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Old 10-11-2012, 05:57 PM   #1
GlenBarrington
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Does anyone understand how this $13 reader works?

I THINK it uses your iPhone or Droid as the download device, but I'm not certain. At $13 a piece, I could forgive a LOT of problems!

http://news.yahoo.com/13-txtr-beagle...DNARzZWMDbG5fR
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Old 10-11-2012, 10:25 PM   #2
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Here: http://www.the-digital-reader.com/20...appy-hardware/

First, it *doesn't* cost US$13, it costs 60 euros. To get down to the annnounced 10 euros it relies on a carrier subsidy from a long-term contract for a cellphone.
Second, it really isn't an ebook reader; it is an eink image viewer, close kin to a digital picture frame.
Third, it is fed up to a maximum of five files from a proprietary android app that *converts* the real ebooks you bought on the phone into the uncompressed image files it displays.

Still interested?
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Old 10-12-2012, 05:51 AM   #3
GlenBarrington
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I continued to investigate. . .

After I posted here, and the result is that I have concluded that it is far enough from what is currently industry practice and standards that its success and desirability is highly doubtful.

And the business model that I would think would be required to make this non-standard device economically viable wouldn't be that good a deal for the consumer. (though the current business models aren't always that good a deal for consumers either!)

On the other hand, as a consumer, I'd like them to pursue this a bit further, I could be all wet in my conclusions and radical new ideas aren't always bad.
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Old 10-12-2012, 07:54 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by GlenBarrington View Post
On the other hand, as a consumer, I'd like them to pursue this a bit further, I could be all wet in my conclusions and radical new ideas aren't always bad.
New ideas aren't bad, no.
But this particular approach doesn't really bring anything useful to the table--the cost savings are illusion (on both ends) and to get them the user has to jump through hoops and agree to conditions that the mainstream market long ago discarded.
It also ignores the primary lesson of Kindle one: consumers prefer their ebook readers to be as independent as possible. So, at this stage of the game, coming up with a reader that is nothing but a peripheral device--and a cellphone peripheral, at that, runs counter to what the market has *repeatedly* said. (C.F., Gemstar, Sony Librie)

The Beagle is clearly designed to address every possible concern the publishers and the carriers might have about customers breaking the intended usage pattern and the lack of onboard rendering to a proprietary bitmapped format is the ultimate form of DRM. It also takes away pretty much all forms of user control and anybody who actually pays for the device is quickly going to be seriously annoyed by its limits.

However, there *is* one use for which the Beagle would be eminently well-suited: as a B&M Library checkout reader. Txtr is currently owned by 3M and 3M is looking to get into the Library ebook business so delivering a turnkey system of an ebook kiosk and a couple dozen Beagles would allow patrons to check out up to five ebooks at a time in a form that not even the most paranoid of publishers can object to. So *if* Publishers were willing to license ebooks through such a system at substantially better terms and prices than they are currently demanding from libraries (enormous "if") the Beagle's limitations could be turned into limited virtues for people willing to travel to a physical location to borrow ebooks.

Other than that scenario, the Beagle is pretty much an attempt to answer a question no user would ask: "how restrictive a reading device will consumers pay for?"
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Old 10-12-2012, 08:12 AM   #5
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No, I still don't understand it. I, as a consumer, would pay my phone company a monthly fee to use it? Did any of the articles give an idea what the monthly fee would be? Or it would be included in the phone contract I already have?

Downloading the text as page images would presumably take away one of the big benefits of an ereader: ability to make the text larger.

eP
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Old 10-12-2012, 11:52 AM   #6
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No, I still don't understand it. I, as a consumer, would pay my phone company a monthly fee to use it? Did any of the articles give an idea what the monthly fee would be? Or it would be included in the phone contract I already have?

eP
The model I saw discussed isn't one of explicit subscription fees.
Simply that the 10 euro price is *only* available when buying a new cellphone and signing up for phone service. That means the 10 euros is effectively a downpayment and the other 50 euros of the cost are hidden in with the monthly phone bill.

That puts it in the same category as the "free" toasters and "free" Kindles that some banks offer when you open a new account. Or the "free lunches" that gave us TINSTAAFL!

It's all a mirage.
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