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Old 01-10-2013, 11:18 AM   #202
Elfwreck
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Posts: 5,142
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Join Date: Nov 2008
Location: SF Bay Area, California, USA
Device: Clié; PRS-505; EZR Pocket Pro, PRS-600, Kobo Mini
Quote:
Originally Posted by jocampo View Post
ereaders are not selling like before not because there are no more innovations that can be made but because people actually prefer tablets. Also, eink technology has not progressed fast enough as probably tablets and LCD has.
And because the enhancements that people want from ereaders aren't being explored, so people who'd be happier with better ereaders are opting for tablets because at least those have *some* new features.

Things ereaders don't have:
  • In-device management of categories/groups/tags
  • Limited search ("search only my scifi books")
  • Good zoom for images; good table display (allowing zoom & scroll)
  • Bookmarking that connects with coded bookmarks/toc
  • Bookmarks-with-notes, so you can tag "quote this in the report" vs "find supporting details" vs "reread later."
  • Navigation that works well across 1000+ ebooks
  • Accurate battery meters (...maybe some devices have this?)
  • Accurate page counts (some devices have this for some filetypes)
  • Support for editable formats--doc/rtf/html (again, some devices...)
  • In-devices editable metadata for non-DRM'd ebooks (fix title & author so they alphabetize correctly)
  • Ability to tag 2-4 ebooks to swap between easily; ability to tag 2-4 chapters to swap between easily
  • Clear indication of filetypes; manuals/instructions that clearly indicate the features & limitations of each
  • Better PDF support

... I can probably come up with more. Commercial ereader software development has stagnated, which has prevented the devices from growing into the business and academic markets. Tablets and netbooks aren't generally any better at those things than ereaders, but at least they also play games and watch videos.

Plenty of college students would LOVE a dedicated ereader that allowed 30 hours of reading on a battery charge and stored all their books... setting aside the fact that textbook publishers are wary of the digital market, the current set of ereaders don't support strong academic use. Bouncing between titles is troublesome; bookmarking is, at best, quirky; no device's instructions clearly describe how it can best be used for academic study & research.

The market's slowing because casual fiction readers mostly have a device; there's no reason to get a new one every year or two because the reading features haven't improved. Displays aren't notably more customizable; sorting/searching titles isn't faster or easier; bookmarks & annotations aren't more robust. No wonder sales are slowing.
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