Originally Posted by BillSmithBooks
There are lots of MP3 players right now with 2.8-3 inch LCD screens, with MP3 players, photo viewers, text ebook reading programs, and movie players. Some even have games on them.
Retailing for $25 on Ebay or through sites like Geeks.com.
If the pricing trends continue (and they have generally followed the same price curve as the above mentioned MP3 players), I think that $25 price point for a very basic reader is a distinct possibility in the next year or two.
Those programs are pretty simple, and I think it would be easy for a company that has the resources in place to produce such hardware (based on the cheap system-on-chip products already available), and license the software at a cheap price. But I really don't believe it's the same for an ereader. I doubt that there is any piece of software for reading epub/mobi/pdf that efficiently runs on embedded systems; it's just too complex (even without DRM).
We'd need to see hardware like the Raspberry Pi continue to shrink and get cheaper before we can have a full, general computing OS running at that price inside an ereader. It may eventually happen, but I think we need other markets (with complex software) to come in and make it more economically viable.