While the new Kindle seems to be a pretty nice update, (If I were looking to buy, i’d definitely go with v2 over v1, I’m just not sure I’d update to V2 if I already owned v1) there’s still a lot of stuff missing before this gets to become mainstream.
1. First, it needs to be cheaper. $359 is just way too high for mainstream consumers for a device that only does one thing (for the most part). It’s fine for folks like me who travel a lot, buy a lot of books and hate carrying paper. For the mass market, it’s got to come down in price. Amazon could do this any number of ways including book club offers and/or subscription services.
2. I want a backlight. Yes, I know the eInk tech doesn’t lend itself well to this tech but Sony found a way to add a series of LEDs to light the display when it’s dark. One of the big advantages of eTexts is not needing ambient light to read by, this is important in places like bed, airplanes etc. Something Amazon needs to add ASAP.
3. Fix the eInk refresh rate. It’s gotten a lot better since my first Sony Libre and the current model is 25% better than the old one according to Amazon. It’s still not good enough and I still find the flash distracting.
4. What Amazon most needs to do is make the Kindle a platform. Get content onto other devices like the iPhone ASAP so consumers can finally be taught how to read books and other long form content on mobile screens. At the end of the day as long as I”m buying my content from Amazon they should be cool with whatever device I’m reading it on (Even if they prefer I read it on a Kindle). This eco system push should have been part of today’s news. Bezos hinted at it when he talked about WhisperSync. It should have been explicit and part of today’s news.