Back in November 2007, I weighed in on the original Amazon Kindle. I said:
I think that it will succeed, become a big business segment for them, and will be the first of a new line.
With the introduction of the Kindle 2, I think it’s time to do my dance in the end zone. The new device is improved (better screen, better ergonomics, improved battery life), and it even has a new feature (PDF support) that I think will expand its use for some.
As I predicted, most people simply don’t care about DRM, as long as it is not so restrictive that it prevents them from doing what they want with the content. And the Kindle’s DRM allows most people to do what they want – read the books on their own Kindles. The Kindle isn’t for everyone, but most people I know who bought one love it. These folks tend to travel a lot, and the ability to carry around a library is priceless to them. I spoke to a woman at my gym who was using hers while on the treadmill, and she raved about it (it was like talking to a Mac user!).
OK, so now is it time for me to buy a Kindle 2? Well, no. But that’s only because I’ve already acquired an alternative that works well for me: Lexcycle’s Stanza on my iPhone. Before I got the iPhone a few months ago, I didn’t think that I would ever read novels on a phone. But Stanza is so good that I’m a convert. I’ve probably read a dozen books with Stanza now, and I really like being able to start reading a book on the phone, shift to reading it with the desktop version on the MacBook, then finish the book back on the phone. I love love love always having good reading material in my pocket.
Stanza already reads books in (DRM-free) Kindle format. And Amazon made comments today about making Kindle books available for the iPhone, perhaps later this year. A partnership between Lexcycle and Amazon isn’t too hard to imagine. I can wait to see what happens.