May 242010

Demo unit not functional, indeed.

It seems that Kindles in Target’s test locations have been “flying off the shelves,” so Target will roll them out in stores nationwide on June 6.

I went by my local Target today (since I’m fortunate enough to be in the South Florida test location), and, sure enough, there was a K2 display on an aisle end cap in the electronics section. There was a large picture of a huge Kindle alongside a woman sipping coffee and reading, a demo Kindle 2 unit, and a page describing its features (books in 60 seconds, free 3G wireless, paper-like display, 2-week battery life, etc.). Below the unit were several types of cases for the device ($30-$40 each).

Unfortunately, the demo unit at the location I visited was damaged: the screen had been cracked (note: the pattern you see in the above photo is indicative of the Kindle’s screen cracking on the inside). For some reason, this made me kinda sad, as it hardly seems like they’re putting the Kindle’s best foot forward with a display with a broken unit, which is not only useless (and ugly) to look at, but reminds potential buyers that you do have to be more careful with a Kindle than with a paper book. That scene in Modern Family where the kid sits on Al Bundy’s Kindle and breaks it didn’t help either!

(For the record, I hear Amazon’s customer service is extremely helpful and generous with replacement units if you’re unfortunate enough to crack your Kindle’s screen, but I’m not taking the chance.)

On the plus side, all the Kindles at the location I visited were sold out (though they did have stock at other nearby locations). It also appeared that several of the cases were sold out as well (there were stickers and spaces for 6-8 different types of cases, but there were only 4 cases of 2 different types remaining).

It looked like the demo Kindle was set to cycle through a few different pages of text and images (it was hard to tell with the broken screen). As the sticker on the demo unit warns that it’s “not functional,” I doubt you can open books or play with menus, but it is attached by a retractable cord that allows people to feel its weight and note how thin it feels in their hands. I still think the Kindle is a “wow” device, and that most people who see one in action (with, hopefully, a working e-Ink screen) will be impressed and tempted to buy one. Check it out for yourself at Target starting on June 6. And try not to drop it. 🙂

  2 Responses to “Kindle in Targets Nationwide June 6”

Comments (2)
  1. will you be carrying the Kindle Touch wi-fi 3-G?

    • I’m not sure what you mean by “you,” since I don’t work for Target! But, according to an Amazon press release, the Kindle, Kindle Touch, Kindle Touch 3G, and Kindle Fire will all be available on November 15 at Best Buy, Target, Walmart, Staples, Sam’s Club, RadioShack, and Office Depot.

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