Dave Gee: Entertainment Now: Amazon Kindle aiming to become iPod for Books
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Thursday, December 06, 2007

Internet shopping giant Amazon is hoping strong demand for its new Amazon Kindle e-book device bodes well for its long term success. The Kindle electronic book reader was launched in the United States last month, and their initial supply sold out in under six hours.

The e-tailer's Kindle Store has over 90,000 books available, including most of the current New York Times best sellers. Access to newspapers and blogs is also available for a monthly subscription.

Electronic book devices have tried and failed before to encourage people to read books on an portable display. However, reviewers have praised the Kindle for its "revolutionary electronic-paper display", with a crisp screen that looks very similar to real paper.

The Kindle also includes a Web browser, dictionary, and encyclopedia. It is lighter and thinner than the average paperback, weighing just over 10 ounces. Battery life ranges from two days to a week, depending on whether the wireless connection is switched on.

The company also says unlike other e-book readers, the Kindle doesn't need to be connected to a computer to download books. The device uses the EVDO high-speed data network to download fresh content through Amazon's wirelessWhispernet network.

However, extremely heavy demand has meant the Kindle is sold out through until after Christmas, with Amazon prioritising orders on a "first-come, first-served" basis. The company hopes this strong demand will help the Kindle become the "iPod of books".

The e-book reader isn't yet available to customers living outside the United States, but an international launch is expected next week once the company has managed to satisfy American demand, and sign up overseas content providers..