None of us -- customers, authors, bloggers, pundits, or market analysts -- can ever be certain about exactly what Amazon will do with the Kindle or any other business venture until the company actually does it. But my expectations about the company's long-awaited roll-out of the Kindle 2.0 have been firming up with the company's recent moves, and it is time to share them with you.
Based on these developments and on conversations that -- for obvious reasons -- I cannot source here, I am confident that Amazon will begin shipping the Kindle 2.0 in February. As you may already be aware, Amazon has been building up a huge backlog of Kindle orders over the past three months. The company's plan, it says here, is to contact these back-ordered customers in the next few weeks to offer them the chance to upgrade their order to a Kindle 2.0, at relatively small additional cost (about 10% of the existing Kindle price).
Naturally, interest in the Kindle 2.0 is going to spiral upward over the next few weeks. If you want to be one of the first in line for a new Kindle 2.0 when the units begin to ship, the best thing to do today is to order a new Kindle from Amazon's main Kindle buying page, if you have not done so already.
One thing that Amazon knows is that one of the biggest sources for Kindle 2.0 orders will be previous Kindle 1.0 buyers. That's the main reason the company is presently in the middle of a firmware upgrade (1.2) to streamline synchronicity between multiple Kindles assigned to a single customer account. It is also the reason the company recently opened its own Marketplace features to allow easy after-market sales of Kindle 1.0 units by Kindle owners. (Just in case you would like to sell your KIndle 1.0 to help finance your Kindle 2.0, it's just as easy as selling a used book on Amazon Marketplace, and you may even turn a profit!)
I hope this information, which is based entirely upon my personal knowledge, opinions, and expertise rather than any information provided directly to me by Amazon insiders, will be helpful to you. This is also a good place for me to mention a a couple of things about my own books about the Kindle:
* First, yes, I do have a new book forthcoming about the Kindle 2.0. Although it is necessary for me to bring it out as a separate title involving a separate transaction, I will make a point of letting you know about a special 72-hour window when the Kindle edition of the new book will be available at a low introductory, promotional price of less than $2. Naturally, the contents of the Kindle 2.0 book are embargoed until the device is released.
* In the course of working on the 2.0 guide, I will also be updating some of the material in the 1.0 guide and providing it in a more user-friendly format, which I will email to you as a free doc in February, just out of appreciation.
This is already longer than I had intended, so I will close with a sincere thank you for your having walked this interesting Kindle path with me over the past year.