Let me start by saying that I agree with you on one thing: $359 is a lot of money. I just don't agree that it's too much to pay for an Amazon Kindle 2.
In the wake of the announcement of the Kindle 2, the general response is that it's nice and all, but the price is just too high. A price breakdown of the original device found that you'd need to buy about 60 books to make up the price difference (all while paying to get delivery of newspapers and periodicals you could read online for free). And analysts complain that Kindle is a niche product with a small, upwardly mobile target audience. And here's my question: what is the problem with that?
Isn't the Kindle, fundamentally, an early adopter's device? And aren't we usually pretty tolerant of that in the tech space? You all know this story. In the evolution of technology, devices start expensive, they target a niche audience that can afford the price and care passionately about the product, and then they either adopt more mainstream features or become mainstream through a combination of obvious value proposition and gradually lower prices.
Even though the Kindle is on its second iteration, it's still very much in early-adopter territory. Does anyone really expect that an e-book reader is going to take the entire world by storm and become the iPod-like gadget commodity of its day? Of course not; so why should it be priced like bread and milk?
Then there are the features.… Read more