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Source Claims 240K Kindles Sold

kdawson posted more than 5 years ago | from the drm-and-all dept.

Linux Business 176

Naturalist writes "Exact data on (the Linux-powered) Kindle sales figures have been hard to come by. Amazon is notoriously tight-lipped about it, and although CEO Jeff Bezos did give some Kindle-related information back in July, the company has yet to break out how many readers it has sold to date. Now TechCrunch claims to have spoken to a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the company's sales figures. According to this unnamed source, Amazon has sold 240,000 Kindles to date, for an estimated hardware revenue between $86 million and $96 million; media sales would push the total above $100M." We've been following the Kindle since its launch nine months ago.

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176 comments

uhhh (1, Informative)

larry bagina (561269) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474657)

240M (as in million) is not the same as 240,000.

Re:uhhh (2, Interesting)

Pikoro (844299) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474677)

Now if only they could "kindle" some interest in the darned things and make the media format open we might have something to be excited about.

A little bit of marketing could maybe help (1)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475097)

I am usually keeping an eye on Linux projects that have a certain size, but this is honestly the first time I hear about this.

Re:uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475207)

Now if only they could "kindle" some interest in the darned things

That's mostly because Amazon have awful hardware designers -- Apple or Microsoft or anyone else would have done a decent job but whoever designed the 1970s-style ugliness that is Kindle needs to be fired, and then the Amazon manager who approved it needs to be fired, and so on up the chain. Thankfully

e-ink will be on magazine covers before the year end [boingboing.net] and so hopefully we'll get decent devices soon.

and make the media format open we might have something to be excited about.

With DRM/TPMs being legally protected now there's a big push in the copyright industry to move to protected digital forms. When content is surrounded by DRM/TPMs then they can remove fair use or anything that law makers provide.

Re:uhhh (1)

Darkness404 (1287218) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475709)

With DRM/TPMs being legally protected now there's a big push in the copyright industry to move to protected digital forms. When content is surrounded by DRM/TPMs then they can remove fair use or anything that law makers provide.

With DRM/TPMs being legally protected, there now is a larger hacking movement then ever to sabotage DRM schemes before they are even released.

Re:uhhh (2, Insightful)

base3 (539820) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475887)

With DRM/TPMs being legally protected now there's a big push in the copyright industry to move to protected digital forms. When content is surrounded by DRM/TPMs then they can remove fair use or anything that law makers provide.

I'm normally among the first to smell a Treacherous Computing/Digital Restrictions Management dystopia, but can't "e-paper" be photocopied or scanned? I'm picturing a solenoid or two and a short program that synchronizes the "next page" button with the "scan/copy" button here.

Re:uhhh (2, Interesting)

robbiedo (553308) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475237)

It is open enough with support for the Mobipocket software. Easily create supported books. I just bought the Sony PRS-505 because of just released firmware supporting EPUB and Adobe DRM. Really like the Sony reader.

Re:uhhh (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474687)

I read it and assumed there was some sort of Three Kindles Per Child thing going on.

Re:uhhh (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474693)

I don't know what you're talking about ... I constantly mix roman numerals with our decimal system and have no problem reading that.

It does, however, make things interesting with the checks I write.

Re:uhhh (2, Funny)

bobdotorg (598873) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474739)

No, No!

They sold 240 MegaKindles, each of which is one seventh the physical size of the Library of Congress.

Believed it (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474809)

Funny thing is I nearly believed the 240k figure. I've barely heard a peep about the kindle since it launched.

Re:Believed it (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475453)

You may have embraced the typo spirit, for the 240k figure is absolutely true, and there is no shame in believing it.

Re:uhhh (1)

NicknamesAreStupid (1040118) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475373)

Not sure where the 240M comes from in this tread, but before the days of megabytes, 'M' stood for 1,000 (actually the roman numeral). It is still used that way in publishing (CPM means cost per thousand, not million).

You know its slashdot when it's.. (4, Informative)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474671)

You know you're reading slashdot when the number given is 1,000 times off.

240,000 is not 240 million

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (3, Insightful)

acvh (120205) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474719)

Bzzzt. For anyone who has worked in banking in the US, M means thousand, and MM means million. It bugs me to this day when people write 240M when they mean 240 million.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474731)

And what's the logic behind this terminology? Why would you use M as thousand?

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (4, Informative)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474813)

Latin. Its the roman numeral for 1000.

See milli.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (5, Informative)

Zouden (232738) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475379)

Wouldn't it make sense to use K?

As a rule, Latin is used for numbers less than 1. Greek is used for numbers greater than 1.

1000 = kilo (greek)
1/1000 = milli (latin)

10 = deca (greek)
1/10 = deci (latin)

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

cpotoso (606303) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475719)

If I had mod points I'd give them to you. I had never heard of this latin/greek thing, but it does seem to be real.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

Gr8Apes (679165) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475921)

which in modern usage is only used for copyrights these days, and not even there very often. Too damn hard to read. (MCMXCIX as an example, or MCMLXXXVIII - quick - what's that?)

milli = 1/1000.

Kilo = 1000

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (2, Insightful)

NemosomeN (670035) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474733)

You are correct, $250M is 250,000, and 250M Kindles is 250,000,000. Find a bank that will let me earn interest on a Kindle, and I'll use MM to count them in millions.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (0, Offtopic)

Mad Merlin (837387) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475409)

I hate grammar Nazi's.

Are you intentionally trying to earn their (completely justified) wrath?

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

ForestGrump (644805) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474763)

Interesting. The only knowledge I have of MM being millions is with natrual gas MMBTU

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (5, Interesting)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475023)

Bzzzt. For anyone who has worked in banking in the US, M means thousand, and MM means million. It bugs me to this day when people write 240M when they mean 240 million.

M is also used in the advertising industry for thousands. For example, the cost of an ad buy can be given in thousands of impressions, known as CCM (cost per thousand).

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475133)

For example, the cost of an ad buy can be given in thousands of impressions, known as CCM (cost per thousand).

Are you sure it doesn't mean Clickety-Clicks per Moron?

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

mcsqueak (1043736) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475295)

Are you sure it doesn't mean Clickety-Clicks per Moron?

The term is used for traditional print and billboard media as well as online, so no... I don't think it stands for Clickety-Clicks per Moron. :)

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

ncc74656 (45571) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476311)

M is also used in the advertising industry for thousands. For example, the cost of an ad buy can be given in thousands of impressions, known as CCM (cost per thousand).

I have a tube tester [alfter.us] for which the schematic [alfter.us] used "M" where we would now use "k" and "Meg" where we would now use "M." As you can see in the picture, it contains a roll chart of different types of tubes and the settings to use to determine whether they're any good. A few years ago, I tried to puzzle out a way to test tubes not listed in the chart by pulling their operating characteristics from a manual and somehow converting that to tester settings. I never did get that figured out, and the weird results I was getting by thinking that "4.7M" meant 4.7 million instead of 4700 didn't help any.

(The schematic is dated April 1940. When the electronics industry switched over to the units it uses now, I don't know. Where my copy of Terman [amazon.com] (3rd ed., 1947) gives component values at all, resistances tend not to be abbreviated. It may have been published during a transitional period, and the decision was made to not abbreviate so as to avoid confusion.)

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

Daimanta (1140543) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475025)

Figures that an American institute uses outdated systems of counting and measuring instead of internationally defined ones.

k = kilo is 1000
M = mega is 1.000.000
G = giga(jiga for bttf fans) is 1.000.000.000

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

Kjella (173770) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475433)

k = kilo is 1000
M = mega is 1.000.000
G = giga(jiga for bttf fans) is 1.000.000.000

I think you would be most confused if someone abbriviated one billion dollars as "1G". It works for computers because we say "ten kilobytes" but for most people it'd be just as confusing that "ten thousand dollars" is "10k" or "10M" since noone uses the kilodollar. Both things are just a learned habit from an indirect source (SI prefixes or Latin).

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (5, Insightful)

sunderland56 (621843) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475377)

For anyone who has worked in banking in the US, M means thousand, and MM means million.

The target audience of slashdot is geeks - specifically, engineering/computer geeks. This audience uses K for thousand.

If you want to use M for thousand on bankerdot.org, sure, go for it.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (4, Funny)

Reverend528 (585549) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475919)

This audience uses K for thousand

No, we use K for 2**10, which is 1024, not 1000.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (3, Funny)

Kyro (302315) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475397)

Is that why the U.S. banking system went belly-up?

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

maxume (22995) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475513)

Your tense is all wrong. At most, the U.S. banking system is going belly-up.

More likely, Crazy Cramer is correct and Wall street is in the midst of recovery, with the rest of the economy to follow over the next year or so (because nay-sayers and doom-cryers aside, the U.S. economy is, no really, it is, productive, so the disaster is only partial).

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

dave1g (680091) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476129)

is it all of banking? I just thought it was us crazy people working at bloomberg.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474775)

To be exact, it is 245.760 Kindle units.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475259)

240,000? Wow! That's almost a quarter billion.

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (1)

bsDaemon (87307) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475277)

The editors learned math from their Latin professors... what are you going to do?

Re:You know its slashdot when it's.. (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475343)

You know you're reading slashdot when

Or that a "source" saying something to someone gets reported as though it were factual.

It sucks that "K" and "M" are so close together... (-1, Redundant)

Legion_SB (1300215) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474685)

One small slip and you're 100x over.

(I just barely started reading Slashdot daily again, and even still, noticing the error, I knew who posted the story without looking.)

Compromise on L (3, Funny)

EmbeddedJanitor (597831) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474787)

240l of Kindles is approx 65 gallons.

Re:It sucks that "K" and "M" are so close together (1)

ProfessionalCookie (673314) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474827)

I knew who posted the story without looking

I hadn't thought about it but after reading your post I guessed correctly ;)

Re:It sucks that "K" and "M" are so close together (5, Funny)

Larryish (1215510) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475035)

I knew who posted the story without looking.

mdawson?

Everything old is new again (3, Funny)

Wordplay (54438) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474695)

Sales figures look much more exciting in roman numerals!

Re:Everything old is new again (2, Interesting)

Jeff DeMaagd (2015) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476091)

Is that what it's about? Who came up with the lousy idea of mixing modern and ancient number systems?

240 Million eh? (0, Redundant)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474711)

Yes I know M is abbreviation for 1000 (from Latin root), but I still find the headline to be misleading. 240k is unambiguous, as is 240,000...

Re:240 Million eh? (-1, Offtopic)

RJBeery (956252) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474953)

Oh I get REDUNDANT? It wasn't redundant when I posted it, dammit! He just types quicker..

NICE! (-1, Redundant)

gregbot9000 (1293772) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474723)

WOW 240m is GREAT considering they have only sold 11m Wii's In the US so far. Though I have to wonder what their doing wrong to have only made $96m profit with this much volume.

one should come up with numbers that make sense (3, Interesting)

frovingslosh (582462) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474757)

for an estimated hardware revenue between $86 million and $96 million; media sales would push the total above $100M. What in the world is this saying? Lets take a figure lower than the midpoint and call the hardware sales $90 million (although one should be able to get it closer than within ten million dollars if you have the real number sold, since Amazon sells direct and the price is well known). That would only leave about $10 million or so for media sales. Are we really saying that people who shell out all of this money for the DRM encumbered Kindles are not spending more than about 12 percent of that price for stuff to read on it? Seems like a very expensive toy to buy if you're not going to actually use it, yet that's what the numbers here seem to be claiming.

Re:one should come up with numbers that make sense (1)

kesuki (321456) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475045)

ah but that's the thing, you can read slashdot on the kindle, I'm not sure if it's free or not, they like to charge $9.99 for things, but you are paying $400 for a device that has much less expensive hardware, and doesn't charge the end user for their bandwidth, despite using cellular data service...

"More than 350 top blogs from the worlds of business, technology, sports, entertainment, and politics, including BoingBoing, Slashdot, TechCrunch, ESPN's Bill Simmons, The Onion, Michelle Malkin, and The Huffington Post--all updated wirelessly throughout the day."

if one of those 240,000 kindle users could just reply with what blog reading actually costs (do they insert ads for ebooks? to offset bandwidth use? do they charge $1 a month? what?) ah well.

Re:one should come up with numbers that make sense (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475245)

Usually you can get blogs delivered automatically for about $1-2/month, or you can access them via the internet app for free, and its not too much more difficult if you set up google reader or something like that. Magazines like Time and Newsweek are $1.50/month.

Re:one should come up with numbers that make sense (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24476263)

Since you can put your own files on the Kindle, Amazon is not the sole source for Kindle content. I've had a Kindle for about a month now and while I've read 5 or 6 books on it thus far, only one was purchased from Amazon. Everything else has been free stuff that I've downloaded from other sites -- Project Gutenberg and manybooks.net, mainly. I've been reading Edgar Rice Burrough's Mars stuff, works by Jules Verne (some of which are hard to find in bookstores -- i.e., The Children of Captain Grant) and Alexandre Dumas.

Great Title (4, Funny)

EdIII (1114411) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474759)

When I read the 240M title I wondered where my Kindle was in the house and why I could not remember even buying it :)

more kdawson goodness (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474777)

I submitted a story about kdawson being a retard who doesn't know math, but it seems to be getting suppressed.

Re:more kdawson goodness (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24474995)

He's under Commander Taco's desk, doing what he does best. Fun face: K Dawson's birth name was Kat Dyson [godinguitars.com] . He changed it to K. Dawson after the sex change, in which a penis was grafted from skin and fat from his left buttock.

Doesn't seem like that many (2, Interesting)

darjen (879890) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474789)

If I was an investor in Amazon, I would be upset that they are not releasing any numbers. I would certainly no longer hold a position in them. It looks pretty small when you think about how many devices Apple and Nintendo are selling.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (3, Insightful)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475111)

Put in perspective, if the numbers I'm seeing on websites about iPhone sales are correct, this puts the kindle somewhere on the order of 10-20 days worth of iPhone sales.... Yeah, not that great. Book reading on an existing device is useful and a lot of people will do it. Buying a special piece of hardware whose primary purpose is book reading... definitely a niche market, particularly when it costs about twice as much as an iPhone (carrier subsidized) that does so much more....

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (5, Funny)

JakeD409 (740143) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475179)

The main advantage of the Kindle over the iPhone is actually the fact that it's not a phone; do you realize how high you jump when you're sitting in a quiet place deeply into a horror novel, and right at the scariest part, the damn thing RINGS at you?!

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475305)

Put into perspective the iphone sales are worth 5-10 days of nokia phone sales, but... why are we talking about phones?.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

Achromatic1978 (916097) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476317)

Cause we have to, apparently.

And actually, Nokia sells more phones than the number of iPhones out there every 3 days.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

dgatwood (11270) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476479)

Yeah, but not smartphones that would be capable of doing the equivalent of what the Kindle does. The general phone market isn't relevant for comparison. In the smartphone market, the iPhone is a pretty big player. Nokia's worldwide smartphone sales only outnumber the iPhone by a factor of 8 or so. (Source: Register Hardware [reghardware.co.uk] )

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (2, Funny)

Free the Cowards (1280296) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475403)

Welcome to Slashdot, where if you can't be the absolute best at everything, you might as well not bother at all.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

Strudelkugel (594414) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475419)

The magic pricepoint is $50-$100. They would be wiser to make the Kindle as cheap as possible, then charge a bit extra for the download if necessary. The bandwidth to transmit a compressed book can't be that much. But $360 for the Kindle? No way.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

Tonyrockyhorror (1132879) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475509)

I don't know what the standard of success should be for the Kindle, but "how well does it sell compared to the iPhone?" probably isn't it.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many... But (3, Insightful)

jwiegley (520444) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475731)

Buying a special piece of hardware whose primary purpose is book reading... definitely a niche market

Yeah, but... I've been on Holiday in London for the past month. I take the tube (when it's actually running) everywhere and I've got to say the US$700 I spent on my iRex iLiad and about US$100 worth of novels has been a godsend on the train. The batteries last all day, bright light only improves the readability and much more portable than a laptop.

It may be a niche market but it has potential. Unfortunately, the only way this potential is going to be achieved is if the corporate players get their collective heads out of their ass and standardize on one, decent, open, portable format.

They also have to port previous works into an electronic format. Try to find Robert Ludlum's books on mobipocket format. You can't, at least not the pre-death publications. Dale Brown? "Oh yeah, let's pick every other book to publish." What idiot does that. If I'm going paperless then I'm going paperless.

DRM is tolerable but there's no reason you can't have an open format that supports DRM.

The people that dreamed up these different formats have done such a poor job it's not funny. PDB don't support different typefaces. PDF's don't reflow. HTML isn't going to support DRM and you need to zip to capture multiple files. Kindle isn't compatible with anybody else, lit is closed. While I find mobipocket tolerable try accurately converting any of the others to mobipocket. They're all just a kludge. Concepts of "paragraph", "chapter", "lists" and "Table" all are meaningless in these formats and essential concepts for reflowable layout. Basically, a quick experience in trying to convert formats and you will quickly understand that the people who designed these "formats" know nothing about capturing and encoding information.

Until they get a clue eBooks are dead in the water. (And I like mine, that should tell you something.)

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

Anonymous Psychopath (18031) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475423)

If I was an investor in Amazon, I would be upset that they are not releasing any numbers. I would certainly no longer hold a position in them. It looks pretty small when you think about how many devices Apple and Nintendo are selling.

As an investor, why would you care at all about how many units sold? It doesn't matter if they sold 240 or 240 million, it only matters how much they were sold for, how much it cost to sell them, and what that means to their overall cost and revenue structures.

Knowing that someone has sold X widgets at a sell price of $Y tells you absolutely nothing. Knowing that someone has sold $X in product with an average profit margin of Y% with a cost of $Z to run the company is helpful information.

Take a look at Amazon's 1Q filings and Google the terminology. The math is easy to understand and will tell you a hell of a lot more about what kind of risk you're taking than just looking at how many widgets have been sold.

P.S. My primary reading platform is an eBook device, and I plan on buying an eInk device of some kind this year, but the Kindle is so goddamn ugly I can't stand to look at it.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (1)

ksd1337 (1029386) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475641)

If it's something with little competition though, then the price usually stays around one area. Then the number of units becomes more important than the price, because the price won't change.

Re:Doesn't seem like that many (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475611)

Well it's not like Apple or Nintendo no, but it's a pretty specialized device. Works out to about one for every thousand people in the US so far.

You run into this any time you deal with a product that people buy once, and not everyone buys; pretty good sales sound lower than you'd expect. I first ran into it when my publisher said good sales would be over 30,000. I said WTF, then calculated the population of the US, UK, & Canada and realized that would mean 18 copies sold in a little 250,000 person city like mine, which would indeed be pretty good for a tech book.

Talk about hearsay.. (1)

NovaHorizon (1300173) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474811)

TechCrunch claims to have spoken to a source close to Amazon with direct knowledge of the company's sales figures.

.

My friend talked to his brother who knows a guy And said He has all the answers.

What the heck kind of Journalism is that?!..

Is this source really reliable? (0)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474835)

I read slightly higher numbers from a very reputable source:

âoeDear Customers,â begins the message from Bezos. âoeWe continue to be astonished at your insatiable hunger for Kindle: our earth-shattering nirvana delivery system.â âoeTo date, we have sold more than three hundred Kindles for every man, woman, and child on planet Earth,â the note continued, âoeThatâ(TM)s over two trillion Kindles in just six months.â

Amazon: Kindle is the greatest! Seriously, buy one RIGHT NOW! Kindle Kindle Kindle! [nakedloon.com]

Re:Is this source really reliable? (1)

H0NGK0NGPH00EY (210370) | more than 5 years ago | (#24474871)

Whoa, copy-paste madness. It looked good in the preview.

Let's try that again:

"Dear Customers," begins the message from Bezos. "We continue to be astonished at your insatiable hunger for Kindle: our earth-shattering nirvana delivery system."

"To date, we have sold more than three hundred Kindles for every man, woman, and child on planet Earth," the note continued, "That's over two trillion Kindles in just six months."

27,000/month (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475107)

I don't believe that they are selling 27,000 per month. Sorry.

...and you call yourselves nerds? (-1, Redundant)

The Living Fractal (162153) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475195)

Where I work (in what you might say is the largest industry in the world) it is *widely* accepted that the abbreviation for "million" is not in fact "M" but "MM". "M" has *always* been considered the abbreviation for "thousand" and, yes, this hails back to Latin. Thus, "MM" means "thousand thousand" or, for those nerds here who are mathematically challenged, "one million" or "the amount of girls you'd need to ask out before one says yes."

Anyway, the Kindle looks interesting. The problem is of course content. I perused, at great length, the selection of SF books available for the Kindle. I was pleasantly surprised at the amount of them available (when I checked it was around 4,600 SF books out of about 145,000 Kindle books total). However, it still wasn't quite enough to warrant me spending the up front cash for the Kindle.

When the price comes down to about half of what it is now though... I'm sold.

Re:...and you call yourselves nerds? (1)

Firehed (942385) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475239)

That's true in some markets, but in typical day-to-day use, k=thousand and M=million. There's only one other time I can recall 'MM' being used for million, and it was also in the context of sales/revenue.

It's like "milliard" - not technically wrong, but you'll confuse the fuck out of most people with it.

Welcome to Slashdot... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24475201)

where all discussions turn into bad jokes when numbers are off... or is it that nobody has anything to say about the Kindle?

ugh (4, Insightful)

bcrowell (177657) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475341)

It's fine that a lot of people seem to like the thing. Reasons I'm not interested:
  • $360 is way too much.
  • DRM.
  • The methods for importing PDF files sound like a hassle.
  • The TOU say you can't sell or give away your books.
  • There are only 145,000 books available. That sounds like a lot, but it's really not.

I can see how it could come in handy if you're on vacation and want to travel light, but IMO that's not nearly enough to overcome the negatives. I'll probably get an e-book reader in 2030 or something. There's no rush. First I want to see someone get it right.

Re:ugh (1)

od05 (915556) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475421)

The big market for these are textbooks, that's why I didn't get one. If they offered digital versions of textbooks at a discount price this thing would kill.

Re:ugh (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475535)

I'm surprised no one's come up with a "jailbreak" for it. A quick search on "Kindle hacks" shows that the firmware seems to be accessible, and one would hazard that replacing the DRM-laden reader with a free reader would not be excessively difficult.

Re:ugh (1)

icegreentea (974342) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475689)

Well, the DRM is on the files isn't it? Your allowed to load whatever files you want (so DRM free pdfs, txts, rtfs or whatever), its just that the stuff you buy from Amazon has DRM on it. If such is the case, a Kindle Hack to remove the DRM components on the reader itself doesn't make sense.

Re:ugh (1)

jeiler (1106393) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475697)

My bad--for some reason I thought the Kindle would only allow the proprietary files from Amazon. Time to go to bed.

Re:ugh (2, Informative)

Nyeerrmm (940927) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475539)

I like your first statement. I must say, as a Kindle owner I perfectly understand your point of view. Here's the way I see it

1. The cost was fine for me, but I'm also a young guy with a decent job so I've got some disposable income.
3. PDF's can't transfer well because of the size of the screen... I do wish there were an easy way to read technical papers on it though, I dont see it until the E-ink comes down in price and improves durability though.
4. Again, I've got adequate money right now, if its a book I really like and would want to lend, I'm at the point now where I can give gifts or buy a copy to lend...
5. The selection is a little frustrating, but it also gives me a chance to find things I may not read otherwise. I just finished Ken Follett's Pillars of the Earth, which I don't think I would have found otherwise, which would have been sad.

Now... for #2... I really wish they'd learn from the music guys. The simplicity of buying off the device itself makes it so that they shouldn't need DRM, and it being a smaller, generally more respectful market makes a difference as well; the small file size is the one difficulty. And of course the worst part is that unlike with music, theres no easy way to buy a book and rip it.

There are definitely some flaws, most notably the DRM issue, but since I still move around a lot and dont like having to carry boxes of books around, its great. Plus, I actually think its more comfortable to read than a book, since there are no awkward poses in bed trying to keep it open when your at the beginning or end of a paperback that simply does not want to stay open.

But saying all that, I can definitely see how its not for you or most people, and 240,000 seems pretty respectable.

Re:ugh (2, Interesting)

symbolic (11752) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475899)

You forgot one - for a modern device in a culture that is bent on style, the kindle is quite hideous. iPhone, iPod, iMac, etc...though I'm not a big Apple fan (I do own an iPod), the style factor is why these things sell. The Kindle looks like it's still a prototype.

Re:ugh (1)

SputnikPanic (927985) | more than 5 years ago | (#24476337)

145,000 available books within a year of the Kindle's release isn't too shabby, IMO -- better certainly than any other e-book reader that has come to market. And that number isn't counting all the stuff you can get from Project Gutenberg and other non-Amazon sources.

As for traveling light, I'm currently reading Cryptonomicon and next up will be Neal Stephenson's new book or Peter Hamilton's Night's Dawn Trilogy. Amazon has the whole trilogy (how many pages is that?) in one "volume." It sells for less than 8 bucks on Amazon, or about what I'd pay for the the first half of The Reality Dysfunction in mass-market paperback.

Amazon wants Kindle to fail? (4, Insightful)

DeathSquid (937219) | more than 5 years ago | (#24475837)

Books are cheap in the U.S. and people have a lot of room to store them, so Kindle is definitely a niche product in its domestic market. However, in other countries books are expensive and often space is at a premium. Kindle offers huge advantages, and would be wildly successful in these markets.

How does Amazon respond to this market need? They refuse point blank to sell kindle devices or media to anyone outside North America.

Sure, whispernet is NA only. But a USB connection works just as well...

What sane company ignores its largest potential market? And when it does, the writing is on the wall. If I was a shareholder, I would be livid.

So the only question that remains is why Kindle is being set up for failure? Simple incompetence? Xenophobia? Or something more subtle?

Linux on the desktop (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 5 years ago | (#24476371)

So, finally, this is the year of Linux on the desktop! (hidden under your stack of other books, of course)

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