by Chad Skelton
The question at hand is not, should you buy an e-reader, should it be an iPad or a kindle or a nook or whatever. No, it's whether you should buy a kindle now or wait for a later model and/or cheaper price?
After observing the rapid fall in the price of a kindle since it's launch in 2007, Skelton has this explanation to offer:
"Amazon's reason for doing this is pretty clear: Kindle owners buy a lot of books. More than they bought before they had an Kindle and -- crucially -- they buy them all from Amazon."
There was a time in Mockable eBook Coverage (left this one out) when people were arguing that the only way Amazon was making money on the kindle was because the hardware was subsidizing the content AND because the content was subsidizing the hardware. Usually, they were not making this argument simultaneously (altho I wouldn't swear no one argued this simultaneously). But to encapsulate that argument in a brief sentence, breathlessly sweeping over any possibly economies of scale (described in detail in the contracts for the screens, the part of the kindle which dominates the cost of the device), is a little amazing.
Even better, "they buy them all from Amazon"! As if once someone owns a kindle, they stop buying paper books from any source at all. Apparently, I'm the lone exception. As if once someone owns a kindle, they won't, say, download Baen eBooks, or public domain works or move their old library from their mobi device, or whatever. Or, say, use some piece of software that lets you convert a book from one format to another.
"Kindle owners will likely stick with Amazon -- even when it comes time to upgrade their device -- so they don't lose their library of old ebooks."
Smart of him to include the word "likely". Altho I'm less convinced it's to avoid losing their old ebooks. An awful lot of consumers of media out there really do not care about their old stuff. It's really us nerds who are obsessed with curating our possessions who worry about our old stuff.
Skelton gets some points for putting this out _before_ the advertising-subsidized kindle was released.
Edited to correct a typo.