Despite all the Hoopla over Apple’s iPad, I still want to buy a Kindle because I love reading. It doesn’t have to be a Kindle, there are loads of competitors emerging, but Kindle is both the market leader and gets the most coverage. So off to Amazon and a look through the literature and the hard choice – Kindle 1 or Kindle DX (aka Kindle 2). Of course Kindle 2 is way more expensive than Kindle 1, but it is bigger and preumably better. This being Amazon, it all comes down to the user reviews.
So what’s my decision? Kindle 1! Why? because the most commented and reviewed review gives Kindle 2 only one star. Normally one star reviews are rants and often irrelevant to product quality bit this is lucidly argued and systematic in its criticism of the device and also Amazon’s upgrade systems. 20,000 people have read it and 19000 have found it useful which implies that 19,000 have been put off upgrading their Kindle. The reviewer finishes by stating that he has returned the Kindle 2 to Amazon and will wait for the next upgrade.
Amazon do not seemed to have responded to the complaints in any way which seems extraordinary for Amazon for two reasons. Amazon is founded on excellent, well thought out customer service and this is a new product category where the difference between success and failure is measured sometimes in Nanos. There is a tsunami of ereaders hitting the shelves (shopping carts) this year and with all this choice, small matter a lot.
Amazon need to be careful that one well aimed review does not upset the reputation of Kindle DX and allow competitors like Apple, Barnes & Noble’s Nook and the new Que Reader from Plastic Logic from killing their product’s reputation.
Now if I am right that all these people have decided not to upgrade from Kindle 1 then possibly Amazon may have forgone $900,000 in revenue from people who were planning to buy Kindle 2. That is one painful review!