SEATTLE, WA – Amazon.com, Inc. (motto: “Death to Malls!”) today unveiled the first new version of its Kindle ebook reader. Called the Kiddle, it’s a pop-up ebook reader designed for infants and toddlers too young to get roped into buying the expensive, difficult-to-use Kindle, which has few titles for children other than the adventure series, “Where In The World Is Jeff Bezos Shipping Kindles To Today?”
Interviewed at a Kindle rally in Sante Fe, New Mexico, where he had just spoken to a roaring crowd of four satisfied Kindle users, Amazon CEO Jeff Bezos held up a bright orange Kiddle and said, “My goal is to put a Kiddle in the sticky little hands of every child in the world and to replace “Mama” and “Dada” as a baby’s first two words with “Free Shipping!”
The $400 Kiddle is a standard Kindle installed in a durable, drool-proof plastic case mounted on the side of a classic Jack-in-the-Box musical toy with the clown’s head removed and replaced with plug-in pop-up scenes to accompany Kiddle kiddie ebooks. “We send the old clown heads to Stephen King up in Maine,” said Bezos. “I think he’s using them to build the world’s scariest amusement park.” The Kiddles are assembled in China by infants and toddlers who get their manufacturing instructions from pop-up manuals on Kiddles installed on the assembly line. “Sure, they only make 25 cents and hour, but since they’re not in school, they’ll eventually earn enough to buy one and become lifelong satisfied Kiddle users,” said Bezos.
Like the Kindle, Bezos projects sales of Kiddles to reach a bazillion within its first year on the market. Because sales figures for the Kindle are tightly controlled, no one really knows how many have actually been sold so far, and many industry experts suspect the bulk of Kindles seen in public are actually old Etch-A-Sketches disguised with paint and duct tape.
So far, very few children’s pop-up classics are available for the Kiddle. Each is shipped with a free pop-up ebook written especially for the Kiddle called “Fish Swim, Birds Fly, Mommies Shop At Amazon.” Others pop-ups in the works are “Fun With Dick and Jane Doing Book Reviews,” “Harry Potter and the Man of UPS” and “Hop On Pop’s MasterCard.”
In Cupertino, California, rumors are flying that Apple engineers have obtained an early Kiddle model and are attempting to reverse-engineer the product into Apple’s own pop-up ebook reader for infants, code-named the “Death-to-Bezos-pod.”