Live from New York: Amazon's Kindle 2.0

Live from New York: Amazon's Kindle 2.0

Summary: 10:59 a.m.: That's it! The official press release is out.


10:59 a.m.: That's it! The official press release is out.

10:51 a.m. If you're a Kindle 1 owner and order in the next 24 hours you are moved to the front of the line. Translation: Amazon will still have a line and hasn't figured out its manufacturing issue.

Press conference over going to demo outside.

10:49 a.m. Ur has some creepy aspects to it. The New Yorker, Gizmodo now available on Kindle 2. Bezos said the price is the same: $359.And ships on February 24.

10:47 a.m.: King notes that the character in his book. The Kindle can go to other worlds. Talk about product placement. The novella is called "Ur." Bezos back on stage.

10:39 a.m. Reads a scene from his Kindle book.

10:31 a.m. Stephen King comes on stage. Got a call in early January. Amazon people got in touch with me. Quips that offering a book was a good way to get a new Kindle.

10:28 a.m. Showing video of Kindle 1 customers talking about Kindle 2.

10:26 a.m. Showing new features with Gettysburg Address. With Kindle 2 you have built in text to speech. Any document can be read aloud to you. The voice sounds a little robotic, so it's not exactly an audio book replacement. (Think having the customer service robot reading to you.) It does keep your page though.

10:22 a.m. Demo time. The five way controller looks good. And the one-hand thing can work. The little knob allows you to click to the right. "This is a dramatic improvement on newspaper navigation." You can push down and scan sections more easily.

10:21 a.m.: Adds new feature. Whispersync transfers to other mobile devices and will keep current page wirelessly.

Amazon releases Kindle 2.0 (Click image to view gallery)

10:19 a.m.: Kindle shaved an 0.1 off of the Kindle at 10.2 ounces. Page turning buttons turn inward. There's a 5 way controller button. Can use one-handed so you can change your hand. Longer battery life. Can read two weeks on single charge.

10:15 a.m.: Top objective was to make Kindle disappear.

10:14 a.m.: "E-book sales haven't worked--until 14 months ago." However, he showed a chart that still lacked figures.

10:13 a.m. "Long form can teach things that can't be taught any other way."

10:12 a.m. Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos takes stage. Says short-form reading has been revolutionized by blogs and mobile devices. He goes into a long-form reading riff. Subtext: Kindle is still about the book.

9:57 a.m. EDT: Amazon's Kindle announcement is about to kick off and we're in. Here's a look at some shots of the venue.

Many of the details are known about the Kindle 2.0 unveiling, Stephen King's novel and potentially more outsourcing of manufacturing. That's a rumor at this point based on some chatter in the crowd. If true, the outsourcing thing may be the most notable.

The event is about to start at the Morgan Library Museum at Madison and 36th.

Topics: Enterprise Software, Amazon, CXO, Data Centers, Hardware, Outsourcing

Kick off your day with ZDNet's daily email newsletter. It's the freshest tech news and opinion, served hot. Get it.


Log in or register to join the discussion
  • Got a pic of the Kindle 2 itself? (nt)

    nt = no text
    • Pics are on

      they have the K2 up on amazon now, with pics, etc.
  • RE: Live from New York: Amazon

    IMO if AMZ wants Kindle 2.0 acceptance, all they have to do is convince the publishers of college and university textbooks into Kindle format and promise to save parents some money.
    Students are one of the few groups of people that HAVE to have 10 - 12 massive books at any one time at their immediate disposal for their courses.
    It seems to just make sense to me, although I know that some hard cover printing houses will go out of business, but that is progress for you.
  • RE: Live from New York: Amazon

    If I'm a Kindle 1 owner (I'm actually not, but if I was), would I be willing to shell out the same amount of money for a new device that doesn't seem to bring all <i>that</i> much new to the table? Text to speech is nice, and it's about time that the Kindle could keep your place in the book, but there doesn't seem to be a lot new here that's functionally compelling. (The change in form factor is nice, but it's not a feature, and it wouldn't make me want to upgrade, I don't think.)

    For <i>new</i> users, like me, the form factor and transfering to other devices might be a big deal, but the Whispersync has to be demonstrated on other devices for me to be convinced.

    I would probably have to read a lot more than I do right now to justify the price of this, but the idea of wireless book delivery is very appealing. When the price comes down, I'm all over it...
    • Incremental gain

      I own a Kindle 1. From what I have read, no, it is not worth it to me to buy a Kindle 2 as long as I can still buy all the same books. Maybe v3. When is it worth it to upgrade your PC, 2x as fast, 3x, more?

      Still, the thing needs abour 50% or more shaved off the price before it has a chance to really take off.
      • Exactly . . .

        Ebook readers will never take off in great numbers until they get the price down a lot.

        Say, maybe $100 - $150 (And I think even THAT's pushing it for a device w/o color . . .)

  • RE: Live from New York: Amazon

    I'm just glad I waited.
  • still too much for me

    It looks great but for $359 is just too much for a ebook reader. Most ebooks are a pdf file. I am sure Kindle has it own format.

    Before you flame me I assure you most money is made in buying subscriptions or books. I like to see a $100-150 version.
    • it's a tough sell

      It's hard for such a niche market. At $359, we're talking 15-20 new hardcovers, which is about what I buy during a year. I really like owning the books and having them on my shelf for re-reading.

      For hard-core readers, it's an easy buy. For anyone else, you have to get the price down. Way down.
      • Tougher sell to used-book buyers

        When I can often get the real book barely used/like new for less than the Kindle price, including shipping ? and get books that way that are unavailable in Kindle, $359 is indeed a hard sell.

        However, maybe worth it for people who travel a lot AND read a lot. Presumably can save weight and bulk.
    • Plus

      I hate buying stuff without trying it out first.
    • Kindle's format . . .

      is based on Mobipocket's (Apparently at some point Amazon bought Mobipocket, from what i've been told . . .)
  • I can buy alot of books for $359.00

    They need to get a realistic price on this thing. They also need to offer more School text books and tech manuals to convince me. Maybe when the price drops to around $100.00
    • can you lug them all in a 10.2 oz package?

      One of the many advantages of the Kindle is the ability to have your whole library at your fingertips. This was already possible with the Kindle 1 with the addition of an SD-Ram plug in chip. Being able to quickly cross-reference what you're reading with the rest of your library, the in-line dictionary lookup, the access to wikipedia, the free books, all of these things add up to a lot of value over a plain book.
      • If You Need/Want These Features...

        ... then the Kindle is an improvement.
        However, I am not generally interested in using
        my library all at the same time, even if I
        could carry it. I also rarely have the urge to
        hotlink my books (not that I never do, but
        rarely). So, for me, these features do not
        justify the price.
    • Price

      Yes the price is too high. With sales tax it is a $400 item. You can get a laptop for that.

      I price of $199 would get you out the door for under $225.
    • buy a lot of books.

      Yes, and if you buy 20 hardbacks the price differential will have paid for your Kindle.
  • I want TWO!!! or Three...

    I for one am very excited. My best friend and I love books, as does her daughter. I always wanted to share books with her, but I can only recommend them. My friend is blind. She has so many technologies to use, but up until now, Kindle was not one of them. Her computer reads to her, her braille reader "dishes", and audio recordings are available in several media. Now her daughter and I can both share our books with her. [Now I just have to get a job so I can buy 3 of them!!!]
  • RE: Live from New York: Amazon

    If I had to spend $359 on a Kindle I would want to make sure that every book is available for the device. The reason I won't buy it now is that there are so many books I read that are not available. I would be pissed to have my new Kindle and have to still read some paperbacks and only sometimes on the Kindle. It has to be one or the other for me.
  • Still Missing the Point

    This thing is still only usable for the small nich of people who want to buy books frequently for reading. That may be a large nich but people who read good books and spend money on them typically like to trophy them on a book shelf. People like me, a grad student, would use this because I could save $100's of printing fees for articles that we read once and never again. Give us regular size .pdf and .docx access, give us options in sizes of screens, then it would appeal to a larger contingency of people. ANYWAY I will wait for someone else to develop it.