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Be careful when you talk to reporters...



November 23, 2009 – Comments (4)

A lot can get lost in translation.

For instance, in these out-o-context quotations in a recent Forbes article...

A Kindle, Gentler Nation

By Alexandria Zendrian

November 23, 2009

I'm afraid the Alexandra didn't catch my meaning, especially given the first head-scratcher below:

Apple's Tablet, its e-reader, hasn't been doing as well as the Kindle because its screen is not as easy to read from, Jayson says. 

Umm, what I was actually explaining was that the non-existant, much rumored Apple Tablet will not be a competitor to an e-ink reader, because the screen technology is what matters, and e-ink screens are not the same as computer LCDs. At this point in the tech, you have to choose what you want. Want a fun media tablet? Then you can have a screen that hurts your eyes (current LCD computer screens) and are all-but unreadable in sunlight, but which supports video, other moving pictures, etc. (And eats a ton of batter juice.)

Or, if you want long battery life and print that's legible in any lighting conditions (except total darkness) you can have e-ink. But you can't have both. Not now, anyway.

The point being that people who claim Apple's non-existant tablet will upend every device out there clearly don't know what they're talking about. Whatever it is, it will have to decide what it is. My guess is it will aim to disrupt netbooks, not e-readers that will soon be selling for $150 and change.

Barnes & Noble ( BKS - news - people ) launched its own e-reader called the Nook last month. "Barnes & Noble feels like they have to get into this market before they become irrelevant," Jayson says.

That's pretty close to what I said, and what I meant.

Jayson recommends buying Amazon stock based on the Kindle's success. He says the Kindle has made him change his mind about the stock, which he otherwise says is expensive. Amazon is trading at about $129. Because of the Kindle, Jayson classifies Amazon as "a good investment even when it's expensive." 

I don't know that I really said "buy Amazon." I did say that Amazon's pricey, but that it's lead in many areas made it an OK-looking investment despite that. But more important than the Kindle is the stuff she left out: Amazon seems to have beaten eBay in the war to become the third-party seller of choice for Mom 'n' Pop Internet stores. Also, Amazon is the go-to place for lazy or harried consumers who would rather order stuff, even mundane stuff like rubber feet for furniture, rather than deal with traffic and crowded checkout lines.

That's the reason to think about Amazon as a long-term outperformer, despite the price. The Kindle is like a bonus warrent, or call option, on the e-reading future, at this point.

The real future of book and media could be in Microsoft's ( MSFT - news - people ) Xbox, Jayson says. Though he says the gaming system was a "money burner" for Microsoft for a while, Twitter, Facebook and Netflix ( NFLX - news - people ) are now available on it. Having Netflix through your Xbox is easier than getting videos streamed on your television or in the mail, Jayson says. "Game consoles will be the media hub of the future," he says. If you believe that's the case, buy Microsoft.

Sigh. That's whatcha get for being chatty. Books on the Xbox? Obviously not. I was talking about social media and traditional, video media in the living room. (Something I discussed in the latest MF Money podcast, here.) Seems to me Microsoft and Sony have sort of won the battle for the living room right now by offering these great additional services through the box that's already a game machine and a DVD player. I think MSFT has an edge with its facebook and twitter integration, as well as an all around better, more well-rounded community experience via Xbox Live. But Sony's still in there. The Wii, on the other hand, is just a little game toy, and other potential competitors (the laughable Apple TV) have gone nowhere fast.

Anyway, at least a guy can clarify, at the speed of the internets.



4 Comments – Post Your Own

#1) On November 23, 2009 at 12:53 PM, TMFBent (99.28) wrote:

Forgot to provide the link to the podcast where I riff on the Xbox 360 and the potential.

It's the 11/20 edition.

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#2) On November 23, 2009 at 1:10 PM, chk999 (99.97) wrote:

"Never talk to reporters" isn't a bad rule to live by.

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#3) On November 23, 2009 at 2:28 PM, eldemonio (97.81) wrote:

Because of the Kindle, Jayson classifies Amazon as "a good investment even when it's expensive." 

So what you're saying is that we should by Amazon no matter what?  That's a great quote.

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#4) On November 24, 2009 at 2:55 PM, TMFBent (99.28) wrote:

NO NO NO, eldemonio. I'm saying "You should put all your money into Amazon, as well as re-mortgage your house and put that money into Amazon, plus sell a kidney, and put that money into Amazon, then broker a part of your liver to Steve Jobs (so he doesn't have to steal another one from some homeless guy) and put all that money into Amazon as well.

If you can sell your dog to a lab for experiments, that money would look great parked in Amazon stock too. Wife's engagement ring? Might as well get 5 cents on the dollar at Cash fur Geld, and put that into Amazon too. If your kids have any toys they're not currently playing with (because they're at school... Suckers!) then you may be able to pawn those for a few more shares of Amazon.

Also, I 110% guarantee Amazon will do nothing but go up from here. (Or you can have my liver to sell for more Amazon shares.)

I hope I've made myself adequately clear by now.

Sent from my new iTablet

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