Amazon CEO Bezos: Color Kindle ‘still a long way out; still not ready for prime-time’

invisibleSHIELD case for iPad“A color version of Inc.’s Kindle e-reader may come eventually, but it won’t be soon,” The Associated press reports.

“Speaking Tuesday at the online retailer’s annual shareholder meeting in Seattle, founder and CEO Jeff Bezos said that adding color to the Kindle’s ‘electronic ink’ display is a difficult technical challenge and that a color screen is ‘still a long way out,'” AP reports. “Bezos said he’s seen things ‘in the laboratory’ that are ‘still not ready for prime-time production.'”

AP reports, “As usual, Bezos did not detail how many Kindles Amazon has sold since the product launched in 2007, except to say customers have bought ‘millions’ of them.”

Full article here.

MacDailyNews Take: People have bought “millions” of Zunes, too. Obviously, you can find a couple million morons who’ll buy just about anything.

So, how many have you sold since iPad was unveiled, Jeffie?


Bezos can’t detail Kindle unit sales if he wants to continue to attempt to perpetrate his illusion of success. However, it appears that reality may finally be starting to dawn on him.

Note to the eleven people waiting to buy color Kindles: Now you can go get those Apple iPads you want so badly! (If you can find one left to buy.)

Amazon should focus all of their attention on their Kindle software for Apple hardware than on Kindle hardware going forward.MacDailyNews Take, January 05, 2010

More info and download link for Amazon’s free Kindle app for iPad via Apple’s iTunes App Store here.


  1. He must be listening to the “moody blues” – “in your wildest dreams” ” width=”19″ height=”19″ alt=”wink” style=”border:0;” />

  2. Bezos isn’t stupid: he knows the future of the Kindle is not in hardware, but rather in software that runs on lots of mobile devices. They’ll probably always sell a physical Kindle, but their move to Mac, PC, iPad, iPhone and Android isn’t just some lark. They know what they’re doing. So, I’d say that a color Kindle is probably just not that important to Amazon’s success in the e-book field.

    Besides, if all you want is an e-book reader, the Kindle is probably still your best bet, since e-ink is still easier to read than an LCD screen.

  3. “Besides, if all you want is an e-book reader, the Kindle is probably still your best bet, since e-ink is still easier to read than an LCD screen.”

    In YOUR opinion, sir or madam, in YOUR OPINION. Mine? I find it much easier to read “Abraham Lincoln, Vampire Hunter” on my iPad than on my wife’s Kindle, what with its lack of backlighting, color, and anything more than what one can find in the hardcopy edition of the tome. Its dull black-and-white approach to text display is oh-so-yesterday and “Little House On The Prairie.”

    Truth is: The Kindle is a marvelous and entertaining one-trick pony, and that’s all it is. It may be “the bomb” for the short-term present (in your opinion), but I prefer the future.**

    ** Why, do you suppose, Bezos refuses to divulge actual sales numbers for his cute little device? I do believe we ALL know the answer to that question.

  4. Kindl might still have it’s place in the marketplace.

    If all you want is a mostly static display that is very readable in bright sunlight and incredible battery life, and nothing more, Kindle is make for you.

    For the rest of us, iPad is the answer.

    For every 10 million iPad users there might one or two solitary souls perfectly happy with their Kindles.

  5. @Artist
    Ummmmm …. Pretty much, yeah. Except I wanted to buy this Winnebago motorhome but it didn’t have an Apple label. Lucky for me I had those decals that came with my iPad, so I put one of those on the motorhome and bought it!

  6. To Amazon, the Kindle (hardware) is like HP and Epson selling printers. HP and Epson make more money from selling the ink refills, not the printers. To Amazon, the “ink” is the electronic media they sell for their Kindle “printers.”

    Therefore, Amazon does not mind at all if Apple sells the device for consuming Amazon’s media through the Kindle app. That’s why they are in no hurry to produce and sell a color Kindle. They will probably eventually cancel such a product and just let Apple sell the device.

    What was surprising to me is the high price Amazon charges for the Kindle hardware. If they had really wanted to expand and take control e-media sales over the last few years (before iPad), they should have sold Kindles at a break-even price, or about $99. Now, with iPad out there, it is too late. I have a feeling Amazon kept the price of Kindle high to artificially slow the rate of adoption. Amazon feared displacing their traditional paper-based media sales business too fast. I think that was a mistake. Now, Apple controls the adoption of e-media by general consumers.

  7. I recently set up an iPad for a couple of oldsters. He’s 93 and she’s 87. They both love the iPad, but it’s a tad heavy for them to hold in their hands for very long and they have yet to find the perfect pillow for propping up the iPad while reading. To my mind, this issue highlights the Kindle’s one and only reason for being (as a hardware device) now that the iPad has appeared.

    I also agree with @hairbo that Jeff Bezos is a smart cookie who has always known that the Kindle’s job is to open up new markets for Amazon’s software, not compete with the makers of other mobile devices. The fact that Bezos in no hurry to launch a color Kindle proves that he is one of the few big players who isn’t a slavish imitator of other companies’ good ideas.

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