Amazon Looking to Rekindle its Kindle Strategy

Aims for college market...

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Amazon KindleWord on the street is that Amazon is working on some new versions of the Kindle. At least one of them will be aimed at college students, a market that probably should’ve been targeted more closely the first time around.

Seattle PI blogger Andrea James got the scoop from an email from McAdams Wright Ragen analyst Tim Bueneman who dropped the hint based on a meeting with Amazon management. "There are already several new, improved versions of the Kindle in the works," says Bueneman. "But AMZN has no plans, however, for an MP3 music audio version. We guess the new version will have improved interface operating controls. This has been an issue with some buyers. "

If you ask me, including audio and video in a new incarnation of the Kindle would be a big step toward attracting more of the college market. Some kind of an iPod/Kindle hybrid-type device would surely be more appealing, but for now, I guess that is not in the cards. Amazon appears to be putting its chips down strictly on college kids wanting to spend a few hundred dollars on a device that will let them read their textbooks.

"Textbooks are a $5.5 billion annual market, and most publishers now offer electronic versions of their textbooks," writes Michael Arrington for TechCrunch. "McGraw-Hill Education, for example, publishes 95% of their books electronically as well as in print. But there is no compelling device to read them on. The new Kindle will likely be a large screen version of the original, which is much better suited for textbooks."

Sales numbers for the Kindle have been pretty unclear. Past "high-end" estimates from Citigroup analysts and TechCrunch were unreasonable based on what Bueneman wrote, but Amazon claims it’s been selling very well.

Update: Amazon’s head spokesperson told a Bits correspondent that there will not be a new Kindle this year, but maybe next year.

Amazon Looking to Rekindle its Kindle Strategy
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    I’ve never heard of this…is it like an iPod? Do you buy it on Amazon? lol

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