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Old 01-14-2010, 12:59 PM   #91
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Who pays them to compile the figures? I'm not saying that they aren't independent, but just because they aren't Apple doesn't mean that they are either. (I consider Gartner one of the worst as far as providing results tailored to whoever pays them to gather the data.)
Acccusing NPD or Gartner of somehow faking or biasing their numbers to benefit one company is a pretty serious charge.

There is a huge difference between analyst predictions ("Kindle will own 99% of the eBook market by 2020") which are subjective, and as you say, need to be taken with a grain of salt based on who commissioned it, with analyst reports of past sales ("Microsoft Zune sales were 4% of all MP3 players in 2008"), which are publicly reported, and are verifiable.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:15 PM   #92
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I'm sorry but you are wrong. Please look at any of the devices and their specs.

For example from the Sony 900 Features Page:

Download Books and Periodicals Wirelessly

Experience the freedom to wirelessly browse, purchase and download books and periodicals from the Reader™ Store with free 3G wireless access11. Measuring just 0.6" thin8 and weighing only 12.75 ounces, the Reader Daily Edition™ also features a 7" paper-like display and touch screen navigation. With six adjustable font levels you can be sure to read easy in either portrait or landscape format. Plus, the Reader supports multiple formats including ePub and PDF while giving you access to over one million free public domain titles from Google Books. The Daily Edition is the premier digital reader for The Wall Street Journal, allowing the added freedom of subscribing to exclusive content and daily updates.

please note the first item mentioned.
It's still not a feature. The features are the activities you can do with the wireless, not the wireless itself.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:25 PM   #93
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It's still not a feature. The features are the activities you can do with the wireless, not the wireless itself.
See above. I really don't understand your issue with this. You want to have your own definition of a term that doesn't match common usage I suppose you are welcome to it.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:30 PM   #94
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See above. I really don't understand your issue with this. You want to have your own definition of a term that doesn't match common usage I suppose you are welcome to it.
Perhaps it's because I encounter more marketing BS than you. When I hear that something has wireless, my immediate reaction is to wonder how the marketing department is trying to mislead me.

Actually, this got started because you nitpicked one of my posts. I said that the Daily Edition could access the Sony Store, you said "and it has wireless". I try to avoid being sloppy in describing the features on a device.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:36 PM   #95
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Boys boys boys! Play nice

I think, don't hate me for saying this, that we have moved a teeny tiny bit off topic? Just a little tho

I do agree with Kenny tho, sorry Nate!

Last edited by emonti8384; 01-14-2010 at 01:43 PM.
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Old 01-14-2010, 01:56 PM   #96
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Originally Posted by Nate the great View Post
Perhaps it's because I encounter more marketing BS than you. When I hear that something has wireless, my immediate reaction is to wonder how the marketing department is trying to mislead me.

Actually, this got started because you nitpicked one of my posts. I said that the Daily Edition could access the Sony Store, you said "and it has wireless". I try to avoid being sloppy in describing the features on a device.
Well as I, they and standard usage have it Wireless is a feature of the device.

If you choose to not acknowledge that, it's your business, but don't be telling me that I have to adopt your peculiar usage. It is you that is the odd man out.
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Old 01-14-2010, 04:24 PM   #97
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Boys boys boys! Play nice

I think, don't hate me for saying this, that we have moved a teeny tiny bit off topic? Just a little tho

I do agree with Kenny tho, sorry Nate!
Ditto. Calm down, it's not that big a deal.

But Kenny is right, IMHO.
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Old 01-15-2010, 11:53 AM   #98
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Apple jumped in with a ton of capital, and a new clientelle made up primarily of apple users who hadn't been into digital music before. Apple came to dominate sales of mainstream recording house music, and their iPods have been highly profitable, but they do not and never have owned a majority share of the market. at the end of the 90s the market became highly fragmented. Today much of the market is in convergence units of some sort.
The iPod has been the overwhelming market leader in mp3 players for quite some time.

Whilst they weren't first to market , they were the first to make a really appealing mp3 player. Previous efforts had been mostly small-capacity solid state devices with limited memory and awful user interfaces. They came along with a well designed, large capacity (5GB was considered large at the time) player that people found easy to use.
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Old 01-15-2010, 12:11 PM   #99
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At the risk of fanning the fire, I think there's a bit of semantics at play here, but I agree with Nate.
Wireless is a solution to meeting the requirements of a feature.

Features that use wireless could be things like:
- download books to your device from the store without using a cable. If this could be done using magic, then no "wireless" component is needed, but the feature is still useful.
- browse the internet from anywhere using the device. This could drive an implementation that includes mobile wireless (e.g. GSM) or wifi if the feature is allowed to be constrained to hotspots. Or, both.
- access your home network without a cable using the device. This pretty much drives an implementation that includes a wifi radio.
- buy and download and be able to read books from any on-line ebook store without requiring a cable. (Although I would like this feature even it required a cable. )

So, saying something has "wireless" isn't really a feature but marketeers call it a feature since it's rather vague, and allows each customer to interpret it how they want thinking they are getting features that aren't really there.


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Old 01-15-2010, 01:52 PM   #100
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Getting back to the original topic, I don't think I could ever describe as "over-saturated" any market for which there is no product fulfilling the most basic needs of a section of its (potential) customers.

There's nothing out there that's a solution for people in a technical or academic field who require a large screen e-ink screen and good handwritten note taking ability. There are some products which might fit the bill, but they've not even shipped yet, and there certainly aren't enough such products to give a wide choice of features vs price.
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:04 PM   #101
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I know it's an aging topic, but I can't help jumping in with some points.

First, the iPod didn't really gain the perception of the "standard" mp3 player by being first, or having more storage, or having a sleek design (though the latter two were considerations). The flash memory-based devices at the time the iPod came out were much cheaper than the iPod was at its release, and if I remember correctly, Creative had mp3 players out there with hard drives by then as well. What helped the iPod was the iTunes Music Store.

At that time, DRM was an insanely controversial topic. This was a period when the music industry was so concerned about pirated music that they were releasing music CDs that couldn't play on PCs, and were suing old ladies and children for using Napster. What Apple provided was a surprise compromise with major music publishers that allowed for minimal DRM and an easy way to get music onto a device. The iPod's popularity followed from the store and the ease with which you could transfer from the store to the device. While it was possible to get music from the store onto other players (since you could burn an audio CD and re-rip to mp3 format), people were willing to pay a premium for an easy way to get their music (a quick purchase rather than haphazard Napster searches or CD ripping), combined with an easy way to put their music libraries onto a portable device. It was a major change in both digital content acquisition and portable music device use.

With that in mind, my second point: The eBook readers aren't really analogous to the mp3 player market. Apple already had the "how do we sell this stuff online" revolution, and it translated easily to the eBook market. Ease of transfer is important for eBooks but not as important, since most people will only need to move one or two book files at a time onto a reader (compared to eight or twelve music files per album), and will typically just read a book from beginning to end (rather than wanting features like playlists and randomized playback).

Mobi had a store and an easy to use client for PCs and some mobile devices, but it didn't translate into market control for them. Sony had a store that was easy to access and transfer books from as well. Amazon upped the ante when they made their device capable of going online just about anywhere to get books and content (great for impulse buys), but while that plus their name recognition has helped them, it hasn't translated into the "de facto standard" status Apple enjoys with the iPod.

Now, what this means in the long run I don't know. My pet theory on how the Kindle could have enjoyed more success in running away with the market is that Amazon tied it too closely with their online store, but it's simply speculation. The iPod was just as easy to use with normal mp3 and aac music files as it was with the iTunes DRMed files, which made it a cinch for people to switch from other players. The Kindle didn't have the luxury of targeting a "default" eBook format like the iPod did with mp3s, and as I understand it getting most non-store items onto a Kindle involves emailing them for conversion. It makes it harder to draw early adopters into your fold when they have to abandon the content they already own (like DRMed mobi or eReader files). Heck, I'm going through that right now - I want to move away from my Cybook Gen3, but I have a lot of Mobi-DRMed content now that I'd have to sacrifice to move to a newer and more popular reader device. Since I'd be starting pretty fresh either way, there isn't a strong reason for me to choose a Kindle over a Sony, a Nook, or another device.

It also doesn't help that, as I said, Apple already had the big store revolution. All Amazon could do was refine it some. Simply supporting open formats isn't enough either, since there are plenty of devices that have been handling text, html, and pdf files for a while now. And on top of all that, eBook readers don't have a substantial advantage for most potential users over their older counterparts. MP3 players were attractive because they could hold much more than CDs or tapes, so instead of playing a half hour of music on a compact device you could play a couple hours' worth on even a low-end MP3 player. eBook readers are great for carrying around lots of books, sure, but when you compare the "time" you get from them compared to paper books there isn't as much advantage - a paperback can entertain you for hours, enough to cover you for the day until you replace it when you get home. It's great that the content on an eBook reader could cover you for days, it's just not as big a difference in convenience over a regular book.

Maybe there never will be a dominant eBook device manufacturer, just an eventual DRM standard. It would be nice to have devices competing on features and price rather than efforts to tie people into particular stores, anyway.

And now I'll get back to what I was doing - comparing readers to see which one suits my current needs, since if I wait for something that might be the one to serve my future needs best I'll never buy anything. It's too much like computers in that regard - sure, if I wait six months something better will probably be around for the same price, but then I wouldn't have been using anything for those six months either...
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Old 01-16-2010, 08:26 PM   #102
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Originally Posted by Mitch G View Post
At the risk of fanning the fire, I think there's a bit of semantics at play here, but I agree with Nate.
Wireless is a solution to meeting the requirements of a feature.

Features that use wireless could be things like:
- download books to your device from the store without using a cable. If this could be done using magic, then no "wireless" component is needed, but the feature is still useful.
- browse the internet from anywhere using the device. This could drive an implementation that includes mobile wireless (e.g. GSM) or wifi if the feature is allowed to be constrained to hotspots. Or, both.
- access your home network without a cable using the device. This pretty much drives an implementation that includes a wifi radio.
- buy and download and be able to read books from any on-line ebook store without requiring a cable. (Although I would like this feature even it required a cable. )

So, saying something has "wireless" isn't really a feature but marketeers call it a feature since it's rather vague, and allows each customer to interpret it how they want thinking they are getting features that aren't really there.


Mitch
Agreed. The feature in this case would be that it can access the Sony store. Wireless is its solution.
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