Although I haven’t been able to share or source all of what I have learned about the Kindle 2.0 in recent weeks, yesterday I received an Amazon Customer Service email that I feel perfectly free to share, and it encourages a very specific conclusion about how Amazon will handle back-orders for Kindle units once it rolls out the Kindle 2.0 with a big-splash press conference in New York on February 9. Here’s what “Ken I,” which I suspect is as much his first name as “Help-You” is his last name, had to say (minus the boiler-plate stuff):
Thanks for asking about when a new version of the Kindle will be released.
We’ve made no announcement about the next generation Kindle, so I can’t answer your question. However, if I were you, I would not cancel my order. I suspect you’ll be happy. If you need help with your Kindle or a Kindle order, please contact customer support at 1-866-321-8851.
As a reminder, the Kindle now has over 210,000 books, magazines, and blogs available for wireless delivery, with no computer required.
I hope this helps. We look forward to your next visit.
Now, as you know, I do some writing about Amazon and its products, and I occasionally send in “checker” questions just to see how the company will respond, particularly about products-in-the-pipeline issues. I often feel like the responses I get have been drafted by Amazon’s corporate lawyers. But I loved the existential felicity of this one, and — I’m saying this with appreciation — if anything there may have been corporate psychologists involved in drafting its language about what Ken I. would do if he were me, and about what will make me happy.
Here’s the point: They’ve told me nothing, but they have told me everything. No company in the world knows its customers better than Amazon, and Amazon knows very well that the only thing that will make me happy, as someone who placed a new Kindle order on January 2, will be the chance to receive a Kindle 2.0 as soon as it is ready to ship in February.
So, dusting off the Humanities 6 literary analysis skills that I learned at Harvard back in the Spring of 1969, I parse Ken I’s message to say: “Don’t cancel your Kindle order, because it will hold your place in line for a Kindle 2.0. We’ll contact you as soon as the Kindle 2.0 launch becomes official and arrange, with your approval and perhaps a few extra bucks, to ship you the newest version of the Kindle.”
Just as obviously, anyone with a Kindle order in the pipeline will have a chance to review the new Kindle 2.0 feature set before giving approval to the Kindle 2.0 shipment, and to cancel the Kindle order altogether if the new feature set is unappealing. So, if you want to be one of the first in line for a new Kindle 2.0 when the units begin to ship, Amazon is making it very easy for you to order a new Kindle from Amazon’s main Kindle buying page, if you have not done so already.