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Old 01-27-2010, 06:45 PM   #1
Drezin
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Why Ereader Companies Shouldn't be Worried

Let me preface this by saying I may be COMPLETELY wrong in this prediction.

I don't think the ereader market should be too worried about the iPad, because from what I can tell, it isn't really an ereader. I think the largest allure for an ereader is the screen, which closely resembles paper. Without this, I'm not sure the iPad can be categorized with the usual ereader product. Personally, I have no desire to do my pleasure reading from an LCD (or LED, whatever it is) screen. Plus, factor in the battery life this thing will surely be sucking down, and I jusr don't see the ereader market being hit too hard.

Will the iPad sell? Of course. Steve Jobs could slap the Apple icon on just about anything at this point and it's going to sell like crazy, and Apple hasn't been known to sell crap (unless you talk to the major detractors). I may even get one. But will it really be bought for its ability to be an ereader? I seriously doubt it. Maybe by a few, but as of now, not by me. I'm sticking to my PRS-600.
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Old 01-27-2010, 06:57 PM   #2
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Apple hasn't been known to sell crap
Does the Newton come to mind? Or maybe the Lisa?

Of course your definition of crap might not include either of those products, but the market's definition did.

As for it not being an ereader, you're wrong-it's just not a *dedicated* ereader. (And I'm not going to comment on how *good* it will be as an ereader either until it's actually in use. Then we'll see how good it is-but if you can read ebooks on it then, by pretty much all definitions I've seen, it's an ereader.)
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:00 PM   #3
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I don't even know what the Newton or Lisa is.

And it really isn't an ereader, it's a type of tablet PC. It can be an ereader, but that is not its primary function, and not what its main selling point will be.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:03 PM   #4
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Yes. I think it is the netbook niche that should be worried.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:06 PM   #5
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I have to agree with calvin-c the device is usable for reading ebooks and so it is definitely an ereader device as far as that goes. Just not a dedicated ereader. And I suspect for the more casual ebook reader the iPad may be just what they've been holding out for.

For reading I'm happy with my Kindle DX. I've been looking for an electronic replacement for the journal books I carry everywhere to jot down notes and story ideas in. The iPad is going on my list of devices to consider for that role.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:11 PM   #6
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I have no desire to do my pleasure reading from an LCD (or LED, whatever it is) screen.
I too am not interested in doing any more reading than I have to from a back-lit screen. For me the display is the whole point of devices like SONY Readers and Kindles. However, there do seem to be a lot of people who don't mind reading from back-lit screens, so I'm not so sure that this device won't have an impact on the ebook or ereader marketplaces. I won't try to predict what that impact might be. I'll just wait and see.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:11 PM   #7
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Originally Posted by Drezin View Post
I don't even know what the Newton or Lisa is.
Kids these days...

Apple Newton

Apple Lisa
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:13 PM   #8
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I believe that the iPad will be hugely successful. However, as far as "cornering the ebook market", I vote nay. There is something to be said for a device that does one thing and does it very well. As long as there exist devices that display books better than an all-in-one device, then all will be well. Now if iPad (sounds VERY feminine to me BTW) came out with some new-fangled technology that was superior to eInk I would be worried if I were CEO of Sony or Amazon or BN...

//2 cents

EDIT: I posted without reading the OP. I concur good sir!
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:16 PM   #9
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If the only impact on the eReader market the iPad has is based on just casual usage of users, I agree. I don't think just users will change the market.

The question I would have is, how invested in the iPad will publishers be? How they deal with the iPad may have a major effect on the eReader market.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #10
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There will always be a place for dedicated readers, as the avid reader market is a sizable niche.

The iPad won't take away sales from that niche. And it will be a good thing for ebooks in general as it will expand the market of people buying ebooks beyond those avid with dedicated readers, or reader programs on their PDAs or PCs. And a bigger market for ebooks means better selection and prices for everyone.

So e-ink fans shouldn't be nervous about tablets and going around bashing them and hoping they fail. The device isn't for them, but it appeals to others. And anything that expands the e-book market is a good thing.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:21 PM   #11
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I actually don't think it will be super successful. Depends on how products like the HP Slate are received.

I think people really want a full PC OS in tablet form, optimized for touch and yet as capable as a laptop. iPhone OS on a big screen is not an instant sell.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:24 PM   #12
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The average "man in the street" looking for a do-all device will pick the iPad over any eReader as it clearly appears to offer a lot more. I think the abililty to display both periodicals and books will be key. It will significantly cannibalise eReader sales - although perhaps not amongst some here.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:26 PM   #13
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I think people really want a full PC OS in tablet form, optimized for touch and yet as capable as a laptop. iPhone OS on a big screen is not an instant sell.
True, but it needs to have a form factor similar to the iPad.

I need stylus support for annotation, need multitasking etc. But I don't want something with a keyboard, or that's too big or balky, or has battery life under the 10 hours the iPad is said to get etc.

I kind of want something in between this iPad and a Laptop I guess. I don't need full functionality. But I need a bit more than what the iPad offers--but in the same size, weight and price ranges.

But the iPad is much better than I expected for a first gen effort. So I can't wait to see what other tablet/slate devices roll out from other companies in the coming months.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:31 PM   #14
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This is only my opinion, and it could be wrong, but I think this is a threat to dedicated e-reading devices (not specifically e-ink). Devices are moving towards multifunction, as people don't want to carry several devices for different things, especially for entertainment and not specifically for phones (personally I don't want my phone anywhere near my e-entertainment). My prediction is this year and next year you will see a large amount of these devices released. There will still be a large and dedicated e-ink market for folks concerned with eye strain and battery life.

My next prediction is that when a big company releases a multi-function portable device that has a Pixel-Qi screen it will definately dethrone this iPad and even e-ink readers.
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Old 01-27-2010, 07:32 PM   #15
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I don't think the ereader market should be too worried about the iPad, because from what I can tell, it isn't really an ereader.
It's going to be obvious to anyone who studies the various options that a dedicated eInk-based ereader is a superior device for reading books.

But the market is full of people who don't spend time learning about the technology before making a purchase. I think this will have a significant impact on the ereader market simply because of the number of consumers who may have been considering a Kindle or a nook and will be beguiled into buying an iPad instead because of its multifunctionality (and the Apple shinies). At least the screen won't be flickering at them, but I suspect most will never realise that an eInk device would have freed them from arranging shade so they can read it in the garden, remembering to recharge it every day, etc.

It's certainly going to exert a downward price-pressure on eInk devices, though (tough for all those Asian companies with new readers at CES ). If manufacturers are able to respond to that then we may see eInk grabbing a number of new consumers who wouldn't dream of paying $500 anyway. But the large, expensive eInk readers (Que, Skiff etc) are going to find life a lot tougher now.
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