Kindle Surprise (not!)

So, Amazon has released the Kindle. And surprise, it’s the same (ugly in photos) device that has been doing the rounds in the gadget blogs for months. There’s a bunch of coverage around the traps – Newsweek has a fawning piece from Steven Levy that’s long on rhetoric and a little short on detail. And the question that everyone is asking is whether or not the Kindle is the ipod of books.

Gadget freaks forget that analogies don’t fit neatly though. Remember that there was a big market for portable music before the ipod; and there were ways to fill it with content (from CD or the darknets) before the itunes store came around. In fact, most studies show suggest that most people actually *don’t* buy an awful lot of content from the iTunes store. (Do the math 3 billion songs/100 million ipods = 30 per ipod – when the smallest one holds 250 songs).

So the Kindle (as the Sony Reader before it) has to overcome the cultural inertia of book readers. Something that will not happen overnight – and something, I’d humbly suggest will be price driven. More thoughts later, but for now I’ll leave you with gizmodo’s first hands on impressions

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