I couldn’t resist this critical commentary that addresses Amazon’s random price hikes on ebooks for the Kindle whatever version and Amazon’s boasting of most hardcovers, new releases and NYT bestsellers priced at a comfy $9.99. I downloaded the Kindle app for my iPhone and went browsing and many of the titles I wanted to read were not $9.99. I know, my luck sucks and that’s just the luck of the draw, right?
I have bought very few Kindle books because of the pricing. I don’t always read bestsellers either so that leaves me out of the loop. I am a fan of getting ebooks where it is cheapest and it seems as if Amazon has fooled the masses into thinking that you’re getting a better deal with them versus their competitors and what’s more disturbing is:
So what’s with the price hike? An Amazon spokesman says that Kindle store “prices change from time to time” and most books are still $9.99 or less, including New York Times best sellers and “most new releases.” Why was the Kindle Kindly Ones $16.19? Because Amazon decided to price it that way. That worries me because as bookstores die out, Amazon is strengthening its lock on the publishing business.
Worrisome indeed and not something that I want to see happen. I like competition because it means cheaper prices (not always). Remember the old days when Blockbuster was the only place to get rental movies outside the mom and pop shops? I remember the late fees, aiyeeee. Competition stepped in like Netflix and Hollywood Video and made Blockbuster compete for my business and that’s the way it should be (pardon the movie rental analogy there). With the Kindle Reader you are only allowed to buy books from Amazon. With this new incarnation, Kindle 2.0, with it’s missing SD slot, Amazon also tells you how many ebooks you can own on your own device. It’s exactly 1,500.
All around me, people have been enjoying the Kindle-Aid and don’t seem to mind the restrictions in exchange for a wireless connection. I just cannot understand why anyone would buy a Kindle knowing the monopolistic notions that this company has shown thus far. Anyway, I’m off my soap box now. Many, many people including Oprah have been swindled by the Kindle. Oh, well, to each his own.
On that last note, here again is that annoying rumor of a 10 inch iPod Touch:
Who would read a 992-page book on their iPhone? It’s not as bad as you’d think. With a 10-in. iPod Touch rumored to be in the works, perhaps someday there might be much needed pricing competition too.
Maybe B&N will do just that with their acquisition of Fictionwise, do you think? I’m hopeful.
I had originally posted this article on Sunday night but deleted it. Why? I didn’t feel that this post had any value and that it could be easily dismissed as the ravings of yet another Kindle hater. The fact is that there are a lot of flaws with all of the ereaders on the market. I recently experienced my share of customer service from hell with the one that I own. For starters, the price point for an ereader is well above anyone’s budget especially now and the price of ebooks is also another sticky issue and let’s not forget DRM (Data Rights Management). I’m all for the Kindle to kickstart the ebook market but the rest? Leave it.