Why the Kindle DX doesn't have a WiFi-only option

Cnet's Larry Dignon points out that the Kindle DX is not economical for students.

In year three, that student will start saving money via the Kindle ($1,464 on paper textbooks vs. $1,239). The big caveat here: I didn't include the used book market and assumed that the Kindle DX still functions well. Another big assumption: All the textbooks you'll need will be available on the Kindle (not likely). If Amazon can cut a student's textbook costs to $100 a year, the case for the Kindle DX would obviously look better.

In a nutshell, Amazon is trying to make a four-year total cost of ownership case to an audience that just doesn't have the attention span.

The reason Kindle DX doesn't have a WiFi option is because it would make Amazon less money than selling them hundreds of dollars worth of WWAN up front.

Revisiting the ROI of the Kindle DX: Why is Amazon blind to Wi-Fi? [CNET]

Published by Rob Beschizza

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  1. Well.. surely a bigger reason why it isn’t economical is because there are no textbooks ON the damn thing?
    My course textbooks:
    Intermediate Microeconomics, by Hal Varian.
    Macroeconomics, G. Mankiw
    Karl Marx, selected writings, by D Mclellan.
    None of them are on Kindle. So there are NO savings there.
    The two most overpriced book markets are textbooks and graphic novels. Kindle doesn’t have one, and can’t do the other, when it could dominate the market instantly.

  2. If they would release the textbooks in PDF or via some other proprietary method that students could view on their laptops (which they most likely already have, or can get for less than the price of the kindle dx), then students would save $

  3. But don’t you see? Cutting out the used book market is the beauty of the whole thing for Amazon and the publishers.

    Nobody benefits from used book sales (except for consumers, local book stores, eBay (specifically half.com), and universities).

    I never would have been able to afford my college textbooks if I had to buy all of them new, and didn’t get to sell them after the semester was over.

    On the other hand, going to study at the library would have been MUCH more attractive if I could have done it with under 50lbs of stuff in my backpack.

  4. Your back pain pales in comparison to company profits.

    (They can’t feel it from there.)

  5. Another big assumption: All the textbooks you’ll need will be available on the Kindle (not likely).

    Not likely unless you got the complete archive of TextbookTorrents: unencumbered PDFs of pretty much every textbook ever published. (Which happens to be shared by at least half the students on the LAN.)

    Just as most sane people use their iPod to play MP3s, not to use the iTunes Music Store.

  6. Whispernet is not the problem.

    Digital List Price: $179.00 What’s this?
    Print List Price: $93.95
    Kindle Price: $89.10 & includes wireless delivery via Amazon Whispernet
    You Save: $4.85 (5%)

    This example is some random math textbook.

    The problem is there is no way anyone is going to buy an ebook with DRM for $89.10 with no possibility for resale.

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