Amazon’s Big-screen Kindle
Now the recession-ravaged newspaper and magazine industries are hoping for their own knight in shining digital armor, in the form of portable reading devices with big screens.Unlike tiny mobile phones and devices like the Kindle that are made to display text from books, these new gadgets, with screens roughly the size of a standard sheet of paper, could present much of the editorial and advertising content of traditional periodicals in generally the same format as they appear in print. And they might be a way to get readers to pay for those periodicals — something they have been reluctant to do on the Web.
These devices from Amazon and other manufacturers offer an almost irresistible proposition to newspaper and magazine industries. They would allow publishers to save millions on the cost of printing and distributing their publications, at precisely a time when their businesses are under historic levels of pressure.
Amazon has worked out a deal with several textbook publishers to make their materials available for the device, Mr. Gonick added. The new device will also feature a more fully functional Web browser, he said. The Kindle’s current model, which debuted in February, includes a Web browser that is classified as “experimental.”
Dozens of newspaper and magazines subscriptions for Kindle are sold through Amazon, but some publishers have concerns about the arrangement. Amazon controls the relationship with subscribers and dictates pricing. In addition, the current version of the Kindle doesn’t display ads, which newspaper and magazine companies rely on for revenue.
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