Photo via TheCreativePenn via Flickr CC
On Black Friday and Cyber Monday, we leaned instead towards Buy Nothing Day as a way to get through the mad consumerism of the holiday season. However, there are some relatively greener gadgets out there that, if people were going to rush out and get the latest and greatest devices, we're glad they were on the list instead of un-green options. The Kindle, it appears, topped that list. According to Amazon, the device had the best sales so far, outselling everything else on Amazon. Without revealing any actual numbers, Amazon has stated that Kindle had record sales in November.
"Kindle is a great gift for anyone who loves to read and it's flying off the shelves faster than any other product Amazon sells," said Ian Freed, Vice President, Amazon Kindle. "We're seeing lots of people buying from one to a handful of Kindles as gifts for friends or family, as well as many businesses and other organizations buying Kindles in large quantities for their employees or customers."
Compared to buying stacks of books to fulfill a reading fix, an e-reader is a more tree-friendly option. For avid readers, the energy-sipping devices can save a whole lot of paper and emissions from shipping books from publishing facility to store to home. Also, the Kindle 2 has received a firmware upgrade in the form of a better battery. The new battery has an 85% longer active battery life, giving it a week's worth of juice with the 3G turned on, versus four days with the old battery. And with the 3G turned off, that single charge lasts well past two weeks.
With the rush towards e-readers - specifically the Kindle, and the possibility of Apple's rumored Tablet - magazine publishers are taking note and making plans. From the rumor mill comes word that "a number of major magazine publishers are nearing an agreement to launch a joint venture that would be focused on digital distribution of their content, aiming to create a digital storefront similar to Apple's iTunes Store." If that's the case, it would show that even Apple is on-board with supporting reading books on electronic devices.
Most companies dealing in printed literature are already focused on transitioning their materials to a digital format that works with e-readers. The Nook is a prime example of a highly competitive device for the Kindle - though it has been delayed and won't hit store shelves until December 7th. Still, it's a popular holiday purchase as well, already sold out until the new year and only certificates for a Nook to be sent as soon as possible are available.
The popularity of the devices could lead to two ends - first, that the shift to digital reading is further solidified, and second, that there's a big new source of e-waste that'll be seen in the next couple years as people tire of their e-readers, upgrade to newer models next year and so on. Likely both will happen, making the greenest move by the retailers to be educating consumers on caring for their devices for as long as possible and instituting electronics recycling plans. Amazon has a section on its website dedicated to recycling Kindles, but Barnes & Noble so far lacks such easy access to similar information.
More on e-readers
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Barnes & Noble Nook e-Reader is Out and Ready to Wallop Kindle
Barnes & Noble Says Yes, Microsoft Says No to New e-Readers