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Oprah & Jeff Bezos’ Pig In The Poke

January 27, 2009
Filed under: Kindle — bcd @ 10:15 pm

if you bought and received a Kindle from Amazon since Oct 24, 2008, you got scammed.  Oh, I say and I say it again, ya been had!  Ya been took!  Ya been hoodwinked!  Bamboozled!  Led astray!  Run amok!

why?

Oprah went on her October 24, 2008 show and professed her love for the Kindle.  she ooohed and ahhhhed and talked about the whys and the hows; then she let her viewers in on the deal – b/c she is so magnanimous, if you used her special code, you’d save $50 off a Kindle.  14% off!

for most people like myself – wanna-be techies who know only a smidgen more about technology, PCs, software, games, etc than our parents, their friends, and most of our own friends – we knew that this wasn’t all that great.  Boy Genius Report had already flashed the images of the new form factor on Oct 3rd.  all we were waiting for was the official announcement from Amazon.

so when my mom called me on Oct 25th asking what i knew about the Kindle and would i like one for my birthday (it was that day – thanks for the cards, bitches!) i calmly explained to her that Oprah was scratching Jeff’s back and he was gonna do her front later (shudder).

see, with BGR publishing the leaked images, the gig was up.  who would want to buy a Kindle 1.0 for Xmas (right around the corner) when you could wait and get the sexy, new, sleek Kindle 2.0 in a few months?  i am guessing all those morons people who bought the first iPhones, only to have Jobs try to fsck them without a reach-around, were the first to say no to the Kindle 1.0 at this juncture.  but Jeff Bezos is smart; wicked smart; hella-smart!

Jeff knew that if he got all of Oprah’s lemmings to buy out the dregs of his Kindle 1.0 inventory, then he would have no issues with his Cyber-Monday numbers.  but to get all of Oprah’s lemmings, he would have to offer Oprah something.  hmmm?  but what does one über-rich person give another über-rich person?

if Oprah only had an organization that could use a Kindle-like device for something like school books.

so there it is folks: Bezos and Oprah made a deal: Oprah pimps an outdated device, foisting it on an unsuspecting, captivated audience and in return, Jeff will donate X number of Kindles for Oprah’s burgeoning school projects. all we are waiting for now is Bezos’ announcement of Amazon’s gift to Oprah’s schools.

so why is this bad?  i mean, Kindles got sold, so people wanted them, right?

it’s bad b/c i think planned obsolescence hurts consumers.  i think manufacturers are loathe to discount items – even when it is their piss-poor planning that has led them to overlap production – so if they can unloaded something at almost full price prior to rolling out “the latest, greatest”, well, you can expect that the consumer loses every time.

i mean, if you got a Kindle for Xmas 2008 and the new form factor is coming out in Feb 9th, are you happy?  those crappy, big ass buttons aren’t in the way, right?

so the next time you think that Oprah is all for the little people, remember, she is for her little people.  the rest of you can just keep making her rich.


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