I'm growing weary of reading articles like this one on Seeking Alpha. Negative comments from actual Kindle owners are few and far between. Sure, we all wish it cost less and it would have been nice if someone at Amazon had studied the ins and outs of user interface design, but hey, it's a first-generation product. It will only get better down the road.
I admit that I too have yet to see my first Kindle in use in the read world. Then again, I can't say I've been actively looking around for one. I've also never seen a Sony Reader in use on a plane, subway or even a park bench. What does that mean? Well, as far as everyone who keeps comparing user bases between e-readers and iPods, stop, please! The number of e-readers in use today is a rounding error in iPod-land.
Further, I'm convinced e-readers will never achieve the installed base levels of the iPod; the simple truth is more people prefer listening to music over reading a book. Amazon and Sony would almost have to give the devices away to get anywhere close to iPod installed base levels. With the benefit of zero insider information, I recently figured the Kindle installed base was between 5K and 10K, perhaps a bit more. But that was before I noticed Stephen Windwalker has sold about 20K copies of the preview to his Complete User's Guide to the Kindle. So while there are at least 20K Kindle owners out there, given the low price ($2.39) and popularity of Windwalker's preview, I tend to believe most Kindle owners bought it. If so, that probably means the installed base is in the 20K's and a far cry from iPod levels.
Back to the Seeking Alpha article... Why does it seem like every Kindle should come with a Rod Smart jersey? (For those of you who slept through the XFL, Smart popularized the "He Hate Me" jersey shown at the top of this post.) There's so much bitterness out there and it always seems to come from people who not only don't own a Kindle, but they've never even touched one! All I'm saying is try one before you share your negative opinions.
I've only had my Kindle for a couple of weeks now and I wish I would have jumped on board earlier. I still read books from dead trees; I've got a stack to get through, but I've considered buying some of them on the Kindle to cut down on some clutter. I'm also still reading The Last Lecture from time to time on my Blackberry; the Mobipocket reader is extremely convenient and I'll probably always have one book queued up on my Blackberry for those grocery store checkout line moments. IOW, I love my Kindle but I'm finding nice uses for all types of reading devices (e.g., Kindle, Blackberry, print). It's too bad Kindle-bashers, most of which have never used one, would spend some time enjoying the benefits this great device offers.