Amazon Kindle DX Now Offers Global Wireless
Amazon announced that it would introduce a new version of its large-screen e-reader, the Kindle DX, that allows users to download e-books and other content in over 100 countries. Although Amazon has dropped the price of its original Kindle in recent months in response to competitive pressure from Barnes & Noble's Nook device, the online retailer is keeping the Kindle DX at its original price point of $489, suggesting it views the larger-screen e-reader market as somewhat less competitive. That may change, however, with the number of companies announcing their own e-readers at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas, starting this week.
Amazon.com announced on Jan. 6 that it would introduce a new version
of its large-screen e-reader, the Kindle DX, with global wireless
capability that will allow e-books to be delivered wirelessly to the
device in over 100 countries. The announcement itself came less than a
day before the opening of the Consumer Electronics Show (CES) in Las
Vegas, where a number of companies are expected to announce their own
The Kindle DX is the second e-reader in the online retailer's line, after its 6-inch Kindle, to be given global wireless capability. Scheduled to ship on Jan. 19, and retailing for $489, the Kindle DX features a 9.7-inch electronic paper display and storage capability of 3.3GB, which the company suggests is the equivalent of 3,500 books.
In addition, the Kindle DX includes a built-in PDF reader, auto-rotation so readers "can read in portrait or landscape mode," auto-sync with Kindle and Kindle-compatible devices, one full week of battery power with 3G wireless turned on, a "text-to-speech" feature that converts text to spoken word, and built-in dictionary and Wikipedia.
In a nod to the expanding e-reader market, Ian Freed, vice president of Amazon.com's Kindle division, said in a statement that the "Kindle DX is great for personal and professional documents, cookbooks, and textbooks...anything that is highly formatted. Documents look so good on the big Kindle DX display, that you'll find yourself changing ink toner cartridges less often and printing fewer documents."
Many manufacturers debuting their e-readers at CES have touted their creations' ability to display personal and professional documents such as .PDF files, in a bid to appeal to market segments aside from e-books, where Amazon.com and Barnes & Noble have a substantial foothold with massive e-book stores and proprietary devices.
Although Amazon.com traditionally declines to offer sales numbers, an analyst with advisory group Collins Stewart estimated in a Dec. 1 research note that the online retailer could earn as much as $301.4 million off the Kindle in 2009.
Amazon.com's Kindle DX statement also highlights the "80 top U.S. and international newspapers" available in the Kindle Store for single purchase and subscription. Although Amazon.com was one of the first e-reader manufacturers to announce the porting of periodical content onto its devices, other companies have been making forays into the space; on Jan. 4, a subsidiary of mega-publisher Hearst announced that it would debut the Skiff Reader, a large-format e-reader designed to display periodical content and other text on an 11.5-inch screen, at CES.
Although a price war has erupted in recent months between the Kindle and Barnes & Noble's Nook, eventually driving the cost of the original Kindle down to match its competitor's price-point of $259, the revamped Kindle DX will remain at its original price of $489. That may suggest that Amazon.com views the market for larger-screen e-readers as not a particularly competitive one, a situation that may very well change in months to come.