Should Amazon Create a “Paperback” Kindle?

Soth Godin, a blogger and author suggests that Amazon should create a “paperback” version of the Kindle.  Hypothetically speaking, this inexpensive device would only include the bare bones and cost about $50.  It would be small enough to fit in your pocket or purse like a paperback book.  Spending less on the e-reader allows you to spend more on the books.  So, I see Amazon’s revenue jumping in Kindle book sales once the Kindle price comes down.  That is, if the publishers can find a way to balance out the prices of the books, which they will eventually.  E-books are still a relatively new market.

According to an article from Wired magazine, the e-book reader market will soon split into two segments.  One will be for simple, cheap e-readers with monochrome e-ink such as the Kindle.  The other will be for high end e-readers with color touch screens such as the iPad.

The only way to get authors and publishers to embrace this device is to sell 20,000,000 of them. You either become the best and only platform for consuming books worth buying or you fail. And the only way to create that footprint in the face of an iPad is to make it so cheap to buy and use it’s irresistible.  – Godin

It depends on what market Amazon wants to focus on.  If they decide to take the software route and continue to market Kindle for various devices, they are already ahead of the game.  If they decide to create a cheap Kindle as Godin is suggesting, then they should make it around the size of the iPod touch or iPhone, maybe a little bit larger.  Lately I’ve been using my iPod Touch to reach Kindle books simply because it is more portable.

I would purchase a “paperback’ Kindle.  It would be much cheaper than any other device out there, including iPods, not to mention the iPad. It also would have the battery life to beat.  I might even consider buying both the iPad and the Kindle paperback version.  A cheaper Kindle would be a great beach accessory.