Kindle’s version of the Big Boy

Amazon announced this week that it’s going to release a larger version of its apparently popular Kindle. I say apparently because Amazon doesn’t release sales figures for Kindle. This new version is supposed to be more suitable for newspapers because it’ll have a larger reading surface. Also, this new, bigger Kindle version could hit the market later this year — before the much-hyped Plastic Logic e-reader. No one really knows when the under-the-radar First Paper e-reader — the one backed by Hearst — will launch.

I think that Kindle will have a hard time attracting newspapers and magazines to be engaged with a bigger Kindle product. Kindle completely controls its product — you buy it through Amazon, which sets subscription costs for newspapers and then keeps a lion’s share of the money. If Plastic Logic or First Paper can come up with a more equitable revenue share that offers a better distribution model, I see media companies flocking to them, first. (Of course, newspapers will always want to be on Kindle because of the extra exposure. Kindle just won’t be the primary option.)

What do you think?

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