Print 31 comment(s) - last by andrys1.. on Dec 10 at 9:00 PM

Amazon does not have any more Kindle eBook readers until 2009

If you wanted to purchase an Amazon Kindle eBook reader for a family member or friend this holiday season, you won't be able to do so through Amazon, as the popular online retailer announced the Kindle will be out of stock for 11 to 13 weeks

Amazon's first Kindle launch saw high demand and massive supply issues about one year ago, but it seems Amazon was better suited this time around.  According to the Wall Street Journal, Oprah Winfrey's endorsement of the device last October helped drive sales further.  

Some analysts indicate Amazon may be clearing out current stock while preparing for a February launch of a new edition of Kindle.  Amazon confirmed Kindle 2.0 wouldn't be released in 2008, and indicated that current stock of Kindle 1.0 would have to be sold before a new release.

Shoppers still interested in purchasing a Kindle can find them on eBay, though a quick look at the auction site reveals heavy price gouging on the popular eBook reader.

The popular online retailer hasn't released official sales numbers, and hasn't confirmed an updated eBook is in the works.  

The popularity of eReaders has increased with the introduction of Amazon's Kindle and the Sony Digital Book eReader, with other manufacturers interested in entering the fray.  Sony has the PRS-505 model available for $300 and the PRS-700 for $400, with more than 57,000 book titles in the online Sony Style eBook store.  Both models required a cable connection, although Sony representatives promise a wireless eBook reader is currently in the works.

Sony has at least 90 percent of the books on the New York Times best-seller list; Sony charges $11.99 and Amazon charges $9.99 for the books.

In addition to eReaders, the Apple iPhone also has a new program, Stanza, which has seen "solid sales numbers" since its release.  

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Why the demand?
By Parhel on 12/8/2008 6:04:21 PM , Rating: 4
I had the opportunity to try out the Sony model briefly, and the "digital ink" technology is just outstanding. It's just as easy as reading a printed page, with no eye strain whatsoever.

But I just can't warm up to the idea of digital copy-protected books. I like to be able to give a book I've enjoyed to a friend, if I think they'd like it. If the Kindle came with a service where you could download public domain books for free, then I'd start to get interested.

RE: Why the demand?
By mmntech on 12/8/2008 6:30:37 PM , Rating: 1
Well then you're a pirate you dirty thief.
This is why I've always been uneasy about intangible digital formats. I like to think I have some control over my purchases.

RE: Why the demand?
By wordsworm on 12/9/08, Rating: 0
RE: Why the demand?
By djc208 on 12/8/2008 6:53:10 PM , Rating: 3
But I just can't warm up to the idea of digital copy-protected books. I like to be able to give a book I've enjoyed to a friend, if I think they'd like it.

Amen. It annoys me that you pay paperback prices for a digital copy which was cheaper to produce, and is limited in its use. Can you even view these at home on a PC if you wanted?

I think Amazon would have been better off charging the $9.99/month as a subscription price. Like the music versions where you don't own any of the content, but you can dowload and access as much as you want as long as you continue to subscribe. Maybe even do a few tiers with extras like magazine access and newspapers, etc.

Otherwise, if I'm going to pay physical media prices then I'll take physical media.

The e-readers are primed to take off, even for the money Sony want's I'd get one, but at those prices it needs to hit all the right targets and none of them are there yet, close but not there.

RE: Why the demand?
By chmilz on 12/8/2008 7:07:32 PM , Rating: 5
Shhhhh... soon the book companies will be suing readers too.
Sell a used text at school? THIEF! Read a few pages of a magazine while waiting in long lineups at the grocer? CRIMINAL! Overdue library books? JAIL!

RE: Why the demand?
By tdawg on 12/8/2008 8:33:02 PM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure new books released in hardcover for $24-$30 are available digitally for the Kindle for the $9.99 price. I don't know about trade paper ($13-$18) or mass market ($5.99-$8.99) paperbacks, but I'm pretty sure the discount vs buying the new release hardbacks is decent.

I've played with the Sony eReader at Borders and while I love gadgets and have been tempted by the Kindle or the Sony (though I wasn't completely impressed), I really just enjoy having a physical book in my hands. Maybe when they strip out the useless picture viewer (may be ok for weekday newspaper comics and story companion pictures in newspapers, but little else) and unnecessary music playing (with the possible exception of podcasts or audio version of books and such) and focus on delivering high-quality, inexpensive eReaders with universal eReader compatibility, I'll jump. I too like to share books I've bought with others, and I don't want to be stuck with a digital book I bought that is locked to my device or account.

RE: Why the demand?
By sogu3 on 12/9/2008 10:19:43 AM , Rating: 2
I'm pretty sure new books released in hardcover for $24-$30 are available digitally for the Kindle for the $9.99 price. I don't know about trade paper ($13-$18) or mass market ($5.99-$8.99) paperbacks, but I'm pretty sure the discount vs buying the new release hardbacks is decent.

Sadly, I only wish this was true. Typically I have found a wide variety of prices for new releases. In fact, I think they hover around $12-16+ for many new releases (e.g. recent hardbacks). Paperbacks tend to be around $6-7 as I recall. I have noticed too, that if an Author is popular, their e-books tend to be more expensive, even Backlisted books.

I really believe that Amazon and the Book publishers should really be pushing these things at MUCH less than typical paperback prices. For years we have been hearing "Printing & Distribution Costs" as the reason books cost so much...


As for universal compatibility. I think you'll find Mobi-Pocket is the de-facto standard for e-books. All of the major readers (Kindle, Sony, Bookeen, etc) will read Mobi-pocket.

You are unfortunately accurate with the DRM issue and locking though. I HATE that my Amazon books are DRM'd, and while I can read them on my PC, I can't give them to my daughter to read on her Kindle (if I ever give her one).

Thus, most of my books are from Baen books or other sources that don't use DRM.


RE: Why the demand?
By sogu3 on 12/9/2008 9:40:33 AM , Rating: 2
Can you even view these at home on a PC if you wanted?

Yes indeed you can. I've read them on my laptop, and Amazon offers them for download to your PC when you've purchased them.

As for physical media. I agree with you in general, but I find that I have been traveling a lot lately, and having one Kindle with 200+ books on it is much more convenient on the airplane than a carryon with 5 paperbacks...


RE: Why the demand?
By someguy123 on 12/8/2008 7:09:55 PM , Rating: 2
i guess thats just the price you pay for the convenience of having such a huge amount of a literature in such a small package. it allows corporations to prevent you from sharing, but on the other hand you don't have to haul around huge books if you want to read something on the go.

RE: Why the demand?
By sogu3 on 12/9/2008 10:11:30 AM , Rating: 2
You can download any public domain book that is in Mobi-Pocket, ascii-text, or as I recall HTML (in addition to AZW which is Amazon's DRM's Mobi-pocket) and read them natively on Kindle, and Amazon offers a service to convert some other formats to Mobi-Pocket/Azw.

Admittedly, Amazon doesn't offer a "service" to download public domain books, but Project Gutenberg does (

In fact if you just don't like DRM and are a Science Fiction /Fantasy reader, Baen Books ( offers all of their e-books without DRM, and have numerous titles in their "Free Library".

Note that you could "give" non-drm'd books to others simply by copying them to your computer and e-mailing them, or copying them to an SD card and handing them to your friend. The Kindle has a built-in SD drive. I'm not sure about the Sony.

For the record, the majority of books on my Kindle are non-DRM'd. As a Sci-Fi/Fantasy reader, I prefer to buy my books from Baen, both because my favorite authors tend to be there, and because I want to support them in their efforts to provide DRM free content. Besides, I can buy 5-6 e-books for $15 (as a bundle).


RE: Why the demand?
By andrys1 on 12/10/2008 8:43:27 PM , Rating: 2
You can already download, direct to the Kindle, free books from and from (more quickly browsed on the kindle from sibling page ).

Fictionwise allows you to browse on your computer but have Fictionwise mail the book (for 10c) to your Kindle.

make it so #1
By gregpet on 12/8/2008 5:57:10 PM , Rating: 2
Has anyone out there used one of these things? Other than Capt Picard, I've never seem one of these in action...

RE: make it so #1
By Chernobyl68 on 12/8/2008 6:55:31 PM , Rating: 2
if they made one that read PDF's I'd buy one.

RE: make it so #1
By BarkHumbug on 12/9/2008 2:29:25 AM , Rating: 2
Read it out loud, or just showed it? Cause there's plenty of eReaders capable of showing PDF:s, although they might not look their best on such a small screen...

Check out this comparison page:

RE: make it so #1
By Chernobyl68 on 12/9/2008 11:08:57 AM , Rating: 2
thanks for the tip - I'll be checking those out!

RE: make it so #1
By sogu3 on 12/9/2008 9:48:49 AM , Rating: 2
I've never tried it, but I think the Amazon system will convert a PDF to a Kindle compatible Mobi-Pocket. You can e-mail a variety of files to an e-mail address assigned when you get your Kindle. Amazon converts them, and posts them on your download page (which appears in your account section after you buy a Kindle I think) or e-mails them via "Whispernet" to your Kindle (download is free, whispernet in this case is like 10 cents/conversion).

Personally though, I expect that the upcoming Kindle Student book will probably handle PDF's. As Ir ecall, its' supposed to have a larger screen and be targeted at textbooks, so one would think native PDF reading would be and appropriate format.


RE: make it so #1
By andrys1 on 12/10/2008 8:55:46 PM , Rating: 2
I'm always losing my electronics manuals, so now I've found many on the Net, in pdf format, and downloaded them. I email them to my Kindle acct and Amazon automatically converts them to be readable on the Kindle, for a dime per file-converted [with a Zipfile counting as one, strangely).

BEST, the Kindle lets me search these pdfs, and their search routine is very fast.

While we can convert them ourselves with mobi-pocket, I think a dime is preferable to doing the conversion and usb'g it over to the Kindle. However, doing it yourself allows you to modify things like Table of Contents etc.

Oh, we can also have Amazon convert them for free, by sending it to [myname] and in that case Amazon sends the converted document to your pc and you then usb it over to the Kindle. No cost. But for a dime, they send it direct to the Kindle after conversion.

RE: make it so #1
By Ringold on 12/8/2008 7:28:42 PM , Rating: 2
As someone else posted, the basics regarding the readers and technology are the best thing since sliced bread.

The copyright and price structure makes the implementation blow, though. At least, IMHO. The money I have to burn on books continues to go to accumulating the physical type: I know they'll always be there, and I can always loan or give them away if I want.

RE: make it so #1
By andrys1 on 12/10/2008 9:00:28 PM , Rating: 2
The price structure is similar to other e-books with good capacity. The Sony equivalent is about $400.

But the Sony doesn't have direct wireless download, nor does it have 24/7 web access for free. I can access the web from anywhere at anytime (except in remote areas far from civilization). And do rudimentary email with it.

This is done with its "experimental web browser" which is klunky but works. And wikipedia is a feature they recommend we use. They also install web bookmarks for you such as BBC News and MSNBC news, which are formatted well for mobile book readers and it's free, 24/7. I browse to any kind of site, but heavily complex websites are not worth the time on it.

As most know, an iPhone can cost you $50-60/mo. for the network access.

- A

RE: make it so #1
By sogu3 on 12/9/2008 9:43:56 AM , Rating: 2
I use one every day. I have the Kindle, and after an initial training period (learning NOT to accidentally nail the "next page" key while holding the book), I love it. I much prefer purchasing books via Kindle than in a bricks and mortar store.

Of course, I love the feel of paper pages too, but the convenience of the Kindle in terms of having a stupendous number of books "in-hand" when I'm traveling makes up for the minor inconvenience of a "page forward" button over the flick of a paper sheet.


RE: make it so #1
By Smilin on 12/10/2008 11:00:13 AM , Rating: 2
Yeah, I bought one for the Mrs.

Greatest since sliced bread and all that. The display is as good as everyone says (you have to see pictures on the web can really show you).

The coolest part is the wireless though. Pick a book right from the kindle and have it in 20 seconds. There are several websites with free books for the kindle that work the same way. There are 100,000s of books out there for free. If you want the NYT best sellers they are like 5-10 bucks from Amazon.

The search functions are pretty cool too. It searches all the stored books, built in dictionary and wikipedia.

So people did get in I see
By IceBreakerG on 12/8/2008 4:58:16 PM , Rating: 1
Apparently Amazon didn't want my money, because I didn't get in "any" of the 6 Black Friday deals. I'm surprised anyone got in and was actually able to buy something.

RE: So people did get in I see
By chrish89 on 12/8/2008 5:40:49 PM , Rating: 1
Thought I was only one rejected on all 6$tard$.

RE: So people did get in I see
By TennesseeTony on 12/8/2008 7:04:11 PM , Rating: 2
I got the invite to buy that stupid EyeClops thing.

How does this relate to the post though? :)

The price for this thing is ridiculous. And why the extremely high price for each book? Sheesh!

RE: So people did get in I see
By IceBreakerG on 12/9/2008 9:14:23 AM , Rating: 2
It doesn't relate to the post because I was stupid and commented without reading first. It happens sometimes :(

By androticus on 12/8/2008 7:17:46 PM , Rating: 2
What unbelievable nincompoops! Missing an ENTIRE holiday shopping season, especially with things as bad as they are now? The smart thing would have been to have overlap in availability of models, offering discounts on the 1.0 model if necessary. And why not? Those being at a discount wouldn't really be in the market anyway.

RE: Unbelievable!
By tmouse on 12/9/2008 7:40:08 AM , Rating: 2
Hmmm... maybe because the kindle v2 is not ready or at least there are not enough for a release? The worst thing you can do is offer something and miss demand by a large margin. Why bother offering a discount on the v1 models when you can sell your entire stock at full price? They probably would have liked to have had the v2 ready for this season but it was not, this is not Amazon's first tea party, they are pretty customer savvy.

RE: Unbelievable!
By Smilin on 12/10/2008 10:57:22 AM , Rating: 2
They didn't miss the holiday season...they sold out. Amazon is still making the current model they just sell faster than they can make them. I got one for the wife but I ordered early.

Amazon is making a killing on these and that's not even counting the recuring income they will generate.

"heavy price gouging"
By dever on 12/9/2008 12:12:44 PM , Rating: 2
though a quick look at the auction site reveals heavy price gouging
I really can't stand the term "price gouging." As if the person setting the price is somehow harming a buyer.

If a buyer voluntarily chooses to buy a product at a price without coercion, they aren't being harmed... it's not "gouging." If they choose Not to buy it, it still can't be called "gouging."

RE: "heavy price gouging"
By Smilin on 12/10/2008 11:04:13 AM , Rating: 2
They are pricey yes. It's essentially a laptop though. 400 something Mhz processor, web browser, built in wireless networking via cellular (free use!).

Also my wife reads like 1-4 books a week. At that rate it would take just a couple months for it to pay for itself if you consider books for the Kindle cost less than half of the printed copy.

Price "gouging" only counts when there is a lack of choice in the purchasing process. I had a choice and it made sense to buy at the given price (for me a higher price would have still made sense).

By koland on 12/9/2008 5:44:02 PM , Rating: 2
You can still get a refurbished Kindles by Christmas, direct from Amazon for $329 (although at this point I'd recommend you pay for at least 2-day shipping):

Dozens have been sold and shipped since Dec 1, but they go in an out of stock quickly. They don't last on the site very long, so if you want one, you must order it immediately if you find one in stock. If you they are out of stock when you check, be sure to read my blog for tips on getting one:

"We shipped it on Saturday. Then on Sunday, we rested." -- Steve Jobs on the iPad launch

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