â€œDonâ€™t believe everything you read,â€ Mr. Berman said. â€œThereâ€™s a lot of rumor and speculation about the Kindle. One thing I can tell you for sure is that there will be no new version of the Kindle this year. A new version is possible sometime next year at the earliest.â€
At the earliest? Boy, if that isn’t a whole lot of wiggle room.
Berman went on to say that he could not confirm that a new version of Kindle would target the lucrative textbook market. Nor would he confirm that a new version would have a color screen. Essentially, all Berman did was put the kibosh on any idea that a new Kindle would arrive for the holiday season.
Scott Morrison of Dow Jones spoke to the Association of American Publishers Director of Higher Education, Stacy Skelly.
(She) acknowledged that e-textbook sales accounted for a tiny fraction of overall sales.
“If the Kindle can make things happen, that would be a welcome change,” she said.
However, other AAP sources said they were not aware of any current talks between Amazon and top textbook publishers concerning a new Kindle device.
The textbook market is perfect for Kindle, but it’s clearly not an easy sell to publishers or students. Publishers don’t want to disrupt a very lucrative market and students need a cheaper solution. The device is still expensive and the digital price doesn’t match up well against a used textbook which you might be able to sell back at the end of the semester.
Not to mention that it could be an all or nothing proposition. Will students want Kindle textbooks if only 3 of the 7 required texts can purchased and downloaded?
The drumbeat from Amazon lately is to downplay the Kindle. Kindle might not be a bust, but Amazon seems hell bent on lowering the bar for success.