back to article Amazon reveals KiddieKindle and pocket money scheme

Amazon.com looks to have decided that its next big market is your kids. The company's unveiled a “Kindle for Kids Bundle” that takes a normal 6” Kindle, wraps it in a bit of coloured plastic and bundles a two-year warranty for the device. That warranty applies to “common accidents, including knocking it off a table, dropping …

  1. Voland's right hand Silver badge

    Do not see the point

    For the same amount of money you:

    0. Get the normal kindle.

    1. Get the kindle cover - it is a must, even if an adult will be using it

    2. Talk to your kind not to be stupid and remind him that the email invoice about any of his purchases lands straight into your email account.

    Works fine - tested on a 13 (for 3 years now) and a 6 year old (for about a year). The only "downside" is your expense bill. It is surprising how quickly can the numbers rack up (especially if you teach your kinds speed reading). A month with a lot of travel can cost you something in the 90£+ for "book budget".

    However, I will take that "downide" any day and double it :)

    1. Benchops

      > tested on a 13 (for 3 years now) ... year old

      Been reading The Picture of Dorian Gray?

  2. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Oh, yum, more tracking.

    Let's just make sure that the kids get tracked as early as possible, shall we? Kindles track the reading of their users, and I would love to find a way to stop that from happening (it's the only thing I *don't* like about Kindle). If that's off, carry on, even for kids.

    A nice side effect is that such gear is then proven to be military grade. If it survives kids, it will survive anything.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Meh

      Re: Oh, yum, more tracking.

      They track your reading.

      Yes, so you can sign in from anywhere and carry on reading. BTW Libraries oddly enough also know exactly what books you've read. Online reatilers also know exactly what books you've bought.

      Odd that.

      Sometimes we do need to take off our tin foil hats.

      1. Mage Silver badge
        FAIL

        Re: Oh, yum, more tracking.

        Only if you sync and/or have 3G/WiFi on. I only use mine via USB and Amazon lets me download to PC.

        There is also www.gutenberg.org

        My grandson is saving for a regular kindle touch for 8th Birthday

    2. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Oh, yum, more tracking.

      Don't track my reading very much...

      The WiFi is generally off (for battery life) and I load books from Calibre as much as anything else.

      Every so often it will get the WiFi on for osmething, and at that point the "percent completed" for Amazon bought stuff will get uploaded no doubt.

      Surprise Amazon - that book I bought 3 month ago - I've read it...

  3. frank ly
    Big Brother

    Safety feature

    "Don't let 'em download anything too raunchy, Uncle Jeff!"

    If a 'bad' one slips through, Amazon can remotely delete it.

  4. jake Silver badge

    For free ...

    ... My kid used the library.

    1. Bronek Kozicki Silver badge

      Re: For free ...

      mine too. The trouble is, there are just some 10 Discworld titles in the library at any one time, and my eldest needs about 3 days to complete a book. Oh and the book which are in the library are the ones he's already read. Clearly another source of books to read is needed.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Unhappy

      Re: For free ...

      And for many, the nearest library is 30 miles away

      Or you have a shiny lovely multi-million pound central library, that the council can't afford to run.

  5. mrbofus

    Please be accurate with your information!

    "At US$99 you're paying a $20 premium for the KiddieKindle."

    That's not true at all! The Kindle for Kids Bundle includes "the latest Kindle without sponsored screensavers". The regular Kindle is $79 but that's with sponsored screensavers. Without those ads, it's $99. It also comes with the two year warranty and a cover. Neither of which you get with the regular Kindle. So if anything, you save money by going for what you call the "KiddieKindle".

    Or am I missing something?

    1. Ralph B

      Re: Please be accurate with your information!

      > Or am I missing something?

      I think the only thing you might be missing is an appreciation of The Register's inate tendency towards contrarianism. It's one of the amusingly annoying things we love it for.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Please be accurate with your information!

      They also made a mistake with the allowance service:

      " It omits the fact that last week Amazon also started a pocket money/allowance service. The idea's pretty simple: parents or guardians of those aged 13 to 17 can set up automatic credit card debits that appear as credit in their kids'a Amazon accounts."

      It is not limited to children aged 13-17 (Amazon's restriction on that age range is simply that the parents have to be involved - Amazon just covering themselves).

      Anyone can send an allowance to anyone aged over 13, including yourself. It is simply a repeated gift card that is credit to the recipients account automatically.

    3. Mage Silver badge

      Re: Please be accurate with your information!

      Oddly in UK & Ireland the Kindle touch is same price with or without advertising screen savers and by law in all of EU they have to offer two years warranty anyway. SOGA.

      (Apple was fined in Italy for charging people for 2nd year).

      About €79 in Tesco Ireland (high sales tax aka VAT compared to USA perhaps).

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: Please be accurate with your information!

        "Oddly in UK & Ireland the Kindle touch is same price with or without advertising screen savers and by law in all of EU they have to offer two years warranty anyway. SOGA."

        Yes,I thought that too at first then I re-read it and noticed the added extra of limited accidental damage cover included in the warranty.

      2. Squander Two

        Re: Please be accurate with your information!

        > Apple was fined in Italy for charging people for 2nd year

        No, I think they were fined for implying that paying them was the only way to get a second year of cover. There's nothing wrong with their charging for a second -- or first -- year of AppleCare, as it offers more than a manufacturer's warranty.

        I'm quibbling. You still have a good point.

        It's amazing how often you have to kick up a stink to get that legally-required second year. O2 tried an interesting argument with my wife: that phones are guaranteed for two years but accessories (in this case, a wireless charger) only for 6 months. As if the legislation cares whether an electronic device is considered by a retailer to be the primary product or an accessory.

  6. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    raise them young

    brilliant marketing - even if they don't hook the kids on the obvious (internet = google, books = amazon), they'll sell tonnes to all the parents with guilty consciousness who, always short of time, believe in a fixing power of a "buy" button (i.e. kids taking up reading).

    I'm not above "those" parents, I just cringe at such underhand tactics, and I'm pretty sure all it does is make parents' wallets lighter. It's just that in general kids don't read for pleasure these days. We have tonnes of paper books in two languages at home, we read avidly ourselves, mostly off e-book readers, and to our children, we do everything we can to attract them to reading without forcing the books down their throats. The school tries very hard to promote reading too. Yeah, they get those book reading records and signatures, and they get those stickers and badges, but it's got nothing to do with reading for one's pleasure, just a chore. And it doesn't work.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      WTF?

      Re: raise them young

      "It's just that in general kids don't read for pleasure these days."

      Citation Required.

      I could point out plenty of things to prove you wrong, but just a few words to throw around:

      Radio 2's 500 words.

      Rainbow Magic & Beast Quest

      Julia Donaldson, David Walliams, Lauren Childs, Jacqueline Wilson

      I know from experience a whole bunch of 6 year olds who will tear through a Rainbows fairy book in a week, then swap them with their friends.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: raise them young

        I, for one, don't think this is some kind of an underhand manipulation. Sounds a pretty straightforward proposition to parents - buy a second kindle for your child and we will try to make it more enticing for the kid to read books on it. Fairly honest, as far as marketing attempts go and would be a win-win if works.

        In my case, my kids still prefer multi-screen dead-tree readers for books, so it won't be an option for me just yet...

      2. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: raise them young

        anecdotal evidence, which is two kids at home, and talking to parents with kids of similar age. For "big data", I can only see the aftershocks, i.e. how hard the school tries to promote reading. Presumably this is a microscale effect of some wider results.

        btw, when I say "kids don't read for pleasure", I don't mean "100%". I mean: "huge majority"

        btw2, when I was young (etc.) books were not exactly taken up by a majority, but I have a more than a vague memory it was more a mainstream pastime, while now it appears to be a fringe one. Never mind the reasons, but I'm pretty sure it's a fact.

      3. Squander Two

        Re: raise them young

        My first doesn't tend to read for pleasure -- because she was put off it by the bastard fuckwit teachers at her last school. We yanked her out of there, and she no longer detests it like she did, but it's still far from her first choice of hobby. However, she is hooked on gadgets, and I'm pretty sure this scheme would work well for her. Whether she's a typical use-case, I have no idea. But, when this comes to the UK, sign me up.

        My second can't read yet, but loves books anyway. Pretty sure she'll still love them when she learns to read.

        > Julia Donaldson, David Walliams, Lauren Childs, Jacqueline Wilson

        Oliver Jeffers, AA Milne, Andy Stanton, and of course Roald Dahl.

    2. jake Silver badge

      Re: raise them young

      Indeed.

      "It'll be better than Heroin!" --Guy Kawasaki

  7. Graham Marsden
    Facepalm

    “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

    So you're paying for something that looks like a tablet, feels like a tablet, but doesn't do what a tablet does, meaning it's more cost-effective to buy a bloody tablet and install the Kindle app on it...

    If you want, you can then lock it down (and if your kids learn how to bypass the lock, congraulations, you've just contributed to their education!)

    1. Anonymous Coward
      FAIL

      Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

      "meaning it's more cost-effective to buy a bloody tablet and install the Kindle app on it..."

      Go on then, read for an hour on a Ipad, put it away, start up again 8 hours later, put away for a day, pick up, read, put away and repeat for 3 weeks. Without charge, without having to wait for it to power up and shut down.

      I challenge you.

      1. Vladimir Plouzhnikov

        Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

        Graham's eyes will challenge him.

        Reading on an e-ink screen is by far superior than doing it on an LCD...

      2. Graham Marsden

        Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

        I don't use an iPad, but in recent months I've read through the entirity of Iain M Banks' sci-fi books, the whole "Prelude to Dune" series and just finished Frank Herbert's Dune (with the rest of the series to come) on the Kindle software on my Motorola Moto G without problem.

        It takes all of a couple of seconds to switch the phone on from standby and re-open the Kindle app and I charge the phone when I go to bed.

        And, of course, I don't have to carry around two devices when I only need one.

        PS and it cost £120 and does a lot more than just let me read books...

        1. Squander Two

          Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

          I personally have no problem reading on a phone or tablet screen, so use the Kindle app on my phone. I also have it set to white text on black background, which I prefer. However, I understand from others that both these things mark me out as weird.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

      Uses a different technology.

      Cheaper to produce.

      Better at being a reader.

      Less expensive than a Tablet (by a large margin.. and don't go quoting your Cell provider's price unless you include the contract markup)

      It isn't a tablet with limited capabilities. It is a completely different item all together. It is also MUCH better at being a reader than a tablet is.

      I get what you're saying, but it doesn't really apply. It is a purpose-built "tool" with a specific function.

      Should we all buy Semi trucks instead of cars? I mean... they can haul more.. so better yes? Or how about motorcycles? We could fill more parking if everyone rode one instead of a car.

      If you need the extra functions, buy the device which meets your needs. If you want something specific for digital books, a Kindle (not Kindle Fire) is an appropriate option.

      1. Old Handle

        Re: “unlike tablets, Kindle is designed just for reading”

        You most certainly can get a tablet for a similar price (with no contract). There are advantages to the e-ink devices (battery life and better readability in daylight) but I don't think the price is really one of them.

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