Kindle-Edition Textbooks To Be Published By Princeton University Press

Princeton University (Jeff Bezos’ alma mata) announced recently that it will begin publishing Kindle-edition textbooks this coming fall, a move that could see Kindle make inroads into the textbook arena.

Since its arrival last November, there has been much talk about Kindle’s potential as a textbook replacement. With its capacity to hold up to 200 titles plus much more on removable storage, students could simply purchase, download, and access textbook content all at the click of a button. No longer would there be a need to drag around “huge” backpacks loaded with paper-version textbooks.

But how will students respond? No one knows. Princeton’s decision to be the first publish Kindle e-textbooks is just a test. Of course, others will be watching to see how it pans out. Personally, I expect positive results.

But…there may be one drawback, Kindle’s Price. If things turn out well, Amazon may have to make another price cut from its present $359 to make the device affordable to all students.

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iPhone is Now Faster and Cheaper

Almost a year ago the first iPhone was shipped (June 29, 2007) – the cost $500. After two whopping price reductions, the iPhone 3G (8 GB) is now $199 and it’s a lot faster than the first generation and offer much more features.

According to Steve Jobs, speaking at the WWDC conference 2008 in San Franscisco last week, 6 million iPhones have been sold since its launch, there is a 90% customer satisfaction rating, 98% are using it for browsing the net, 94% are using email, 90% text messaging, and 80% are using 10 or more features.

Challenges
As the iPhone revolution rolled on, it faced a number of challenges: lack of 3G network capability, limited third party application support, not enough overseas sales, and too expensive.

With last week’s announcement, the “new” iPhone 3G seemed to address these issues.

Starting on July 11th, you will be able to get the new iPhone 3G with thinner at edges, full plastic back, solid metal button, the same 3.5” display, camera, headphone jacks, and improved audio at the new price in 22 of 70 countries.

But Why 3G ?
The answer…faster data download.

Demonstrations showed that the new 3G iPhone can download a web browser 2.8 times faster than the edge network and just a shade slower than wi-fi ( 59 s edge, 21 s 3G, 17s wi-fi).

When compared to other 3G phones it took 33 seconds for the same task on the Nokia N95, and 34 seconds on the Treo 750 which amounts to about a 36% rate increase.

Email attachments
Downloading email attachment took 5 s on the 3G iPhone, 18 s on edge, and 3 s on wi-fi (3.8 times faster than edge). Once again there was very little difference between 3G and wi-fi.

More Talk Time
As for battery time, you can now get at total of 300 stand-by hours, 5 talk time hours (compared to 3 hours for other 3 G phone), 7 video hours, and 24 audio hours on a fully charged battery.

GPS built in
One other big new addition is GPS tracking. The original iPhone was able to pinpoint location using data from data from cell towers, and wi-fi network. Now it’s able to track movement with GPS data.

More Countries
Up to this point only six countries were authorized to sell the iPhone. Within the next several months 70 countries will sell the device and several other carriers will sell the service …not just AT& T.

That said, I cannot wait to get my hands on one of these “babies” to see if it lives up to the billing.