encourage publishers to go the e-book way to recoup their previous losses. The Internet provides a wider market for their products too.

YouTube video on Amazon Kindle 3

Adaptability

Amazon has introduced Kindle software applications for its use on communication devices and development platforms like Windows Operating System, Mac OS, Blackberry and Android phones. It also released more than half a million Kindle books on Android phones. Content for use on the Kindle can be purchased on the internet via Amazon’s 3G Whispernet network.

An application by Amazon branded “Kindle for PC” seeks to link the Kindle with the PC. It can be downloaded free for use on PCs with Windows Vista, XP, and Windows 7. It allows e-books to be read on PCs without the user having the Kindle.

Instead of posing a threat to books, newspaper and magazine publishers, the Kindle has enhanced readership and subscription of these products. It enables users to shop online, download content, browse the internet, read e-books, newspapers, magazines, blogs and many other digital media found on the Web and is currently shipping internationally at $139.

The big query is “Will the Kindle’s sales keep rising throughout the third, fourth and even fifth year?”

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