Briefly Noted: A History of the Kindle

Here’s a handy post from Engadget, “The History of Amazon’s Kindle So Far.”

For something that’s only been around four years, the Kindle really has undergone a great deal of change from its 2007 debut — a $399 price tag which sold out in about 5 hours, was out of stock for months; all this despite having the aesthetics of a really big calculator-looking device. Historians can some day debate the causes and effects of when the Kindle really reached critical mass of mainstream interest — for me, it’s a tie perhaps between the Oprah Moment, and the introduction of the Kindle 3, with its attractive design, size, and price points. And speaking of price, Engadget notes on the latest Kindle lines: “Amazon’s new Kindle Touch is $99 and the non-touch model is $79. That’s totally nuts and puts them squarely in impulse-buy territory.”

And, another question to think about — what’s to become of the now little-thought of Kindle DX? From its debut roughly 30 months ago, it certainly had some appealing ideas in place, as well as its flaws (especially that $490 price tag; see Wired, “Hands-On: Kindle DX Is a Pricey Pleasure — Despite Many Flaws”). Ultimately, it never was the revolutionary device for the digital textbook market it was envisioned to be.

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Related: check out this nifty infographic below, which provides a handy timeline of the evolution of the Kindle:

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I run the ThinkLab at the University of Cambridge, and research digital habits, productivity, and wellbeing.

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