It appears that Amazon is no longer selling the
themselves new at the site.
There will be some out there who are sad about that…there were people who loved their large screen reflective devices. However, it’s a bit like when ABC can canceled Miracles, saying that the fans were so passionate, but that there were so few of them.
The DX was introduced on May 6, 2009, with great fanfare:
One of the key elements was a partnership with textbook publishers, and pilot programs that were going to start in universities.
On January 6, 2010, it went international.
Then came what was arguably a crushing blow.
On January 11, 2010, the National Federation of the Blind and the American Council of the Blind settled a discrimination suit against Amazon (which had been filed in June, shortly after the device’s release). While the DX had text-to-speech (TTS), the argument was that advanced features, such as search, were not available to print disabled students.
As a result of the action (and one taken by the Department of Justice), the universities abandoned their KDX programs. While there were concerns expressed by students about the ease of using the device versus paper, the lawsuit ended any chance that the KDX would carry momentum from the deals into academic market success.
Amazon didn’t abandon the KDX, announcing the Graphite version with a sharper screen on July 1, 2010. That new version had probably been in development before the lawsuit settled.
On Black Friday (the day after Thanksgiving) in 2011, Amazon put the Kindle DX on sale for $259…the device had been introduced for $489.
After that, the device basically coasted, not being one of the bestselling models…and not getting updates to match newer (smaller) models.
On October 7 (about a week ago), I reported that the price of the KDX had dropped to $299…and that now appears to have been the final clearance price.
Do I expect them to replace this with another large screen reflective device? I think that’s unlikely…the price is just too high for it to compete with tablets. If you want a large screen, might you not also want color for those diagrams and charts (or, um…pictures of celebrities on vacation in a magazine)?
My guess, and I’d love to be wrong, is that the next time we see a mainstream, large screen reflective screen is when it can either also do a backlit image, or the reflective screen technology has improved so much it can do good quality color and animation.
Have thoughts about the KDX? Want to share your favorite memory? Do you think if they had updated it with better PDF functionality and perhaps native EPUB compatibility it would have survived? Have I overestimated the impact of the accessibility lawsuit? Do you think Amazon will launch another large screen reflective device? Feel free to let me and my readers know by commenting on this post.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.