Amazon Kindle DX Leads to Buyer’s
Kindle DX Leads to Buyer’s Remorse for Some Kindle 2 Users
Real gadget heads know the pitfalls of being an early adopter: The products can be expensive, sometimes buggy and easily rendered obsolete as a result of an upgrade. Now some Amazon Kindle 2 buyers are finding this out for themselves as they try to return their newly acquired Kindle 2 in favor of the larger sized Kindle DX.
"If I was aware that there would be an upgraded product announced less than two months and after I received my Kindle–and that would be better for my needs — I would have postponed the purchase of the product," says Rachel Swartz, who bought her Kindle 2 e-book reader two weeks after it was released in February. Swartz is now battling with Amazon to exchange her Kindle 2 for the Kindle DX.
Amazon introduced the broadsheet Kindle DX reader last week. The new product comes less than three months after the company launched Kindle 2, an improved version of the original Kindle reader. The KindleDX has a screen that measures 9.7 inches diagonally — two-and-a-half times the size of the current-gen Kindle 2 — and is targeted at readers who want to use the device to access magazines, newspapers and textbooks.
But, as Swartz found out, Amazon does not offer an upgrade path for Kindle 2 users who now covet the latest release. "They have been basically stonewalling all my attempts for the last few days to find a way to exchange the Kindle 2," she says. "This is not right. It’s not the way early adopters should be punished."
There is one loophole in the system. Kindle 2 buyers can use the company’s standard electronics returns policy to send their devices back. Amazon allows for a 30-day return on electronics purchases, says a Amazon spokesman in an emailed statement.
Ryan Meeks, who bought his Kindle 2 within the last 30 days, is one of those lucky users who can get an exchange. Meeks has sent his Kindle 2 back — no questions asked — and has instead placed a pre-order for the Kindle DX.
"I have glasses and a bigger screen was a major factor for me," says Meeks. "I also liked the fact that the Kindle DX changes from landscape to portrait mode when the device is rotated."
Meeks doesn’t mind paying the additional dollars for the Kindle DX, which costs $480 compared to the $360 for the Kindle 2. And he’s understanding of Amazon’s reluctance to offer an upgrade path for Kindle 2 users. "Ultimately they are two different products though many people don’t really understand the difference," he says. "Beyond the bigger screen, Amazon hasn’t done a good job of explaining how the two products are different."
Still, says Meeks, the company should try to offer a way out for unhappy Kindle 2 users. "If I were Amazon, I would do well to make sure early adopters are happy," he says. "The early buyers are the influential users."
Meeks suggests Amazon take a leaf out of Apple MobileMe’s playbook. "I was an early user of MobileMe and it had a lot of problems," he says. "But ultimately Apple gave us a lot of extras and I am glad I use MobileMe now. That may be something there for Amazon to learn from."
Amazon isn’t shipping the Kindle DX yet.
BY Amazon Kindle DX