Tag Archives: Kindle 3

eBooks sales to reach a cool billion dollars in 2010

Yes, it is right…eBooks are no longer a niche reserved to techno-files as US consumers spent / will spend around a billion dollars buying eBooks for this year, and the number is projected to increase yet again to close to 3 billion dollars by 2015 says a recent survey by Forrester group using a sample of 4,000 people. While most of those (93 percent) still like to read the old way (killing trees), the other 7 percent make up the number while reading more.

According to Forrester’s numbers, the standard eBook reader will read about 66% eBooks and the rest in paper format. I expect both numbers to climb, the 7 percent currently using eReaders and the ratio of eBooks / paper books a eReader owner reads. For me, the ratio is close to 100%.

Interestingly enough, dedicated eReaders are at a close second place (32 percent) , most readers preferring to read their eBooks on their notebooks (35 percent) .

The recent drop in eReader prices also contributed to the sales, most devices being around $100 which is the compulsive buying range and the current market leader is Amazon’s Kindle 3 (full review here) with around 70 percent market share. At a distant second comes Barnes and Noble with their Nook (full review here) at around 15-20 percent.

E-Ink announces their first color paper display, to be used in Hanvon eReaders

It officially happened: E Ink Holdings came out in a big way announcing their first ePaper eInk e(Color) 😉 display which will actually be used in a eReader.

Based on the Triton Imaging Film (the same technology behind the Pearl eInk screens in Amazon Kindle 3), the new display promises to improve performance with up to 20% and a whooping month battery life (similar with the current Kindle 3, but of course, colorful). Based on e Ink’s projections, the market for anything with ePaper will reach 5 billions dollars in 2016 so there is a lot to gain in being the first on the market.

The first eReaders to include the new color eInk display are coming from Hanvon (see picture) with their 10 inches sized devices (9.68 inches to be exact) which will be launched next March in China for about $440 and will feature Wi-Fi and 3G wireless.
We can, of course only hope that someday a color Kindle based on the same technology will be released in US, ideally under $200. Until then, there is only NOOKcolor

Kindle eBooks outsold all paper books last month

There is no denying folks, the eBooks vs paper books ended and the eBooks won! Based on Amazon’s sales, last month was the first time when eBook sales and in particular the one on the Kindle platform outsold all the paper books combined (paperbacks and hardcovers). It is obviously a huge news, especially since Kindle books were outselling hardcovers already in July.

A big help, we are sure, came from the lowered prices of the Kindle eReaders line including the newly launched Kindle 3 selling for as low as $139, close to impulse buying category.While bragging about the record sales, Amazon still doesn’t disclose how many books / eReaders they actually sold (some say due to the negative comparison against Apple iPad numbers sold in the same period 😉 ).

The latest Kindle 3 generation is slimmer, lighter and features a much improved battery life (see our full hands-on review) and starting soon, it will also offer a book lending capability, for up to 14 days at a time.

Kindle here, Kindle there, Kindle everywhere – Kindle eReader Beta for the Web launches

Since having Kindle eReader software available on all popular hardware platforms including iPhone, iPad, Android, PC, Mac and BlackBerry (phones and recently launched PlayBook tablet) is obviously not enough, with the latest launch Amazon’s Kindle availability jumps fairly close to 100%. Why? Because the company just launched Kindle for the Web and that soon will include your toaster (because Web browsing on your fridge is certainly 1999-ish at this point).

The new Kindle for the Web application runs inside your Web Browser, it lets you read eBooks and it even includes some sort of social functionality by offering the ability to embed book samples on blogs in a YouTube-esque manner.

The good thing is that you don’t need to download/install any additional software. The bad thing is that it is currently available only by invitation and only to the ones enrolled in Amazon affiliate program. But it will be universally released soon.

Among the standard features, the Web app matches fairly well the standard set of specifications found on other platforms including synchronization (in case you left your Kindle 3 at home) between multiple devices and adds sharing buttons for Twitter, Facebook and e-mail.

In case you are curious, the book I am currently reading is “The Evolutionary Void” by Peter F. Hamilton,  the last part of the excellent Science Fiction series “The Void Trilogy”. Highly recommended ;).

Check after the break so see Kindle for the Web in action (you can also embed your reader into your website).

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Kindle 3 jailbroken

Well, it had to happen eventually, as it is the fate of any device running some piece of software. The new Kindle 3 was rooted and jailbroken, so if you are the adventurous type and want USB networking, more fonts and more screen-savers, give it a try. Head over MobileRead forums for additional info and detailed jailbreaking instructions. The process won’t open Whispernet to allow free 3G tethering unfortunately, so for many, Kindle 3 jailbreaking won’t necessarily offer too many advantages and it might not worth the risk.

10 percent of Americans are using eReaders, 10 percent more in the next 6 month

A Harris Interactive poll published recently discloses that about 10 percent of the current Americans are using eReaders and another 10percent  plan to get one in the next 6 months. If this is correct, in the next 6 months the entire book reading population will be covered (exaggerating, but just a little). The statistical sample was 2,775 adults and the poll took place between 9th and 16th of August. The poll did not disclose which particular brands (iPad, Nook, Kindle, etc) are used and in what percentages.

Other worth mentioning numbers: Book readers on the East Coast are twice more willing to buy eBooks / eReaders than the ones on the West Coast with the readers from Midwest and South tied for the last place.

Another rumor was also confirmed: Owning an eReader will make you read more – 17 percent bought between 11-20 eBooks, 20 percent bought over 21 eBooks. From the crowd not owning an eReader, the numbers are 11 percent respectively 12 percent.

Here, at Review Horizon we are avid users of eReaders as well, and I feel our numbers are way outside the statistics (I am commuting for a long time for example and buy a new eBook every week). Each of my family members owns a different eReader brand (see our Nook, Kindle 3 and Pandigital Novel 7 reviews).

Amazon posts an Early Preview of Next Version 3.0.2 Kindle firmware – faster web browsing promised

Very soon after posting firmware version 3.0.1 for Kindle 3, Amazon previews yet another firmware version, you guessed, 3.0.2. The download will be available for a limited time only so if you feel adventurous go ahead and download it from here. Among the disclosed new features are faster web browsing and some other performance boosts (remember, we complained about performance issues when having a large number of documents uploaded to the device).

The 3.0.2 firmware is available for Kindle 3 Wi-Fi model, the North American 3G version and the European model. We posted an article about how to install Kindle 3 firmware 3.0.1, the process will be the same for 3.0.2. You can also read our in-depth Kindle 3 review and see how it compares with competitor products like Nook.

Kindle 3 firmware update steps:

1. Download the new firmware using your PC (they have 3 versions, WiFi only, Wifi + 3G US and Canada, WiFi + 3G Europe). Be sure to download the firmware for your device

2. Connect your Kindle via USB to your PC and copy the firmware file into Kindle’s root directory

3. After the file is copied, disconnect the Kindle from the USB connection

4. Go to the Home screen, Click Menu key, select “Settings.” Press Menu again, select “Update Your Kindle. Click OK

5. After your upgrade process is complete, you should have firmware version 3.0.2 installed. Let us know if you notice any improvements.

Sony releases a new touchscreen eBook Readers line (PRS-350, PRS-650, PRS-950)

Today Sony released their new eBook Readers line, all of them sporting touch capability and the new eInk display with improved contrast and speed. All of them have the same 2GB memory but unlike Amazon’s Kindle, they also feature a SD card / Memory Stick slot if carrying 2,000 books at a time is not enough for you. The best (and most expensive) in the newly released series is the Daily Edition PRS-950 which beside a larger 7″ screen also features 3G and WiFi connectivity. The next one in terms of price / performance comes the Touch Edition (PRS-650) for $229 with a 6″ eInk display and the cheapest one is the 5-inch PRS-350 Pocket Edition for $179 although at this size you better use your smartphone.  All the devices allow you to take notes directly on the screen using the included stylus. Now, I can see the more expensive Daily Edition model being sold as a luxury item and I have to admit I would like one myself, even if only for the 7″ eInk screen, but who in the world would pay that much for the non 3G non WiFi lesser models which are far more expensive than the Amazon’s Kindle 3 – review here (3G, WiFi, 4GB memory) without really justifying their price? Sony being Sony however, still doesn’t get the market and, especially during recession times, the market is driven by cost…of course, if you want to position yourself as a luxury provider, you can do that as well, but forget about selling millions in this case.

Kindle 3 Review

Kindle 3 is the latest Amazon take in the eBook readers market and it does not disappoint:  It is smaller and lighter, comes in two colors and ads WiFi to the specifications list. I received mine on Friday from Amazon and had the whole weekend to play with it, so here is my experience. Before starting, I want to add that I also own Kindle 2 and Barnes and Noble’s Nook for quite a while, so my review will not only go through all the Kindle 3 functionality but it will also compare its features and usability against the other two devices. In the end, I will add a series of functionality tips and tricks destined to improve your experience.

1. Kindle 3 Unpacking

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Cruz eReader joins the eBook readers crowd, to ship next month

Advertised as “world’s first affordable touch screen color ereader”, Cruz eReader by Velocity Micro will be available for pre-ordering at BestBuy and Borders September 15th for $199. The problem is…there are already cheaper alternatives on the market as is Pandigital Novel 7 and Augen Gentouch, which can be purchased right now under $150. The specs also seem to be very similar to the Pandigital device, including applications as: Dictionary, Notepad, Calendar, Alarm Clock, Contacts, Games and featuring an accelerometer for portrait/landscape detection.

• Full color TFT display
• 7” diagonal 800×600 screen and 802.11 b/g wifi
• Android 2.0
• 256MB RAM, 256MB internal storage, 4GB SD card bundled
• Supports ePub, PDF, TXT, PDB, HTML reader files
• MP3, WMA, AAC, WAV audio support
• MPEG-4, H.264, JPEG, GIF, PNG, BMP image support

The main question is: Would you prefer a color screen tablet with media capabilities or would you use instead a dedicated eReader like the new Kindle 3 from Amazon or Nook from Barnes and Noble?

Hit after the break for the full Press Release. Read More…