The e-book has been trying to get off the ground since the mid-’90s without much luck. The technology hasn’t been good enough to be a valued consumer product. The Kindle was meant to address that with an easy-to-read screen and lots of storage.
When released in December, critics voiced reasonable skepticism, but it looks like things are going well. Bezos writes inventory was sold out within five and a half hours of going on sale. Since then, customers have been put on a first-come, first-served waiting list while Amazon makes more.
At $400 a pop, that’s a huge success. And if that’s not convincing enough evidence, look at the fan who baked a Kindle-shaped cake.
If they become as ubiquitous as iPods, maybe people will even start reading newspapers again.