Can e-books Kindle broadband fire?



Did you buy your Kindle yet? The wireless e-book reading device from Amazon has mostly been derided since it became available recently. It's not clear how many of the critics have actually used the Kindle, but somebody must be buying them, because they sold out very quickly.

The idea of something as quaint as the act of reading inspiring a high-tech frenzy seems unlikely in the age of the iPhone, but who knows? Amazon partner Sprint is likely hoping this is at least a partial answer to the iPhone--not that it will actually produce iPhone-like adoption numbers, but at least generate some new energy around the idea of CDMA-based mobile broadband access.

Meanwhile, a device like the Kindle could also be a small growth engine for wireline broadband. Most descriptions of the Kindle tout it as a wireless device, but the truth is that it's also USB-enabled. That means you sideloaders won't be left out, and neither will the wireline companies. They are the ones providing the broadband access that most customers use to download content to computers that they eventually side-load to other devices. Mobile broadband access to e-books may represent the cutting edge, wireline broadband-based sideloading still has a lot of fire left in it. - Dan

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