I haven’t actually used a Kindle yet, but I like what I’m seeing. Before I read anything about the device I was commenting to a colleague that the way you expand the early adoption for a Reader is to make newspapers available wirelessly. My model was commuting from Long Island into Manhattan every day early in my career. Every day I (and hundreds of thousands or millions of other commuters) would stop at a newsstand and pick up a New York Times or Wall Street Journal (and more recently, Investors Business Daily) to read on the LIRR. If a device had existed that just magically had the morning’s editions of those publications on it when I sat down on the train, I’d buy it in an instant. So when I saw that the Kindle had EVDO, and offered exactly that feature, and offered it for the NYT and WSJ amongst others, I knew this device was special.
The use of EVDO, rather than having to use my home WiFi or find a hotspot, is brilliant. (At least in the U.S.) And not charging a subscription fee for it, but rather bundling the cost into the prices of things you purchase, eliminates a lot of potential friction to device adoption.
I haven’t used a train for commuting in decades, but I am a frequent flyer. I commute between Denver and Redmond a few times per month. Plus other business travel. And I never have the right reading material with me. I’m often tired, and just want to read a newspaper or magazine. Other times I’m deeply into a book and want to keep reading it. Occasionally I’m looking for a book to kill time but it has to be pretty lightweight, not in physical size but in brainpower required. With a Kindle I could always have something with me that fit the mood. So, I’m certainly going to give one a try.