Consumers react to Kindle 2 announcement: Too expensive?

Hours after , consumers posting their reactions to the Web weren't only talking about the thin form, the longer battery life, or the new dictionary lookup. Many were complaining about the same old price.

"[US]359.00??" asked Buckyg66, commenting on . "Don't get me wrong, I'd love to have one, but the price needs to be relative to other portable devices. [The Kindle] has one function and costs as much as Smart Phone?"

After reading a , GunwallsArchibald added that "It just doesn't make economic sense to spend this kind of money to use proprietary hardware to read books." After voicing a preference for a program that would allow "consumers to purchase electronic books for viewing on existing devices," he admitted that "It's a kool [sic] gadget, don't get me wrong -- just not practical for the average book consumer."

Some saw the price as reasonable -- or at least unavoidable. "I'm sure some market and economic research was done to arrive at the price," wrote Bandigerbolls, commenting on the same article. "Obviously, the 'got to have it' group was willing to pay well over $300, and the 'I'd buy it if it were cheaper' group would only pay a much, much lower price, and Amazon determined that it couldn't produce them in the quantities needed to target the broader consumer base."

Another price-related concern: The price of downloaded books. Even before the Kindle 2 was launched, an Amazon user named C. S. Stein started an forum discussion titled . After noting that the Kindle Store was pricing a Wally Lamb book at $16, Stein called it "important that Amazon and the publishers realize that they will not be selling books that are over $10." (Amazon brags on its that it sells New York Times bestsellers and new releases for $9.99.) "Mom of 2" added that "the $9.99 pricing was a big selling point to me and justified me spending 400 bucks on what is essentially a luxury item. As soon as Amazon sees that Kindle users are going to pay more, the $9.99 price point will be completely gone."