Tuesday, June 16, 2009

When Two Out of Three Ain't Good

Remember that great Meatloaf song, "Two Out of Three Ain't Bad"? I do, and for some reason I thought of it when I read this Jeff Bezos quote from Wired's "Disruptive by Design" conference yesterday:

“[The Kindle DX] is $489, and that is an unbelievably low price for something that has inside it a sophisticated computer, a completely new kind of display of that size, and a 3G wireless radio,” Bezos said.
Bezos rightfully points out three important attributes of every Kindle: it's a full-fledged computer, has a great display and a 3G wireless radio. What irritates me though is that that Amazon, in their infinite wisdom, prevents Kindle owners from fully leveraging two out of the three (computer and wireless).

Imagine the iPhone without the App Store. It would be nothing more than a phone, like most of the other phones that preceded it. Have you heard of any third-party apps you can add to your Kindle? No, because Amazon doesn't want you to extend the device's capabilities. And even though all Kindles have wireless functionality built-in, there again, you're pretty much limited to what Amazon does and doesn't want you to do with that feature (although clever services like KindleFeeder have managed to get around it).

Jeff, can you imagine the doors that would open and the opportunities that would arise if you'd just let us fully utilize that "sophisticated computer" and "3G wireless radio"?! The DX's $489 price tag will always be deemed wickedly expensive as long as you place artificial limits on what we can and cannot do with it.