Is this a real demo or fake? Who cares? There will be a market for this type of video-magazine hybrid, whether or not Mashable’s sneak peek is actually coming. Given the effort Sports Illustrated put into it, we bet it’s here soon.
Rumors abound that Apple will soon launch a Kindle-killing newspaper-saving iTablet; while this may be good news for print, it could further erode the ratings of television and cable as consumers flock to more videos in their laps. It also creates a challenge for old-school print publishers, and your business as well, as we all have to get comfortable creating and sharing video formats. Forget PR copy or insightful white papers; you’ll need to look good under bright lights.
Via Tim Otis.
Wayne Schulz over at Gear Diary notes the Amazon Kindle ebook reader is now available as a free iPhone app. We’ve been critical of the Kindle in the past for its fuzzy sales numbers (Amazon claims success but does not release sales data) and for what seemed a 1990s’ portal attempt to tether content to a single device. The new move is brilliant for Amazon because it opens the playing field to millions of iPhone users — and we expect, soon anyone with a smart phone. Amazon still pushes the hardware Kindle as an optimal device by limiting some if its downloading features, such as subscribing to magazines or newspapers, on the phone.
Amazon’s new open platform signals one more nail in the coffin of traditional hardcopy publishing. By 2020 most consumers are expected to use mobile phones to access the web, and if they can pull all books (or soon magazines and newspapers) onto glass screens, wood pulp will go away. This will be driven by both technology and our human greed. Last weekend an online friend recommended a finance book on an issue we were debating via Twitter, so we logged in to Amazon, ordered the book, and felt a lustful twinge of irritation that we’d have to wait several days to get the material in the mail. The web has spoiled us. We want knowledge instantly.
So we’re going to download the Kindle app right now — instant gratification is the future, even if it drains the phone battery.
In its fourth quarter ended Dec. 31, 2008, Amazon.com, Inc. reported $3.63 billion in North American segment sales, $3.07 billion in international segment sales, $2.89 billion in worldwide electronics and other general merchandise sales …
Oh yes, and Amazon reported no sales data on the Kindle.
This is a noteworthy PR move because analysts and pundits are lauding the Kindle as being a hot-seller despite the fact Amazon has released no sales figures for the e-book device. Amazon pushes the Kindle (now updated in design) on its home page constantly, and crows it will transform how people read books. Stephen Dubner over at Freakonomics, usually an intelligent writer, illustrates the buy-in when he notes: “although Amazon is famously quiet about releasing sales figures, the consensus is that the Kindle has been a big success.”
So let’s do a logic test: Say you are Amazon and you launch a new technology product to great fanfare, and the numbers roll in, so you:
A. release the sales data to boost your stock, since you’ve exceeded expectations;
B. don’t release the data, since true figures wouldn’t meet expectations and thus would hammer your stock.
Hmm. No, really, Amazon, we believe you. Feel free to comment below with the actual Kindle sales results.