The Amazon Kindle is dead…

The Amazon Kindle is dead…

And just like that, the most gifted, most wish listed and most talked about by Amazon, but only in a positive way item, the Kindle, is finished. Just in case you begin to think, “here we go again” let me first inform you that this is not another Amazon will be the best competitor against Apple article. Nevertheless, you can withdraw an Amazon, Apple dialog from the text. Now back to topic, which is the necessary death of Amazon’s beloved Kindle, which is definitely finished.

“How so?” one asks.

Let me first mark this by saying I pondered over the “Why Amazon Must…” article written by the ever popular Apple evangelist, MG Siegler at TechCrunch, and I do agree with MG that Amazon must and should create an Android device, but for different reasons.

So what is your reasoning behind this?

Besides the fact that these are no-brainer decisions, Amazon needs to cover their ass on the investment they have made so far on the Kindle and I don’t think any of us can make it through six months of speculative posts scattered across the Web about what essentially still to most is vaporware. But in case you require more than my unparalleled Vulcan-like reasoning dispensed as a Spider-Man Pez candy in one highly concentrated sentence, here are two thoughts that I have compiled on the matter, broken down for you to digest as if they were Gerber’s baby food.

1. Amazon has a significant investment and presence in cloud computing. An Android device, be it a smartphone or a tablet could be just the component that Amazon requires to catapult their cloud computing services to the forefront and ahead of services such as Mobile.me. (In fact, while preparing this, Amazon released a cloud based music solution for Android. So much for being too busy to press the publish button earlier this week.)

2. Today’s phones and now our tablets serve equally as doorways to consumption and items for utility, if not more. Amazon is the undisputed king of internet retail when it comes to physical goods (consumption). It should not take much to transition consumers to include and ultimately prefer making their digital purchases with Amazon as they do their physical.

Additionally I would like to highlight a point that I agree with, previously presented by Dan Frommer, in “How Amazon Could Quietly Become a Huge Tablet Player”. Dan makes several hearty vaunts on the topic but the one where he states that Amazon’s music store and video services are essentially second to only Apple is one of the strongest if not the strongest point made.

The distance from or closeness to iTunes does not matter. What does matter is that Amazon, aside from Google should be the number one destination for all things Android. To miss the opportunity to connect that to a device that could serve as a gateway to other products and services would be like failing to connect a Velcro chinstrap on your helmet before bungee jumping.

Now back to the yet to be announced or revealed Amazon Android based gadget that would without a doubt be the ultimate super consumer device. But first, we have to address the hold up. What hold up, you ask? The hold up is the Kindle.

The Kindle in the current form has to die first because if Amazon were to make an Android device it still has to be a Kindle. If would be foolish to spend all that money, time, energy and effort on an image then kill it, just like that, unless of course it is a Palm Foleo or a Microsoft Kin. Then, in unfortunate and sad cases like those, you kill quickly.

Kill the Kindle by choice not because you are forced to. Then resurrect the Kindle as a full-fledged tablet complete with grayscale e-ink, plus a full-color display and then, you’re in business. And before you Kindle lovers get started,  I have read about the benefits of e-ink and monochromatic screens over color regarding visibility, attempting to validate the Kindle and other e-book readers. Maybe you all and Amazon missed the memo, but the people have spoken and it’s clear, we don’t give a shit. We will merrily squint in the blazing sun joyously gloating over our shiny iPads, Xooms, Galaxy Tabs and soon to be Blackberry Playbooks, without giving a care of or for “true” readability.

The Kindle has to die. My bad it’s already dead. The Kindle has gone the way of the Betamax tape, sure better technology, sure easy to use, sure relegated to the slow lane on the 21st Century tech speedway. Soon, the Kindle will be only in schools and research facilities.  It’s old, it’s selling, but it’s old. We buy Kindles when we are short the cash for an iPad and we buy Kindles for grandma and grandpa, the baby boomers who are not tech savvy. It’s fine because in their circles, it’s trendy and it makes them feel “hip”.

Ugh.

Amazon needs to do something and do it quickly. The blood is in the water and the sharks are coming. It can only be for so long the championed monochromatic device can hold out against other grayscale competitors, full-color e-readers, the iPad and a mounting army of Android tablets. Why not switch and take advantage of that Kindle branding and transform it into a full color, full-experience device?

It’s not as if Amazon is going to stop force-feeding the Kindle down our throats on every page as they do now. It’s no longer Amazon.com. It’s ,”Hey, buy a Kindle on Amazon.com!” So I expect sales will stay good, probably even better. Happy Kindle owners will upgrade, lending their satisfaction of the previous Kindle to the newest iteration of the device and Amazon can expand their business model, their positions in metrics, e-commerce and more. There is no need to continue, as we know it, the Kindle is dead.

We are seeing the extended farewell tour like the bodies of Celia Cruz, the Queen of Salsa and James Brown, the Godfather of Soul, shipped from place to place before making it to their final resting stops. There is no need for the Kindle to go away like a fighter that does not know when to quit. No need for Amazon to keep milking a good product until the love the people once had for it turns to disgust like Motorola did with the Razr. Amazon should survey the land, assess the potential, the real damages and pull the trigger. Then, go back to the engineering lab and come out in full swing, with the Kindroid.

Editorial, Tech
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