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A Promising Future for eBook Reader?

January 27, 2008

New York Times publishes a story about the future of book market and the prospect of e-reader: Freed from the Page, bu a Book Nonetheless (by Randall Stross; Jan. 27, 2008).

Music shows the way. The digitization of personal music collections began, however, only after the right combination of software and hardware — iTunes Music Store and the iPod — arrived. And as Apple did for music lovers, some company will devise an irresistible combination of software and hardware for book buyers. That company may be Amazon…..

The Kindle is expensive — $399 — but it sold out in just six hours after its debut on Nov. 19. Since then, supplies have consistently lagged behind demand, and a waiting list remains in place.

Yes, despite of the high price tag, Kindle has its advantages, the vast varieties of ebooks and the free wireless download of books.

However, for the prospect of the future book markets, the bad thing is that more and more people don’t read or read less as compared before (27% not read at all in US), but the good thing is that it has the same percentage of people who read a lot.

Introducing a fancy device may not help to lower the percentage of people who don’t read, but it may be a convenient tool for book readers to get books more easily. The main challenge is that many of avid readers prefer to the feelings of holding a real book instead of a device. This is mostly because these readers haven’t had a chance to get to know the benefits of ebook readers. If they don’t have a change to try it, say, in store, how can they appreciate the merits of this technology?

Beside Kindle, Sony also introduced a latest ebook reader product, PRS-505, in Oct, 2007 (It’s prettier, isn’t it? 😉 )

Check out the comparison table (Kindle vs PRS-505).

2 Comments leave one →
  1. February 6, 2008 2:28 am

    It’s weird for me that everybody’s talking about the portable readers in book reading terms. As a part of my job, I read tons of blogs. Although the business models for the RSS features aren’t even close to desirable, the prospect of being able to read them off the e-ink screen, in my sunny balcony, instead of off my computer screen in m office, is just plain magical, to me.
    I love the smell of books, too, but when I think about all the paper I wouldn’t have printed out… I’m just willing to make that sacrifice.

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  1. The Success of Amazon’s Kindle « Entangled

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