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Old 01-26-2010, 07:20 AM   #1
Ron46
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Marketing Edge Will Not Last Forever

Ectaco's JetBook marketing strength lies in 3 areas that could be quickly lost:

* High visibility LCD screen with rapid page transitions
* Standard AA batteries
* Low price

But it has negatives that Ectaco is glacially slow to address (at a time when the economy would make it easy for them to hire additional development help):

* Limited font selection
* No provisions for adjusting margins
* No provisions for adjusting line spacing
* No connectivity to a decent after-market dictionary

If I was running any of the other companies making competetive (and often more attractive) products that have all and more of these features, I would take one of my existing readers, remove the visiplex screen, replace it with the Hitachi LCD, come up with a better battery solution (both items reducing the price), and beat Ectaco at their own game.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:03 AM   #2
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Don't forget lack of hyperlinks.
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Old 01-26-2010, 09:14 AM   #3
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no pdf reflow (extremely important)
no user added fonts
no html links
no open source code
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Old 01-26-2010, 12:44 PM   #4
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Market

As with any product development timing is critical. To make a change such as you are talking about would require 6 to 9 months for another company to make those changes.

The product is made in China.

Even though we talk about a global economy there still are huge logistics involved. Engineer, Manufacture, Ship, Fill the pipeline to the retail outlets, and get the advertising in place.

You know that even ordering a product from Taiwan takes you two weeks for an item they already have produced and in stock in a warehouse.

Unfortunately, people running companies count on this factor. They take the attitude of where else are they going to go ?

That is why small start up companies can get their foot in the door because they are willing to work the extra, go the extra, and cut profits for expedited shipping, to get their foothold on the market. But then, the old guard people that are used to working in HIGH volume markets and distribution get brought in to help the growing company and things change from being hungry and responsive to business as usual.

As a company, Ectaco has to take a more aggressive approach and number one turn the system to open platform so that there are hundreds of developers fixing problems and expanding the system. I applaud Ectaco for the hardware platform they are using. It is a solid and tried and true platform that makes for easy development.

Their choice of screens make this unit stand out, we have seen the comments on the boards here that many people have so bought into the HYPE of epaper screens they won't even look at the jetbook. The people that have purchased the system love it and would never choose the other display technology.

The open source community is the strength of the computer world and have pushed the major manufacturers to make their products better. Decisions are made in a company to build or develop products that fit the majority where their highest profit margin is.

You know that Ectaco has to look at DRM as their highest priority, this allows them to sign co marketing agreements with content providers to market more jetbooks to more people.

I would say fonts would be the lowest, the jetbook works, people can read on in and a font change really makes no difference to selling jetbooks. User fonts are icing on the cake, to some it makes the cake sweeter.

IMO, someone needs to read this forum at Ectaco and make a bold move, we can all see Ectaco's business model for this product. It is selling as many of the units as possible. They are not an Amazon or a Barnes and Noble that make their money on the consumables (ebooks).

The Japanese built cdrom burners and built their business model around selling blank CDs. When they were selling for $10 each, the Japanese were making them for $.25 and laughing all the way to the bank. What happened to them, the Taiwanese came in and made them for $.25 and sold them for a $1.00 and killed the market for the Japanese.

The same is going to happen with ebooks. A company is going to start selling ebooks for the $2.00 they are worth and not like B&N that sell ebooks for MORE than the cost of a real printed book.

Ectaco came out with a great product that was not tied to the marketing whims of a major marketer like Amazon. Unless they open it to thousands of developers to add features at little or no cost, they will be upstaged not by the major companies, but by a new start up that is hungrier and more aggressive.

It is the individual that wants that different font, that at their own expense will take the time to implement user fonts. Or the other person that wants hyperlinks that will do it and GIVE it away to others, that will make the real change.

Ectaco has a solid product that could very easily become the defacto hardware standard for low cost ebook readers.

Lets just hope they see it soon.

Thanks for taking the time to read this rant.
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Old 01-28-2010, 01:24 AM   #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8npwrfl View Post

Their choice of screens make this unit stand out, we have seen the comments on the boards here that many people have so bought into the HYPE of epaper screens they won't even look at the jetbook. The people that have purchased the system love it and would never choose the other display technology.
I totally agree with you!
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Old 01-28-2010, 04:06 AM   #6
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Quote:
Originally Posted by gr8npwrfl View Post

I would say fonts would be the lowest, the jetbook works, people can read on in and a font change really makes no difference to selling jetbooks. User fonts are icing on the cake, to some it makes the cake sweeter.
hhmm... I have to disagree to this. I have a jetBook lite and the major thing I would like to change is adding more/custom fonts(more than DRM or anything else). For reading English language material, built-in fonts may be ok. But I have many books written in language that is not supported by jetBook. Right now, the only choice I have is pdf and it is too painful.

You know, I'm already thinking of buying another device that supports custom/user fonts. I will wait for couple of firmwares to see if they support it. If they don't, I will sell jetBook and buy another device. (And because of this issue alone, some of my friends decided not to buy jetBook )
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Old 01-28-2010, 09:13 AM   #7
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Their thinking

I was stating the thought behind their thinking IMO.

I follow your thinking personally. Fonts are one of the MOST important attributes that present themselves to the user on an ongoing basis.
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Old 01-28-2010, 11:02 AM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ron46 View Post
Ectaco's JetBook marketing strength lies in 3 areas that could be quickly lost:

* High visibility LCD screen with rapid page transitions
* Standard AA batteries
* Low price
Well, I'd rather be leading the race than trailing. If the competition is so smart, why didn't they produce such units in time for the CES in Las Vegas three weeks ago?

I agree that Ectaco cannot rest on their laurels. No market leader can. But I don't think that one can assume that the competition is more competent than the current market leader. Time may prove that to be the case, but the competition will have to show us their mettle.
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Old 01-29-2010, 09:09 AM   #9
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Right on

The Wizard is fully on to this. If Ectaco is so slow to give us some basic features that many people see as essential, they need to open up their source code so enthusiasts can do it for them. No one is going to STEAL anything from them because their software model is not all that capable or sophisticated to begin with. There are many capable people frequenting these forums that would gladly make significant improvements- just for the fun of it. And I would happily try someone else's tweaked firmware version if I could get the capability to have my device present a page that LOOKS like a book, which is supposed to be what it is emulating to begin with.

Besides, isn't the Jetbook a Linux device, and are they not REQUIRED by the Linux license agreement to open their code to the community?

Did you ever notice the name that keeps popping up when you want to talk to Ectaco customer service? Pavel. What is he, a one man development department? He must be awefully busy.

Last edited by Ron46; 01-29-2010 at 09:16 AM. Reason: addition
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:37 AM   #10
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GNU

They are not REQUIRED to open their software if they use a linux base. They are including linux with a hardware product, not selling the linux by itself.

That is why I have a project ongoing to port Android 2.1 to the jetbook. It is fully open source and there are already thousands of developers working with it.

Android is linux with the emphasis on power management to give maximum battery life. When we are done we may have better battery life with Android than the original firmware.

There are already hundreds of applications that are free for Android.

I would work on their linux platform if they release it. I already have 100's of fonts that I could install.
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Old 01-29-2010, 10:43 AM   #11
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Hi guys,

I'll just say this. I bought the JBL (imported it from USA) and i would not consider, for the price it cost me, any other ebook reader. The fact that its smooth on page transitions and runs on AA batteries, makes it a wonder to me.

Im fully satisfied !
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