The Kindle Oasis: Amazon’s breakthough in snark generation
Amazon’s Kindle Oasis is strikingly different from previous models…and not just in its shape, but in the online reaction to it.
Oh, I’m sure there’s no surprise that there is some pushback on it…there has probably been some pushback on every model.
As soon as this is officially released on April 27, there will undoubtedly be a number of 1-star reviews, just based on the price (which is considerably higher than recent models, although not as high as the introductory price of the first model in 2007). Others will mention the lack of certain features people had speculated might be included: a return to text-to-speech and other audio capabilities; a color screen; the inability to buy it without an animal-leather cover; and so on.
I will say that this Kindle seems to me to be representative of “engineer’s dream syndrome”. I just made that up 🙂 but what I mean is this: I doubt that Amazon was getting many complaints about the thickness of the Voyage or the battery charge life. The same is true of the Paperwhite.
Engineers have a dream of making things thinner and making the battery last long enough for a trip to the moon. It’s a great dream: it’s engineering for its own sake, and it could certainly open up possibilities currently undreamt. However, I really don’t think it’s what the reading public wanted.
In Jeff Bezos’ letter to stockholders this year, the CEO (Chief Executive Officer) said
“I believe we are the best place in the world to fail (we have plenty of practice!), and failure and invention are inseparable twins.”
We wouldn’t have the original Kindle without that willingness. We wouldn’t have the
which I think is a game changing smart appliance.
I don’t think this is a Fire Phone level error (I bought the Fire Phone when it was first released for about $200), but I don’t think it’s going to be their bestselling Kindle model.
I’d seen some thoughts about that, but then I found something interesting.
On the official Amazon product page, there are no reviews yet, of course. People, though, have found a way to game the system.
You see, customers can ask questions about products, and other customers can answer them.
It makes sense that Q&As can happen before the release of the product. There may be questions prior to purchase.
Just like funny reviews, which Amazon has embraced and promoted (see, for example, the reviews on the Three Wolf Moon t-shirt (at AmazonSmile*)), people are using the Q&As for the Oasis to write some really funny and creative material.
Funny, creative…but also critical of the product.
I don’t have permission to reproduce them, but check them out.
Let me describe the first one (sorted by “most helpful”) a bit.
The question is deliberately written in a way to criticize the high price.
The first response at time of writing has a very high 559 votes at time of writing…and there are 868 answers.
The second most “helpful” question may be a serious one about text-to-speech…with a very snarky answer at the top.
The third question listed appears to be a genuine one objecting to the animal-leather requirement…I’m honestly surprised one is that high, although it’s the reason I won’t buy one myself. There are 862 answers to that question at time of writing…I looked at the first several, and they also would have preferred some other option.
The fourth question was about the adaptive lighting on the Voyage…and the first answer is that it isn’t available on the Oasis.
I think it’s great that Amazon offers this Q&A, but I don’t think they anticipated this.
I’ll be very interested to see both the reviews and the sales ranking after release…
I’ve read through the owner’s guide now: the interface seemed very much like the current 7th gen models. If you have any questions, I’d be happy to hear them.
What do you think? Is this snarksplosion indicative of the general reaction the Oasis will get, or is it just a place for people to have fun? Will the Oasis be a hit? It may do well in holiday sales, so let’s put it this way…a year after it is released, how will its sales rank compare to the Voyage, Paperwhite, and current entry level Kindle? Will Amazon discontinue any of the other models before the holidays? Feel free to tell me and my readers what you think by commenting on this post.
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This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog. To support this or other blogs/organizations, buy Amazon Gift Cards from a link on the site, then use those to buy your items. There will be no cost to you, and a benefit to them.