Oasis: A Kindle For The 0.1%

Like many of you I haven't read a physical book in years. In fact it's closer to a decade and a half. eBooks are just so convenient, accessible and portable that they override any argument about the tactile experience of owning a processed tree.

I tend to use two devices for reading, my phone and my tablet. As eBook software does a good job of syncing page position across devices it means that I can switch between the two at will. However when I'm travelling I see more and more people using Kindles. There's a good reason for this - screens that are far and away the easiest on the eye when reading and battery life which is measured in days or weeks, not hours.

Yesterday Amazon extended the Kindle range upward, with the new Oasis, which packs an upgraded screen, a thinner and lighter body; and a clever case design. All adding up to a premium experience. It is quite clearly a top of the range device designed to offer customers who want the best reading experience, the best reading experience.

And it's priced to reflect that fact.

Why the internet at large is so surprised at this last fact is beyond me. Some people want the premium experience and are prepared to pay for it. Amazon just gave them an option. It isn't designed to sell against $80 Kindles, instead it gives the company a spread of devices - which is really the whole point of selling a range of devices.

This may only be 5% better then other Kindles in the range, and the Oasis may make up less than 1% of Kindle sales, but in many ways its the most impressive part of Amazon's portfolio. Proof that the company can do more than just cheap box shifting, proof that it can make a device that compares favourably to physical books for the whole reading experience. 

Sometimes it's about more than just the numbers.


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