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Old 01-08-2010, 01:05 PM   #1
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Unhappy ending for e-readers?

An article on CNet is titled CES: E-readers' next chapter might not have happy ending

In part, they say:
Quote:
There were e-readers aplenty at the Consumer Electronics Show, but there's substantial doubt if there are enough interested buyers to go around.

"Just being able to read a book on a device has become totally commoditized," said Gartner analyst Allen Weiner.

Indeed, the special e-book zone on the CES show floor was packed with book readers that looked like Kindle cousins, many sporting a nearly identical-looking electronic ink displays and little else of note.
I agree, there will (as always) be a "bubble" and a "falling out" as the market develops. I personally think, long term, there will be a blending of the e-book reader and slate-computer markets, but that's been pretty well argued to death in another thread.

One particularly interesting quote from the article:
Quote:
Although most of the attention at CES was on new hardware, executives of Hearst-backed Skiff say their main goal is to build a good periodical platform and shopping experience that could someday power lots of devices, perhaps none of which the company would make itself.

"We want to lead by example with some cool devices and then get the hell out as fast as possible," said Skiff Chief Marketing Officer Kiliaen Van Rensselaer.
And, of course, a quote sure to stir up the "e-Ink forever" die-hards:

Quote:
Kurzweil, a pioneer in the digital reading arena in addition to being a computer industry luminary, says he just doesn't see that big a market for single purpose readers.

"People want to do everything--they want to watch their movies, they want to do all their computing, their e-mail on one platform," he said in an interview. "They don't want to take another device."
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:16 PM   #2
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And the market is proving Kurweil is correct when he says "People want to do everything--they want to watch their movies, they want to do all their computing, their e-mail on one platform," he said in an interview. "They don't want to take another device."

Devices that just to read books on are not that popular. Keyboards, mp3 support, wireless... that is what the market is hot for. Consider Kindle, Nook, Sony PRS-900 etc..... and the trend will continue.

Like I said in another post, in another 5 years is will be nearly impossible to buy a dedicated reading device. And the truth is there are very few such devices now.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:43 PM   #3
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MSNBC article

Another interesting article about slate/tablet devices on MSNBC:
Buy two tablets and call me in the morning

Quote:
There are going to be dozens of them from which to choose, and those on display at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas represent just the start of the slate onslaught.
Quote:
Generally, e-readers are stand-alone devices, like Amazon's Kindle, which happens to be in tablet form (most e-readers are). Tablets are viewed as Web- and entertainment-oriented — movies and TV — but can also be used to read, and generally have a touchscreen keyboard.
Quote:
HTC and Google are reportedly jointly working on a tablet.
Quote:
Enderle said he thinks "these new devices will eventually define the new decade. But it took most of the 1990s for laptops to reach their potential, and it will likely take a number of years for tablets to become the power they could be."
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:50 PM   #4
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ekaser View Post
Another interesting article about slate/tablet devices on MSNBC:
Buy two tablets and call me in the morning
Typical MSNBC fact checking.

HTC has had a tablet (The HTC Shift) for 2 years.
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Old 01-08-2010, 01:56 PM   #5
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Frankly, I don't think eInk is as much about the display (OLED screens can do very good black on white) but the fact that an eInk device can be used for days if not weeks on a single charge.

The convergence device currently has a major power problem. Look at the iPhone... its a phone, a PDA, a video viewer, and ebook reader. But, if you used it for most of the day other than keeping it in your pocket the battery dies before that day does.

BOb
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:08 PM   #6
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I think that for other devices it may be right that it is an advantage if they have a lot of different functions, but I like a reading device which is slim and has only a reading function. the developers can concentrate on the fundamental functions and can make them as perfect as they can and doesn't have to play around with useless gimmicks.

In my opinion such e-ink readers with a lcd screen on the bottom are really ugly and everything else than handy.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:19 PM   #7
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Quote:
"We want to lead by example with some cool devices and then get the hell out as fast as possible," said Skiff Chief Marketing Officer Kiliaen Van Rensselaer.
That seems like an odd statement from a company that is presenting their new eBook reader. They're basically saying "Buy our new cool device. Oh, by the way, we're going to bail out of this market ASAP". Makes you wonder what kind of support you're going to get from them down the road.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:25 PM   #8
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If they cannot make longer lasting batteries, I don't think that an all-in-one device can be considered a book reading device. It may be OK for the toilet break, though!

And iPhone is a good indicator, just like Bob put it above. The battery of mine goes flat after an hour of twitter, browsing etc. Being connected, GPS, etc. are very costly...

Last edited by yagiz; 01-08-2010 at 03:54 PM. Reason: typo
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #9
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Nonsense. That's like saying paper books should have died years ago, because people can do everything in a computer.

If people are buying books, then I can't see why won't they buy a dedicated device. It will help to centralize your books and save space.
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Old 01-08-2010, 02:27 PM   #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Shaggy View Post
That seems like an odd statement from a company that is presenting their new eBook reader. They're basically saying "Buy our new cool device. Oh, by the way, we're going to bail out of this market ASAP". Makes you wonder what kind of support you're going to get from them down the road.
I disagree. I see this as being somewhat analogous to the Netflix/Roku model.
Roku was the first to release Netflix watchnow device, but Netflix is pushing their platform to anybody who is willing to integrate it.
I see Skiff doing the same sort of thing except they are both focused on the device (ala Roku) and content (ala Netflix).


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Old 01-08-2010, 03:34 PM   #11
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I never pay these types of "e-readers are doomed" articles any mind. If you're reasonably tech savvy (and everyone on this forum probably is), you know how to convert any e-book format to just about any e-book format. And I'm sure that e-ink will continue to be used for years to come, and that we'll be able to find older e-ink devices for sale online in the unlikely event that they're discontinued.

I'll always have a Sony 505 or something similar to read my books on, and I'll always find a way to convert them.

So I'm not worried.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:29 PM   #12
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Bremen Cole View Post
And the market is proving Kurweil is correct when he says "People want to do everything--they want to watch their movies, they want to do all their computing, their e-mail on one platform," he said in an interview. "They don't want to take another device."
Devices that just to read books on are not that popular. Keyboards, mp3 support, wireless... that is what the market is hot for. Consider Kindle, Nook, Sony PRS-900 etc..... and the trend will continue.
Like I said in another post, in another 5 years is will be nearly impossible to buy a dedicated reading device. And the truth is there are very few such devices now.
I agree with most of your comments except for one key area I don't believe dedicated readers will cease to exist they will just be a lot cheaper. You still find dedicated mp3, pda, etc.
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Old 01-08-2010, 04:36 PM   #13
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Quote:
Originally Posted by pilotbob View Post
Frankly, I don't think eInk is as much about the display (OLED screens can do very good black on white) but the fact that an eInk device can be used for days if not weeks on a single charge.

The convergence device currently has a major power problem. Look at the iPhone... its a phone, a PDA, a video viewer, and ebook reader. But, if you used it for most of the day other than keeping it in your pocket the battery dies before that day does.

BOb
I've been saying that all along. Use your multifunction phone for all but calls and when you need to make a call, good luck as the battery is dead.

Go on, play your games, listen to your music, surf the web, drain the battery.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:03 PM   #14
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One other point about do it all device, they do to do everything not as well than dedicated device.

And well, reading these forum on my pc screen hurts my eyes enough. I'll sooner go back to p-book, than read on an lcd.
We'll see e-readers doing other stuff when e-ink have evolved enough so refresh rate and colors allows for it.
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Old 01-08-2010, 05:41 PM   #15
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If they cannot make longer lasting batteries, I don't think that an all-in-one device can be considered a book reading device. It may be OK for the toilet break, though!

And iPhone is a good indicator, just like Bob put it above. The battery of mine goes flat after an hour of twitter, browsing etc. Being connected, GPS, etc. are very costly...
Yet the battery of my Palm Treo lasts for about 4 hours of reading. Of course I don't have anything but cell phone running while I'm reading, and rarely use that since I've been sensible about giving out my cell number. (I.e. I don't give it to people who use it so they can 'connect' with me at their convenience. I have the cell for my convenience, not theirs. Call me on it if it's an emergency. If you do otherwise then I won't give you my new cell #.)
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