Amazon Kindle DX will cost $489 but newspapers will subsidize the price
How much less will be announced this summer by the publishers, when the Kindle DX begins to ship, Amazon.com chief executive Jeff Bezos said today at Manhattan's Pace University.
Following the model consumers are familiar with from cell phone plans, if you subscribe to the New York Times, for example, and agree to pay a certain amount a month for a period of time, the gadget will cost less.
Will consumers pay for both the Kindle DX and monthly subscriptions to their favorite newspapers, magazines or blogs? The same content is available on laptops and cell phones, but it's free.
Some will pay for the convenience of having their newspaper waiting for them on the Kindle and its 9.7 inch screen, graphics and all, instead of squinting at their 3.5 inch Apple (AAPL) iPhone screen or running around with their laptop looking for a wi-fi connection.
Arthur Sulzberger, New York Times chairman, doesn't care how folks get their digital news.
"We are using every available medium to meet every growing demand for high-quality journalism across every platform," he said today. "The issue with new technology is how can we best use it."
More details on the DX: No actual release date, other than this summer, has been set. You can pre-order it now at Amazon.com. It's not for sale anywhere else. The screen is still black and white, so no color. There is no memory card slot.
It comes with 3.3 GB of storage, meaning it will hold up to 3,500 books, Amazon said. There's no monthly cost for the 3G wireless access, which, like the Kindle 1 and 2, can download a bestseller in less than a minute. The Kindle 2, with its six-inch screen, will still be sold for $359 by Amazon. The page refresh rate is the same on the DX as the Kindle 2.
The DX means "deluxe," Steven Kessell, head of global digital media for Amazon, told DailyFinance. Users have wireless access to newspapers, magazines, blogs and up to 275,000 books, at monthly costs ranging from 99 cents to $14.99.
"We're adding content everyday," Kessell said.
The E-Ink display on the DX now has 16 shades of gray and PDF support for documents that can be imported in via USB. As with an iPhone, if you rotate the DX to the side or upside down, the screen will adjust.
Textbooks from three of the top five textbook publishers -- Cenage, Pearson, and Wiley -- and more than 75 university press publishers will be available in Amazon's kindle store this summer, the company said.
When the DX begins shipping, Amazon will also launch trial programs with universities, including Arizona State University, Case Western Reserve University, Princeton University, Reed College, and Darden School of Business at the University of Virginia. The DX will be available for students in the fall.
Anthony Massucci is a senior writer and columnist for DailyFinance.