Charging ahead: e-book design and popularity win Kindle creators Innovation Award -United Kingdom
The Economist recognises Jeff Bezos and Gregg Zehr for their contribution in popularising the handheld e-book
The Amazon Kindle catalysed the e-book market when it was introduced on November 19th 2007. Its creators Jeff Bezos and Gregg Zehr have been named as this year’s winners in the category of consumer-product innovation by The Economist, as part of its annual Innovation Awards, now in their tenth year. The award recognises both the success of the Kindle and the role its creators have played in popularising e-books and e-readers more generally.
The Kindle was not the first e-reader, but it quickly became the most successful, thanks to its striking design and its fast, seamless downloading. The Kindle combined existing E Ink display technology with a new business model based on tight integration between the device and Amazon’s online book store. Wireless downloads over the cellular network take less than a minute and are free to the end user.
Tom Standage, Digital Editor at The Economist and chairman of the panel of 29 judges, said: “Jeff Bezos and Gregg Zehr turned an obscure product category into a huge new industry with their innovations in business model and hardware design. E-books now outsell paperbacks in America, and the Kindle accounted for 40% of e-readers sold in 2010. They are worthy recipients of our consumer-product innovation award.”
Jeff Bezos and Gregg Zehr and their innovation will be celebrated alongside this year’s award winners and a long line of previous winners in the “consumer products and services” category at this year’s Innovation Awards ceremony on October 20th 2011 at London’s Science Museum.
Previous winners include Steve Jobs for his leadership in the development of usable consumer products, specifically the iPhone and App Store; Steve Sasson for the development of the digital camera; Steve Chen and Chad Hurley for creating YouTube; and Shigeru Miyamoto of Nintendo for his work as an architect of the electronic gaming industry.
At the awards ceremony The Economist’s Editor-in-Chief, John Micklethwait, will announce the winner of a special Anniversary Award for the innovator of the decade, as chosen by Economist readers from previous winners of the Innovation Awards. The Economist is still inviting votes up until and during Friday, October 14th 2011.
For further information on the awards, current and previous winners and tables for purchase: www.economistinnovation.com
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*Audit Bureau of Circulations, January-June 2011