Fool analyst Rex Moore says Amazon.com's (Nasdaq: AMZN ) new Kindle 3 is great in almost every way. It's easier to read than its predecessors and lighter; it has greater battery life and a tempting $139 price tag for the Wi-Fi-only unit. The one big flaw is it can't check out e-books from the library like almost every one of its competitors can (with the notable exception of Apple's (Nasdaq: AAPL ) iPad).
Not many people know you can check out library books from the comfort of your home and download them to your e-reader. They expire after a set amount of time and can't be read unless they're checked out again. (Check with your local library to see if it offers e-books, and how large its collection is.) This is quite an amazing feature; if more folks knew about this, it might really accelerate e-reader sales.
Rex doesn't expect Amazon to support the ePUB format anytime soon, for competitive reasons. Management wants to keep a proprietary, closed format to keep Kindle owners buying e-books from the Kindle store. This greatly increases switching costs, because when it's time to buy a new device, a user with dozens of e-books won't switch to a device that can't display them.
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