Amazon yesterday launched the $489 Kindle DX, the big screen version of the Kindle 2, but the puzzle is who the target for the rather large portable book reader actually is. The big 9.7 inch diagonal e-ink screen makes the Kindle DX pretty bulky for merely a ebook reader, but Amazon has announced new deals with for magazine and newspaper publishers which presumably are a better fit for the format.
In fact, the New York Times, Boston Globe, and Washington Post will subsidize the Kindle purchase price if you live in an area where they do not offer home delivery and purchase a Kindle DX and an electronic subscription.
Another target market for the Kindle DX is college students as Amazon also announced deals with textbook publishers for Kindle versions as well as trials at major universities:
The schools will distribute hundreds of Kindle DX devices to students spread across a broad range of academic disciplines. In addition to reading on a considerably larger screen, students will be able to take advantage of popular Kindle features such as the ability to take notes and highlight, search across their library, look up words in a built-in dictionary, and carry all of their books in a lightweight device.
Time will tell how well that works out – I think I would still prefer a paper textbook. However, one market where the Kindle family seems to be a definite success is in good old fashioned books for reading. According to Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos, Kindle sales are now 35% of book sales when Kindle editions are available and there was a huge jump in February when the Kindle 2 went on sale.