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Kindle 3G - ink screen problems again

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Showing 1-22 of 22 posts in this discussion
Initial post: 6 Feb 2014 00:17:35 GMT
SMJ says:
I bought a Kindle 3G in June 2011. All good until April 2012 when the screen went to bits in terms of the ink being all over the place. Amazon replaced the Kindle. Not too happy with what was clearly a design defect, but the replacement service was fine. The same problem's occurred again. We're in an era of disposable products (sadly) but two and a half years of life for a relatively basic piece of technology at a not particularly cheap price? I won't be buying another Kindle and will probably go back to reading more books in hard copy. Less convenient but more reliable.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 05:55:00 GMT
If the second worked then it obviously is not a design defect, more a mind defect.
Enjoy your paper books.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 06:22:12 GMT
Denis Powell says:
My Kk 3G is in use every day and is now nearly 3.5 years old. Many people still have and use the original KKs purchased in 2007 and Amazon have stated in their accounts that they make no profit on the sale of Kindles until after they've been in use for, on average, 3 years when the profit on the sale of ebooks will have covered all costs.

The e-ink screens are quite fragile due to the construction and repeated stress can cause the layers to separate over time. One company that replaces screens has reported that over 90% of devices it sees show clear signs of the screens failing through stress.

The design flaw, if there is one, is, in my opinion, that the materials used, while making the device thin and light, also allows it to flex slightly if not protected by a sturdy case. Over a period of time that flexing may cause the screen to fail. Mine hasn't been out of its case for over 3 years and has survived being stuffed into a rucksack and buried under pounds of vegetables in a shopping bag.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 08:08:06 GMT
Clagg says:
My Kindle keyboard has been fine for the three and a half years I have had it. It has been abused too and still works. Things don't just break for no reason; you must have done something. It isn't "clearly a design defect" unless you're an electrical component engineer and have looked at thousands of Kindles. Which you clearly haven't.

One post from you, however, has confirmed a few things.

Good bye, enjoy your old fashioned books. Whilst you're reading, try any book which advises on how to look after electronic devices.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 08:24:32 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2014 08:25:24 GMT
Damaskcat says:
Mine has been in constant use for 3.5 years and is absolutely fine.

It's how you treat the that matters. Keep them in a sturdy case and they are fine - keep them in a fancy case which doesn't protect them and the screens break - simple.

At - currently 59 - for the basic Kindle I think they're cheap. You don't have to buy the most expensive model.

Posted on 6 Feb 2014 09:11:05 GMT
SMJ says:
Ill mannered lot, aren't you?

Actually, when it broke the first time, the reaction I got from the Amazon support desk was completely unsurprised that this had happened under warranty and indicated that it was a common problem. That's rather more of an indicator of a design problem than individual examples of kindles not going wrong - that's what known as going from the particular to the general.

As it happens, both my Kindles have been kept at all times in a particularly sturdy case (bought specifically because it was protective rather than decorative), not dropped and not kept under heavy items.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 09:14:13 GMT
Damaskcat says:
Strange that 3 of us have had the same Kindle for longer than you and they've all been relatively speaking ill treated yet none of us have had a screen fail.

The e-ink screens are fragile - that isn't a design flaw it's just the way they are because they are made of very thin layers of glass.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 10:54:15 GMT
ChrisJ says:
NOT a design problem, but is likely to be a very specific design choice.

Amazon probably knew the MTBF figures for the various components, and factored that into the cost of the devices vs the price the customer has to pay for the devices vs the cost of replacing broken units vs customer satisfaction of getting a device replaced.

The business model they decided on is that a few broken units that need replacing during warranty is better than asking for much tougher and stronger designs to ensure all 100% of Kindles keep working for 3 years.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 11:16:45 GMT
SMJ says:
Sensible response. I don't think there's a definitive answer, as there isn't enough publicly available information on the number of units that fail either within the warranty period or outside it but within a reasonable design life period. No doubt Amazon prefer that information not to be public. While, as one poster states, there are 3 people who have posted who have had a Kindle last for 3 years without problem, this doesn't exactly amount to a statistically significant sample. My having had 2 fail within fairly short periods isn't statistically significant either, of course. However, Amazon's response and what I've read elsewhere does suggest that it's not a particularly unusual problem and, as a lawyer, raises for me questions about satisfactory quality.

As a customer, my response is not to buy another Kindle, so Amazon loses not only my custom as a hardware purchaser, but also my profitable custom as a purchaser of e-books. So, as well as reading more books in hard copy (which I can pass on to my family and friends, unlike Amazon e-books), I'll buy a tablet and borrow e-books from the library, which I couldn't do with a Kindle. It's a business call by Amazon.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 11:24:12 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2014 11:25:26 GMT
Damaskcat says:
I'm not sure that any company makes that sort of information publicly available.

As you correctly state your experience and the experience of those of us who have had no problems is not statistically valid. Which? did a report some time ago which showed a 97% reliability rate for all brands of e-ink e-reader. As all e-ink e-readers use identical screens made by the same manufacturers that result is hardly surprising.

The most vulnerable part of any e-ink e-reader is the screen it's hardly surprising that it is the screen which goes wrong most often for whatever reason. I'm assuming that it is the most common problem but that is only a guess. There is always going to be one component of any electronic device which is more fragile than the rest.

Personally I much prefer reading e-books on e-readers than paper books. Portability, no storage issues, ability to increase the font size at will, no losing paper bookmarks. Even if I had to buy a new Kindle every year I still wouldn't want to go back to reading paper books all the time.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 13:25:35 GMT
You confuse excellent customer service with something being a not unusual problem.

Everybody whose Kindle breaks has only ever kept it on the softest of pillows and worn the best of leather gloves to operate it.

Some people don't learn. They continue to use a Kindle a certin way and moan it keeps breaking abrogating any personal responisiblity or cause to Amazon.

This is the second you have had that has broken in the same way. Something is going wrong, or you really are unlucky. Screens are very fragile, the way it is held and operated can cause stress fractures. A device failing twice in the same way would tend to indicate some user input into its failure - user defect rather than design defect.

It is odd that you say yours and others experience are not statistically significant but are quite happy to make a decision not to buy another Kindle based upon that insignifcance? Doesn't make sense at all.

And the tablet you buy will be more reliable?

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 14:14:00 GMT
SMJ says:
Dear me. Are you employed by Amazon or have shares in it?

No, I'm not confusing good customer service with not unusual problems. As I said quite clearly, the Amazon helpdesk said it was a common problem.

If I have two Kindles that break despite my keeping it (and I reiterate this) in a robust case and without knocking it about (and I didn't poke the screen, either) and conforming to such Amazon recommended operating instructions as are available, then that does not indicate user defect. But then you do seem to be suggesting that everyone whose Kindle fails is a liar and has been operating this device negligently.

And as I said previously, my decision not to buy another Kindle isn't just based on my own experience (though that clearly lends emotional weight to the decision), but is primarily based on Amazon's comments when the first one failed and the experiences of others.

A tablet may well be no more reliable than a Kindle, but I have no personal experience of failure, it doesn't have an e-ink screen (which posters geneally admit is fragile) and (depending on make) has significantly more functionailty for the same price.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 14:19:53 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2014 14:22:49 GMT
Damaskcat says:
Do you work for a publisher which is anti e-book?

No one on here works for Amazon many of us speak from getting on for four years experience of everything Kindle related.

The companies which replace Kindle screen confirm that 90% of the Kindles they see have had too much stress (weight or pressure) put on the screen causing it to break. I can't see they have any axe to grind in saying that but maybe you can think of a reason why they might be saying it if it isn't true.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 14:32:08 GMT
Denis Powell says:
If 1,000 people have the same problem, that could be said to then be a common experience but if 5,000,000 devices have been sold that's 1 device in 5,000 that fail in that way. Of course, none of us know what the actual figures are so it's not possible to come to a decision based on anything other than personal experience.

I have 5 e-ink Kindles registered to my account, one of which is over 3 years old and two others over 2 years old, all in virtually daily use. The 4th is over a year old, the latest only a few months.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 17:19:24 GMT
Clagg says:
Deary me. Now there is the real reason for the discontent ; her friends n family get her old books, you can't do that with ebooks. So the OP gets all silly, concentrating on a negative aspect without understanding it.

This has been done to death by other grumpy customers who can't look after their purchases.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 20:12:48 GMT
Last edited by the author on 6 Feb 2014 20:14:56 GMT
People have opinions. Often different to yours and often less prone to leap to wild assertions. It does not make those people Amazon employees as it neither makes you whatever you wish to call yourself.

Do not confuse excellent customer service with faults. Would you have prefrred Amazon CS to have said that you had broken it, it's a common problem?

I have in no way suggesting you are a liar or you are treating it negligently, unless your guilt has insisted upon interpreting so. I am saying that because the screen is fragile it may be user induced, a notion you are keen to ignore to remain fixed to your opinion. This has happened twice. Your choice how to interpret that however you like but you can't dismiss user cause and most certainly can't assert design faults.

Posted on 6 Feb 2014 20:44:00 GMT
Petercb says:
I bet Amazon are absolutely distraught at losing this customer! Wonder if the library or tablet manufacturer will give as good customer service?
My KK still going strong and has been all round the world with me.

In reply to an earlier post on 6 Feb 2014 21:01:13 GMT
essercizi says:
"Amazon helpdesk said it was a common problem."

But it's a helpdesk, which is mainly going to be dealing with - surprise surprise - problems. So what they said simply meant that screen failure was a common problem AMONGST THOSE THAT THEY DEALT WITH - which as has been discussed here is no surprise either, since the screen is probably the most fragile part of the device. But it's a fallacy to go from a help desk saying "we commonly see screen failures" to deducing that "screen failure is a common problem with Kindles"! As has been said, the actual failure rate is only about 3%, which is lower than many typical electronic devices, and one which most manufacturers would be only to happy to achieve.

To give a silly analogy, if you take wine glasses, the commonest problem is - they break easily. Is that a design flaw? Perhaps, but I for one prefer not to drink wine out of a tin mug, however reliable it might be. I treat my glasses carefully, and I have some that are decades old, but yes, they do sometimes break. Like e-ink screens, it's in the nature of the material, and although you could probably get super-strong screens (and wine glasses), they'd cost a lot more than most people would be willing to pay.

Posted on 7 Feb 2014 00:11:35 GMT
SMJ says:
I have genuinely not come across such a remarkably rude and ill mannered collection of keyboard warriors for a long time. But then I don't deal with people who have such an - emotional - relationship with their technology. I'll leave you to it, for fear that you may chase me out of the forest in a mad horde, sharpened pieces of broken printing presses in your hands.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2014 06:55:08 GMT
Bombastic, stubborn and ignorant posts tend to illicit replies in the same mould. Unfortuntely you have come onto a forum which has enlightened you to the simple fact that you are not always right and that your prejudices are not something to resoluely stick to in the face of overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Hang on, it's called the real world. Enlightening isn't it.

Posted on 7 Feb 2014 06:56:29 GMT
Clagg says:
Get over yourself SMJ. You really have put yourself on a pedestal haven't you.

What folk are saying is that the "problem" isn't as common as you think and you probably busted it yourself through rough handling.

In reply to an earlier post on 7 Feb 2014 08:50:49 GMT
Damaskcat says:
Your own emotional reaction and inability to use logic and reason as demonstrated by your posts of course doesn't matter.
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Discussion in:  kindle discussion forum
Participants:  8
Total posts:  22
Initial post:  6 Feb 2014
Latest post:  7 Feb 2014

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