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Friday Midday Links: Kindle Fire Driving Down Sales of eInk Devices

Some people have argued (Micah Bowers of Bluefire for example) that dedicated devices will go the way of the dodo bird and I’ve always disagreed. Seeing the rise of the affordable Kindle Fire, however, is making me wonder if Micah Bowers et al is correct.

Second Quarter 2012 Guidance

Net sales are expected to be between $11.9 billion and $13.3 billion, or to grow between 20% and 34% compared with second quarter 2011.
Operating income (loss) is expected to be between $(260) million and $40 million, or between 229% decline and 80% decline compared with second quarter 2011. Amazon

Jane Litte is the founder of Dear Author, a lawyer, and a lover of pencil skirts. She self publishes NA and contemporaries (and publishes with Berkley and Montlake) and spends her downtime reading romances and writing about them. Her TBR pile is much larger than the one shown in the picture and not as pretty. You can reach Jane by email at jane @ dearauthor dot com


  1. library addict
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 14:31:26

    heard a rumor from a very reliable source that two of the Big Six are considering going to DRM-free very soon

    Yes, please.

    Those Amazon figures just gave me a headache. Up/down/up/down, stick your right foot in and do the hokey, pokey.

    I get the attraction of a tablet. Having seen the commercials even my mom wants an iPad (this is a woman who doesn’t use a computer at all). But I love my Sony reader. I love the eInk for no eyestrain and the ability to read on it outside. But I also love the fact I can’t really do much else on it except read. If I had a tablet, and my book of the moment hit a boring patch, I’d be more tempted to switch over and surf the web or something if I was reading on a tablet. So I hope dedicated ereaders never go the way of the dodo bird.

  2. Elaine Normandy
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 15:19:01

    My Kindle 3 is about half the weight of the ipad2 and that makes a big difference for reading. However, I am guessing that if I had bought the iPad2 first I would never have seen the point of buying the Kindle. The Kindle app on the iPad2 is quite usable.

  3. Lynnd
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 15:21:36

    @library addict: I agree. I love my eInk device for reading for all of the reasons you mention and also because it is a lot lighter and more manageable for reading than a tablet.

  4. Ros
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 15:27:14

    I can’t think of any reason why I’d ever choose to swap my Kindle for a tablet. I might have both, but I wouldn’t give up the reader ever.

  5. Lisa J
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 16:07:55

    I agree with everyone, I love my Sony and would never trade it for a tablet. If I had a tablet my boss would be bothering me everywhere to do things for him, I can’t even imagine how bad that would be.

  6. JoanneL
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 16:38:11

    I hope it took a long, long while for the dodo bird to become extinct.

    I know that tech devices have the life span of your average loaf of white bread but I like my old – refurbished – got the link from DA – spent under $125 – Kindle. It’s hanging tough and I’m sticking with it. When it dies I’ll hopefully replace it with another Kindle.

    Separating my pleasure reading from everything else that is going on in the world is what works best for me.

    Ditto what library addict said about those financial figures.

  7. Roslyn Holcomb
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 16:40:18

    I didn’t buy an e-reader because the rumors of what eventually became the ipad were so strong. I knew Apple would have something great. I couldn’t justify spending the costs at the time for a device that only did one thing. If the prices had been lower I probably would’ve made the plunge anyway, but now I simply can’t imagine life without my iThing.

  8. Gwen Hayes
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 17:47:23

    @JoanneL: “Separating my pleasure reading from everything else that is going on in the world is what works best for me.”

    This. I just want to lose myself in the book and not be distracted by a need to tweet or check my mail.

  9. msaggie
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 18:29:05

    I got the kindle as a gift which I used for a few months until my sister got the iPad2 which the whole family fell in love with. I then got my own iPad2 and now read all my e-books via the kindle app with it (or sometimes I read on my iPhone if I don’t have the iPad2 with me). I used to regularly charge up my kindle when I first got my iPad2, but I have not used it for almost a year now, and it’s back in its packaging. I found that I preferred the “flick” or “tap with fingertips” to turn pages on the iPad2 compared to pressing the button on the kindle (which gave me thumb-fatigue). I think Amazon was right to move on to the kindle fire, which, from market sales, is proving the point that people will buy something more like iPad2 than the original kindle, given the choice, and lower price. However, I agree that the e-ink is wonderful, and the kindle is far lighter – but I do a lot of my reading in bed, so the weight of the iPad2 isn’t an issue to me as I don’t hold it up. It’s still lighter than reading a large hardback book in bed! And yes, if I get bored with a book, I do go online and check e-mail, or surf – if I didn’t have the iPad2, I would probably have gotten the kindle fire too.

  10. LisaCharlotte
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 20:02:29

    I bought a kindle (keyboard) a full year after getting an iPad. I don’t like reading on the LCD screen. Love my kindle.

  11. Tabitha
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 20:18:34

    Oh please not, do not let the dedicated devices go the way of the dodo bird. I love my Kindle 3. I don’t use it for anything except to read books and I bought it for that very reason.ILona librarysddict said, I love that I can read without being tempted to surf the net or check email. My iPhone and mini laptop already has those capabilities. Plus I love the feel and look of reading books on the K3 versus the kindle app on my iphone
    and pc…long live dedicated devices! :)

  12. Tabitha
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 20:22:07

    Argh. Darn iphone + clumsy fingers. I meant…like librarysddict said not “Ilona”. Have no idea how that came about…

  13. Jane Davitt
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 22:42:51

    My husband reads on his Blackberry playbooks sometimes and I like that we don’t need to buy him an e-reader now (I have one, so does my eleven-year old daughter) but I wouldn’t want to read my e-books that way.

    I like my Kobo being just for books. Books don’t need bells and whistles. Just words.

  14. Lori Green
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 22:46:55

    I love my Kindle and I love my Fire and while I’ve read books on the Fire,, I’d never give up my Kindle. The battery life is longer, it holds a library full of books and it’s just perfect.

  15. Susan
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 23:04:45

    I use my Fire all the time (like now), but do virtually all my reading on the Touch. It’s too hard on my eyes to read on a tablet. My iPad is gathering dust somewhere. . .

  16. SAo
    Apr 27, 2012 @ 23:30:06

    I loved my Kindle until it crapped out (in March and I got it for Christmas!!!), but I couldn’t see reading much non-fiction on it. If there’s a good graphic, it’s easier to read in color and if there are pictures, I want to see them in color.

  17. Merrian
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 00:39:39

    Wondering if the existence of DRM is one of the culprits for e-ink reader decline? You can have lots of apps on your tablet device for many publishers/wholesalers so are not as locked in especially if you don’t want to do the side-loading thing but enjoy the wifi shop-to-device benefits. So if the first e-device people read on is their tablet which is sold on the single-device-to-rule-them-all-plan, then I can understand that it is hard to see the virtue of another device even if it easier to read because of screen and lightness.

  18. becca
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 10:48:56

    @SAo: I hope you called Kindle (not Amazon) customer service about it – most kindles last several years, and Amazon has amazing customer service for problems like yours.

  19. Holly
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 11:28:36

    I have both the iPAD 2 and Kindle 3. I use both for reading – but when my eyes are tired from working on a computer all day – the kindle always wins. The e-Ink is much easier on the eyes and if I”m reading in a dark room – I just hook it up to my kindle cover which has a light.

  20. Carrie
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 13:49:08

    I can’t read for long periods of time on a backlit screen, so my ereader will always be needed. Perhaps one day someone will develop a tablet that has both e-ink and regular backlit screen all in one. It has to happen, right?

  21. SonomaLass
    Apr 28, 2012 @ 16:41:00

    I love my iPad, and I read on it all the time. Funny, when I’m reading, I never really think about checking e-mail or any of the other things I *could* do on the tablet. And I don’t use it for work at all; it’s my fun device, that’s all. I’m thinking of getting an e-ink reader as well, though, for reading outdoors in the sun. Now that summer is coming, and occasional pleasure reading time that isn’t late at night, that will be a concern.

    I’m interested in the bit about Pearson. They have been my education publisher for the last few years, precisely because of their online features that really enhance my courses. But the tech support is weak, the prices are high, and some other publishers are starting to offer similar online options, so I may be changing in the fall.

  22. sao
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 02:54:05

    I took my Kindle out of the country. Amazon has nicely sent a replacement to my US address, without waiting to get the bum one back, but until I go to the States, it’s pretty useless. I will note that the cost of securely sending a Kindle to my Russian address probably exceeds the cost of the Kindle, so I didn’t really expect Amazon to do it.

  23. Variel
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 09:17:00

    Good to see the Pottermore community doing the right thing. I’ll admit I had bootleg before the store opened just so I could could get my HP fix. Couldn’t be happier now that I have my very own individual copies. People may object to the watermarking but I think it makes them uniquely my own.

  24. Estara
    Apr 29, 2012 @ 12:50:05

    I fervently believe that at least one eINK reader will remain available, because with the ageing populace in western countries (or people with eye problems like me), there is no substitute for the lack of glare and crispness of eInk screens yet.

    I can’t read for hours on a PC monitor, neither would I be able to on a tablet, etc. etc.

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