Thursday, December 3, 2009

E-Reader Predictions

From a Forrester blog: Ten eReader and eBook predictions for 2010.

It’s an interesting read, and I tend to agree with things. Once there are alternatives to e-Ink, I think we’ll have an explosion of devices, and the inclusion of the e-paper in other devices. I also think Amazon will retain the large market share, but that will go down. The B&N entry, with their book collection as well as the ability to read Google public domain books and lend the books to other people is big. At least to me. I’d like to be able to let someone try a book for a few days and see if they want to buy it.

I really think the winners will start to come when people get get books from multiple sources and consolidate them. For me, I’ve enjoyed reading on the iPhone for the last 5-6 months. It’s worked well, and being able to spend money at Amazon and B&N, as well as get free books on Stanza has been great. I’d like one reader app, but the iPhone works well for me now. And I like it because I sometimes get GCs for Amazon, sometimes for B&N.

I think Amazon messed up trying to control things too much. They should have spun off the Kindle after a year, opened it to books from other sources, and added clients for other platforms. That would have made it hard for B&N to even enter the market. Instead they tried to control the whole platform. Even Apple can’t do that, with lots of non-iPod MP3 players as well as computers.

I’m not sure when I’d buy another special purpose device for reading. I read a lot, 50-70 books a year, and while the screen on the Kindle is much, much better than the iPhone, it’s not $300 better. I’m not sure it’s $200 better, maybe $100 better and even then I’d probably not carry the Kindle device as much since I have an iPhone app.

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