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Posted by on Nov 19, 2012 in Technology |

Five years of the arrival of the Kindle

Five years of the arrival of the Kindle

In the last five years we have seen how they have transformed the habits of users and how it has changed the way we access information. Smartphones and tablets have changed a lot of things and devices like the iPhone (introduced in June 2007) or iPad (introduced in April 2010) marked a turning point in the field of mobile devices and we have approached the world of applications as a gateway to a world of content and services. In the last five years, has not only changed the way we understand the world of mobile communications but traditional sectors such as publishing and therefore, books and magazines, and have also been transformed into the world on track digital.

Undoubtedly, one of the companies that has contributed to the field of e-book is with its firm commitment to the content, services and devices, embodied in the ecosystem of that today, November 19, meets and 5 years.

On 19 November 2007, Amazon introduced a device in society, though not the first in the market (the first Sony Reader was launched in 2006 and there were already some earlier models) democratized access to this new format and popularized to rise to the level that we know today and that, for example, is leading many schools to change textbooks for Kindle .

While the concept of the ebook is prior to 2007 ( there are a patent of 1949 and Project Gutenberg has been working since 1971), reading a book from a personal computer has never been something comfortable from the point of view of the user and of course, not always practical or something more portable than a traditional book. However, despite this inconvenience, the network always has circulated large amount of information and complete books, for example, in PDF format, which was accessible anywhere in the world greatly facilitating the distribution channels. With the existing demand, the development of electronic ink generated a great opportunity to reduce the costs of distributing books and focus on what really matters: the content. In 2000, Stephen King novel was released exclusively in digital format (Riding Bullet) and publishers like Random House and HarperCollins began selling electronic copies of his books in 2002.

With this breeding ground, Amazon (which since 1995 was using the network to become one of the largest book distribution channels in the world) began preparing strategy for entering into the field of e-books with the purchase of Mobipocket in 2005, a company that had developed an electronic book format (the MOBI) I was able to adapt to any screen format as it focused on the content of the document but not in this format (font, font size , pages, etc.). With this move, the first electronic ink displays (that came out in 2004) and growing user interest in view electronic documents (which provided access, share content, and above all, cheapened storage and distribution), it seemed clear that the e-book was likely to change a traditional sector such as publishing, where the book had changed its format from Gutenberg’s first printing press in the fifteenth century.

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Amazon opted strongly for this format and faced not only the distribution channel but designed a complete value chain around the eBook. Opted for the format and design a distribution channel (online store), has created services (access from multiple dispositrivos contents, bookmarks, etc) and has opted to develop its own hardware to extremely competitive selling prices, lowering their margins to remove barriers to entry and focus on selling content (which is what generates them business in the medium and long term).

The Kindle first hit the market, or also known as first-generation Kindle, it cost $ 399 at the time and Amazon exhausted all his stock in just 5 hours (in fact, it took five months to replace it). This device opened the way for the Kindle family that, to date, is now in its fifth generation and also introduced to the world of tablets with the Kindle Fire. With an electronic ink display with 4-level grayscale and 6 inches in size, the first Kindle offered the possibility of storing 200 books on a device that could be easily transported and, moreover, we opened the door to cloud Amazon and Whispernet network, ie the value added services that the company offers to users.

Travel out today with a device of less than 200 grams in which we can carry 2,000 books (such as the Kindle Touch) has marked a before and after in reading books because, without losing quality text of a printed book, we gain in convenience, access to context information (consult dictionaries, see wikipedia, annotate, etc) and especially the ubiquity of the content. Although not without controversy (with the issue of DRM and that, ultimately, are buying access to content and not a CONTENT itself), Amazon has extended beyond its Kindle devices and, ultimately, their services we allow access to our books from the iPad, or Android phone from our desktop browser from our finding them at the point where we stop, providing a unified experience in which the device has become a point of access to services and a significant improvement in the reading experience (and we can access today, for just 100 euros).

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While in countries like Spain eBooks considered luxury items versus paper books (and many publishers are still quite protectionist), I think the Amazon Kindle (and associated services) have c ontribuido greatly change our habits and has ensured that, in many cases, obviate the formats and focus on what really matters: the content.

More and more companies, for example, use e-book readers to check instead of sending documents to print documents so that, once read, end up in the recycle bin. Textbooks, for example, may find a transformation with this new paradigm, facilitating the distribution or even enabling new business models (such as rental textbooks Amazon ) that surely five years ago were unthinkable .

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