It seems that each holiday season a few products emerge as the “must have” items. I try to have a little fun with this each year by predicting what the hot items for Christmas will end up being. This year I’m convinced that the Wii will stay hot, but that another product will make its way onto many must-have lists.
Recently, the Amazon Kindle was featured on Oprah. Not only was the Kindle featured, but Oprah gave her all out endorsement of the product saying that it changed her life so much she just had to shout it from the rooftops.
While Amazon’s Kindle released last fall, it really didn’t start getting mass-market traction until 2008. As more and more people tried it out, a few common themes emerged:
- Unlike most gadgets, the Kindle is not for geeks. It’s intuitive.
- The Kindle feels good. People report wanting to cuddle up with it.
- It preserves the joy of reading, unlike most electronic devices.
- No waiting for your book to ship. It makes hundreds of thousands of books, newspapers and magazines available at your fingertips
- Women are its primary user base, proving it’s not just for gadget geeks
- You can download new books almost anywhere a cell phone signal is availalbe
Oh, did I say that the Amazon Kindle got an Oprah endorsement?
While it’s always a risk to predict a hot gift item for Christmas, I feel pretty strongly that the Amazon Kindle will be in the top 10 and has the potential to become a high-demand novelty item for the middle-class just like the Nintendo Wii. And just like the Wii, it’s been designed with simplicity and ease of use in mind.