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Old 01-16-2008, 12:46 PM   #1
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Steve Jobs on the "iPod of reading"

Steve Jobs has something to say about electronic readers, exemplified by the Kindle, but probably likely also his view on the Sony Reader. Gizmodo reports:

Quote:
I love Steve Jobs. Why? Because when he speaks, he doesn't deal with details or nuance--everything is a sweeping proclamation. I like that. His take on Amazon Kindle, for instance, makes it pretty clear Apple won't be making the actual "iPod of reading":

"It doesn't matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don't read anymore... The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don't read anymore."
I sure hope he is completely wrong...

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Old 01-16-2008, 01:00 PM   #2
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Oddly enough, we are reading his pronouncement that reading is dead.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:03 PM   #3
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This doesn't make things look too promising for an iBook.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:04 PM   #4
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seems that we are a dying race
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:14 PM   #5
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Darn. I was hoping that apple would jump into the e-book world.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:17 PM   #6
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I think Jobs is out of touch with reality and thinks we don't read books. Well I know for one that I do read and I read a lot.

We don't need more junk (yes, the iPhone is junk) from Apple. And the iPod Touch/iPhone do not sound all that good for an mp3 player.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:18 PM   #7
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People don't read anymore? That's the dumbest thing I've ever heard this jerk say. Every time people browse the internet, they read. They read the news, they read forums, they read blogs... More than that, people write in replies and in their own blogs. People assume that because they see more people with cellphones than with newspapers or books that reading is dying. A similar assumption as been made about writing. It's not dying. Writing, I would argue, is growing at an exponential rate even if it's not academic writing. I the digital age, though, reading and writing is done on digital devices. You'd think someone like Jobs would understand that.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:20 PM   #8
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What I think Jobs meant was that we don't read books any more. Sure we read stuff on the net, magazines, newspapers, work related stuff, and what not, but books is the topic given it's about electronic book readers.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:23 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by JSWolf View Post
What I think Jobs meant was that we don't read books any more. Sure we read stuff on the net, magazines, newspapers, work related stuff, and what not, but books is the topic given it's about electronic book readers.
But ereaders aren't just for reading books. The Kindle markets newspaper and magazines. I download articles off the net for my Sony Reader all the time.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:27 PM   #10
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Jobs is no idiot. What he is saying (and illustrating via his product line) is that the visual and the aural (regularly transmitted by computer) are trumping (or already have trumped) old-fashioned reading. Reading, in his view I think, is an old technology. I hope he's wrong, but don't be too sure. In this country especially there are surveys allegedly showing that the present generation reads much less and I think that if you did a large survey of readers (especially books) today, you would find a much higher percentage of readers among those over 35 than under. The thought depresses me, but facts are facts.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:40 PM   #11
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I think there will be a new wave of young readers, with the harry potter books and with exciting gadgets as the ebook readers.
What would be the option? Audiobooks works but they are so slow... Portable media players that play movies, well it is possible but it doesn't feel right. With movies there is the other way around, they are ending to fast. You have to get a new movie every day (at least!) while a good book last at least a week, probobly longer.
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Old 01-16-2008, 01:54 PM   #12
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I would like to agree with you, but I can't. I am willing to bet that many of the young who saw the movie "Beowulf" had no idea there was a book by that name. I remember walking out of the movie "Troy" and hearing two youngsters mispronounce character names and complain about how the whole thing was unrealistic, without any idea of the books that were its source. The "Harry Potter" phenomenon is unique and I fail to see how by itself it can generate much interest in books per se. Such an interest has to be kindled (I own a Kindle, BTW) by family and schools, and I don't see that it is. Everything is being examined on a computer and I don't see computers leading to books.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:06 PM   #13
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Someone should tell the likes of J K Rowling that reading is dead....
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:08 PM   #14
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Yes, someone should tell that to Stephen King too.
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Old 01-16-2008, 02:15 PM   #15
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When he says people don't read, what a really hear him saying is that the vast majority of people don't read for pleasure in the same way they watch a movie or tv or the same way they listen to music. From every survey & poll on reading I've seen/read in the past few years he's right. The vast majority of the populace doesn't read. In some places fiction (& non fiction like bios) is more and more a niche market (a large niche, but still) when compared to markets like movies or music.

From my personal experience more people I know don't read or if they do it's one or two books a year.


That said it doesn't mean there's no market for ebooks. It simply means the market isn't as broad as it might be for something like MP3 players. He's thinking in terms of numbers he can sell, & appears to be thinking Apple would be better off spending its development time on something else.

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