|The evolution path for Kindle (or etextbook readers) appears to be towards LARGER dimensions. This is quite the opposite of the way ipods and other mp3-players were progressing. This is a critical difference IMHO.|
The framing/focussing screens on the backs of digital cameras are getting larger also. Eyes vs. ears. I chose the Kindle DX over the smaller form factor because I find it physically more comfortable to hold in my hands, and the larger screen allows the same amount of (or more) text to appear in a larger font, an advantage for me and I imagine more than a few others. One of the three dimensions, the thickness, did in fact decrease between the generations. But one among several major forces acting on the Kindle's evolution is IMHO ergonomics.
The Kindle and similar products are in their infancy which admittedly doesn't last long for this type of technology product. Color is just a matter of screen, CPU and battery technology moving along a cost curve. Professional journalists now frequently discuss its (or its successor's) role in the unknown future of print periodicals.
The amount of available content is increasing rapidly and is also just a matter of time. I'm already pleasantly surprised at the availability of new books more often than I am disappointed at the unavailability of old ones. Last week our seven-year-old granddaughter came to visit. She is just discovering the joys of reading "chapter books" on her own. She and I browsed the selection of childrens' books available for immediate Kindle download. We found the first 15 books in the Wizard of Oz series, complete with black-and-white versions of the original beautiful illustrations, for 99 cents. Not 99 cents each; 99 cents total for all fifteen books, delivered over the cell network within a few minutes. She took my Kindle, crawled under the dining room table (which is well-lit by a nearby window), and was not heard from for about two hours until her mother came to get her.
I have no answer to the DRM and cost objections. The Kindle is currently a niche product targeted at people who don't care about those issues, but eventually that must change and it will.