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Open Question: Have You Seen a Kindle in Public?

A flurry of new Kindle guesstimates and analyst predictions has reignited the Kindle number debate (something I’m not fond of). One of the oft-cited arguments is: “How can the Kindle be so popular if I’ve never seen one in public?”

There are big holes in this line of inquiry, but since it gets raised so often I figured a few device-spotting questions were worth posing to the TOC community:

  • Have you seen a Kindle in public? If so, where did you see it?
  • Have you seen a Sony Reader or other standalone e-reading device?
  • Have you seen more than one e-reader?
  • When did you first see an iPod in public? How about a cell phone?
  • When did iPods and cell phones transition from public novelties to commonplace items?

Please share your thoughts in the comments area.

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  • Jill

    I’ve seen Kindles on both airplanes and on commuter trains. Not a plethora certainly, but enough to persuade me that there have been sales. What I have mostly found in the contacts that I personally know with one is that they feel as if they are on to a great secret. They love it!

  • Perrin

    No, but I HAVE seen someone reading an ebook on an iPhone! Uh oh!

  • Katherine

    I’ve had a Sony Reader since last November, and since then I’ve been seeing them (and Kindles) here and there–probably even in numbers. Haven’t seen any other types, but since I don’t know what they look like, I might not recognize them.

    I’ve noticed people using them on planes, in the subways and in parks, and I’ve had quite a few people come up to me and ask me questions about the Reader, telling me that they’ve been thinking about getting one themselves. It’s an encouraging sign!

    I first started seeing iPods in public just as their enormous white headphone ad campaign went out, and within a year of that I saw them everywhere. I was too young to notice when cell phones crossed the tipping point, though.

  • Brennan

    I haven’t noticed a single eReader in public (Kindle, Sony or otherwise) although I’m only in an airport about once a quarter and there isn’t much in the way of public transportation in Indianapolis.

    This makes me wonder where people use the Kindle. At the airport, at home, in the office, etc.?

    I started seeing iPods in the summer of 2004.

  • http://rexblog.com Rex Hammock

    I was amazed last week when I saw two Kindles in the wild. On a flight from Orlando to Nashville, a woman in her mid-twenties sitting in front of me was using one. I also had breakfast with someone who was reading his Kindle as I walked up to meet him. In both cases, I discussed how awful we think the hardware is — and how great the download via EVDO feature is.

  • http://www.milliefern.etsy.com adie

    I actually saw a Kindle at a church. I had not seen one in person and was very intrigued. I don’t own one, but am becoming more interested, and like that they sync w/ an iphone.

  • http://www.milliefern.etsy.com adie

    I actually saw a Kindle at a church. I had not seen one in person and was very intrigued. I don’t own one, but am becoming more interested, and like that they sync w/ an iphone.