New Amazon Kindle Ebook Reader

According to analysts 380,000 Amazon Kindle ebook readers have been sold and it is fast becoming the Apple "iPod of the book world" being particularly popular with students as it means they don’t have to lug around exensive, and heavy, books.

More pictures of the new Kindle Ebook Reader available over at Boy Genius

Two new versions of the ebook reader will ship before the end of 2008, one which will be the same size but with an improved user interface, and one which will the same size as a sheet of paper 8x11inches.

One criticism of the Kindle digital book reader is that it is a bit bland, so there are rumours that Amazonwill be offering different colours.

Sales have geneerally been better than expected, with financial analyst at Citigroup stating, "Although (Amazon) has not disclosed Kindle sales, our collection of data points leads us to double our '08 unit assumption from 190,000 to 380,000. In its first year, that's exactly how many iPods were sold. Turns out the Kindle is becoming the iPod of the book world."

One market where the Kinlde has not yet made any headway is the $5.5 bn textbook market. This may be set to change, as the two main complaints from students are textbook prices and the weight of the books. The Kindle ebook reader offers clear advantages in both areas, as electronic versions of books are generally cheaper than the actual books and they obviously weigh a lot less.

In addition to these factors, books suffer from the fact that they do not have a built-in MP3 player and wireless 3G connectivity.

The screens of the latest Kindle’s are not backlit, and are therefore easy to read, including in sunlight.

There are now estimated to be 140,000 titles available for the Kindle ebook reader, a number which is set to grow over time.

According to Citigroup the Kindle could generate between $400 million and $750 million for Amazon by 2010, which would represent between 1% and 3% of Amazon’s total revenue.

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