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RogerS's Avatar
Posts: 772 | Thanked: 183 times | Joined on Jul 2005 @ Montclair, NJ (NYC suburbs)
#1
In case you hadn't noticed, ebook sales are rocketing up and up and up. (Well, it is my field, so I have.) Just in order to buy an ebook from Amazon, you have to first buy a $360 Kindle; yet in little more than a year, 10 percent of Amazon's total book sales were ebooks. Of course, its book catalog includes millions of different titles, but only 300,000 or so are available as ebooks. For titles sold in both p and e, the ebook portion is already 35 percent.

This is relevant, I think, because the Internet Tablet with its 225-pixel-per-inch screen resolution has always suggested itself as a top-rank ereader.

Is this really viable or am I delusional (as often before about ebooks)?

French ebook maker Bookeen says three different ebook markets are forming: one for education (eg, must have big screen), one for general book reading and one for reading both book and newspaper-y content. These last two, for convenience sake, Bookeen dubs the "book iPod" and the "book iPhone." A "book iPhone" necessarily includes a 3G or WiFi connection, else content can't be kept fresh.



Amazon, of course, straddles all three markets, with its 10-inch Kindle DX and free-3G, thin-as-a-pencil Kindle 2. Critically, you can read Kindle-DRMed ebooks on an iPhone as well; and Amazon just acquired the Stanza ereader, the hugely successful iPhone app.

It's easy for me to say the Kindle and Stanza apps belong on the Internet Tablet, but who here knows what Amazon will do?

The Nokia N810 fits in your pocket, already runs Flash, has a keyboard and that 800-pixel-wide screen, and includes built-in WiFi. It equals or surpasses the iPhone as an ereader in every respect except one walkaround connectivity. But Amazon's success hinges in part on the synching between different ereading devices, and the lack of 3G could blackball the N810 as an Amazon platform.

Next generation then. If people at Nokia think the billion-dollar ebook market could boost the NIT too, I hope they get Amazon on the phone.

Some 2.2 million people are going to be buying an awkward monochrome, monopurpose device like the Kindle this year and next just so they can feed their reading habit. Think how many would be happy paying their money for a full-color, Flash-capable, pocket-size Internet Tablet. It's got to be a lot, I think.
Read post at itT

Last edited by RogerS; 2009-05-19 at 15:39. Reason: Correcting paragraphing
 
krisse's Avatar
Posts: 1,540 | Thanked: 1,014 times | Joined on Feb 2007
#2
Some 2.2 million people are going to be buying an awkward monochrome, monopurpose device like the Kindle this year and next just so they can feed their reading habit. Think how many would be happy paying their money for a full-color, Flash-capable, pocket-size Internet Tablet. It's got to be a lot, I think.
It's a fascinating idea, but the comparison somewhat misses the point of the Kindle's screen. Yes it is monochrome, but the reason it costs a fortune is because it uses an e-ink screen which is much easier to read than LCD displays.

If you think about it, why on earth would Amazon use a monochrome screen if it had no clear advantage over a colour one?

Unless the new Maemo devices are as easy to read as e-ink, they won't really be competition for things like the Kindle.
 
speednut's Avatar
Posts: 75 | Thanked: 82 times | Joined on Feb 2008 @ Silicon Valley
#3
Originally Posted by krisse View Post
It's a fascinating idea, but the comparison somewhat misses the point of the Kindle's screen. Yes it is monochrome, but the reason it costs a fortune is because it uses an e-ink screen which is much easier to read than LCD displays.

Unless the new Maemo devices are as easy to read as e-ink, they won't really be competition for things like the Kindle.
Actually, the Maemo screen is vastly superior to the ultra low contrast ridiculously priced e-ink screens. I've read hundreds of full length ebook novels on various devices from a US Robotics Pilot and Rocket eBook to my current N810, and have never been tempted by the e-ink devices. Even the dinosaur Rocket eBook reader has a much better display quality than the e-ink screens. The only good thing about the e-ink devices is the low power requirements. The contrast on these devices is poor, the text font is pixellated, and you have to have a light on to read it due to no back lighting (or sony's ineffective crappy side lighting). Crazy thing is you can currently get a N810 on Amazon right now for less than a kindle! N810 fits perfectly in my pocket and is with me everywhere allowing spontaneous ebook reading whereas that's impossible to do with the kindle and would frequently get left behind.

Now if FBreader would only add proper support for CSS rendering and add bookmarking, it would be the greatest ebook reader of all.
 

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#4
Amazon may believe that a lack of 3G is bad but I just see it just another way of charging us and income for Amazon. As an e-book reader, wifi is certainly prevalent enough to download any books and to even keep updated on daily newspapers/magazines. I would prefer to read something on the N810 and if it had an application to read the text to me, it would be great.
 
RogerS's Avatar
Posts: 772 | Thanked: 183 times | Joined on Jul 2005 @ Montclair, NJ (NYC suburbs)
#5
Originally Posted by krisse View Post
Unless the new Maemo devices are as easy to read as e-ink, they won't really be competition for things like the Kindle.
I don't mean primarily "as competition for ... the Kindle" or other e-Ink ereaders.

I mean, like the iPhone, as an adjunct or partner to the Kindle people buying Amazon's ebooks are relying heavily on the iPhone to read their books at times when their Kindle is unavailable.

The synching between your Amazon-registered devices is a key feature lifting the Kindle experience above Sony and other ereaders. It's way more critical than is being acknowledged (and is why Amazon may require 3G before porting its readers to any device).

Roger S
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Posts: 4,556 | Thanked: 1,622 times | Joined on Dec 2007
#6
I think it also has to do with the whole.. hmm this book looks interesting in a store, why not buy it online with my 3G access. Thus as you said, getting revenue for Amazon.

Though speaking with people I know who are interested in ebook readers aren't interested in 3G (they'd be primarily using it for reading PDFs outside in the sunlight). A friend of mine was asking me for advice about it a while back since she is going to intern at Google over the summer.
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Originally Posted by ysss View Post
They're maemo and MeeGo...

"Meamo!" sounds like what Zorro would say to catherine zeta jones... after she slaps him for looking at her dirtily...
 
pixelseventy2's Avatar
Posts: 357 | Thanked: 115 times | Joined on Sep 2007 @ Sunny England :)
#7
There is one major factor for me which makes me fancy an e-ink reader, the battery life. I mostly read fiction and monochrome text books, so mono e-ink doesn't bother me. I reguarly read fiction happily using fbreader, but I've not had pleasant experiences doing the same with PDFs. I really like the look of the Kindle DX or other large-format e-ink readers for textbooks.
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qole's Avatar
Moderator | Posts: 7,109 | Thanked: 8,802 times | Joined on Oct 2007 @ Vancouver, BC, Canada
#8
Originally Posted by speednut View Post
Now if FBreader would only add proper support for CSS rendering...
Wouldn't it be cool to build an e-book reader using a real browser engine like Webkit? If you want to read non-HTML files, simply convert to HTML before rendering.

Of course, I immediately start thinking about using this mythical e-book reader in conjunction with something like httrack to fill up my device with all of the blogs, news sites, etc, and then read them at my leisure on my commute or whatever...
 
Posts: 1,418 | Thanked: 1,541 times | Joined on Feb 2008
#9
Originally Posted by speednut View Post
Actually, the Maemo screen is vastly superior to the ultra low contrast ridiculously priced e-ink screens.
NIT screen is too small physically to make it a better reading experience than larger e-ink screens. Things only start getting interesting when you screen is about the size of a paperback page.

Nevertheless, I also regularly use NIT for reading and agree that it is really good for that. Just not as good as physically larger e-ink based ebook readers.
 
Posts: 3,319 | Thanked: 5,607 times | Joined on Aug 2008 @ Finland
#10
Originally Posted by qole View Post
Wouldn't it be cool to build an e-book reader using a real browser engine like Webkit? If you want to read non-HTML files, simply convert to HTML before rendering.
I actually tried this as it's all too easy to do Unfortunately, waay too slow on current-gen mobile devices with book size documents (especially if you have some formatting).
 
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