Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos yesterday announced the launch of Kindle, an e-book reader that his company has spent the last three years developing. Kindle, which retails for $399, weighs 10.3 ounces and can hold two hundred books at once.
At an elaborate, much-hyped presentation at the Morgan Library in New York City yesterday, Amazon unveiled the Kindle 2, an improved version of its popular e-book reader. Amazon founder Jeff Bezos says the upgraded device, which will be available February 24 and will carry a price tag of $359, has more memory, faster page turning, a sharper display, and a longer battery life than its predecessor, which was launched in 2007.
The battle between Sony and Amazon for an edge in the digital books market just got a little more interesting: Five weeks after Amazon unveiled its Kindle 2 e-book reader, Sony is set to announce today a deal with Google that will make a half million public domain books available on its Reader e-book device.
Two months after the National Federation of the Blind and eight other disability groups wrote a strongly worded letter to Random House asking the publisher to reconsider its decision to deactivate the Amazon Kindle 2's text-to-speech function for its e-book titles, Random House last week went ahead with its plan to disable the software, provoking a sharp rebuke from the coalition.
Lexcycle, the company that created Stanza, the free e-book application for the iPhone and iPod Touch, yesterday announced that it had been acquired by Amazon. Neither company disclosed financial details. "We are not planning any changes in the Stanza application or user experience as a result of the acquisition, representatives from Lexcycle wrote on the company's blog. "Customers will still be able to browse, buy, and read e-books from our many content partners."