Unlike traditional brick-and-mortar stores, Amazon has a unique problem when it comes to product demonstrations. However, they’ve come up with a fun, community-driven program that lets those who are interested in buying a Kindle or Kindle DX get a free demonstration in their city.
Amazon’s program consists of Kindle owners who love their Kindle so much they are willing to volunteer to meet with interested people and give a demonstration. So far the program appears to be a success, as lots of people are signing up to show and tell.
Setting up a demonstration is easy. From the main page, simply click your state to view the listed areas within. Kindle owners can then announce their availability and their area. Prospective owners can leave a message that they’d like to set up a meeting.
I think this is a really interesting and effective way for Amazon to get the word out about the Kindle. I can testify that when I brought my Kindle to the office for the first time, I had person after person stop by to check it out. Before I knew it, I had seen nearly everyone in the building.
On the other hand, this is a really strange phenomenon. It’s very uncommon to see people enjoy a product so much that they are willing to spend their free time telling people about it. Luckily for Amazon, this is the very thing that can make the program so effective. People don’t like pushy sales persons and, with this program, Amazon has found a way to deliver a very personal, one-on-one promotion with the most effective means of advertisement: word of mouth.
Having trouble justifying the cost of a new Kindle? Maybe the cost isn’t much of an issue, but you’d rather not pay the full price to see if you’ll like it? I have a solution for you. Buy a used kindle!
I recently found a website that makes finding a used Kindle a simple task. UsedKindleGear.com is an easy to navigate site that lists current deals on the popular used Kindle 1 (original), Kindle 2, and related Kindle accessories.
What makes this site unique is its use of sophisticated filtering that displays relevant, current eBay listings. I find this refreshing since most of my visits to eBay are spent sifting through useless “related” items (I’m reminded of the plastic baggie that was being marketed as a “water proof kindle cover.” What a joke!) This site helps us get to the point: finding the best deal on a used kindle.
I think this site has a chance of becoming rather popular for its convenience, especially if Amazon continues to release additional versions of the Kindle every six months. Users are likely to sell their current Kindle when the next version hits the streets, which means more deals for everyone else!
I just noticed on the main Kindle DX page at Amazon.com that the release date of June 10 has been set. This is much sooner than I thought!
The Amazon Kindle DX is the third version of the popular e-reader device. The Kindle 2 was just released a few months ago. This quick turn-around will allow Amazon to cook something else up for the e-reader market just before big Christmas spending.
The Kindle DX is still available for pre-order. All orders give you a “place in line” and will be shipped on a first come, first served basis. For those of you who jumped on board early in the game, you may be able to have the new Kindle DX in your hands before Father’s Day!
E Ink, who manufactures the display for the popular Kindle (and Kindle DX, available for pre-order), was bought by Prime View International. This news is all over the web, but I noticed something more interesting among the boring, “this business bought this other business” dribble.
About half-way down in the press-release, there is mention of a color E Ink display to be shown at an up-coming Exhibition in San Antonio:
The deal will help the combined company develop color versions of its displays and mass produce them by the end of 2010, said Sriram Peruvemba, E Ink’s vice president of marketing. Current models show shades of gray.
Privately held E Ink is expected to demonstrate its latest color display prototypes Tuesday at a display technology show in San Antonio.
If the color E-ink displays make it to another revision of the Kindle, I think we can expect another Kindle “craze.” This would be especially true in the academic and professional markets, who were quick to point out the loss experienced when viewing graphs and charts best viewed in color.
A color display would also benefit most Kindle users who take advantage of the included web browser. We’ve all come to associate surfing the web with a full-colored experience. The color display will make this a possibility.
I’m really curious how well the color displays will work. A few questions in my mind are:
- Will the screen refresh rates be faster, slower, or the same?
- The current kindle displays only provide 16 shades of gray. Will the color displays be like the 8-bit displays of the past, or more like current displays?
- Most importantly, how cost will a color display add to the Kindle?
The cost could be a sticky point. Many people already think the Kindle is priced a bit on the high side and I don’t expect a color display to be less expensive. How Amazon handles the price point for a Colorized Kindle may be very interesting.