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Old 02-25-2010, 04:28 PM   #1
jseay
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mobile phones and the future of ebooks

I read an article today that discussed how mobile/smartphones (such as the iPhone and Droid) may be more important to the future of ebooks than dedicated ereaders (such as the Kindle and Nook). The current price of ereaders may be beyond the budget of many readers who would like to try an ebook. With the creation of ereader apps such as Aldiko for Android devices and Stanza (as well as the Kindle app) for iPhone, ebooks have become more accessible. As smartphone screens improve and mobile ereader apps continue to evolve, I believe many readers will turn to their mobile phones to enjoy a good ebook. What are your thoughts?
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Old 02-25-2010, 07:52 PM   #2
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I think that mobile phone apps will be an important gateway to dedicated reading devices... or perhaps to multifunction e-ink devices once the technology is up to it. ie, I think people will download a reading app, read on it for a few months, and then be tempted toward the pricier device with a better reading experience.
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Old 02-25-2010, 08:08 PM   #3
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I've seen some statistics that a back-lit screen doesn't offend the latest generation of people that much, so it's an interesting question of whether or not people will want to do all their hobby reading into blinding light.

Something else that people really tend to like is an "all-in-one" device, like a smartphone. If they can stand to read books in teeny, eye-strain-o vision, then I'd say phones and other pocket media devices have a fair shake at being e-readers.

Of course, consolidating your devices means that you suddenly can't do anything if it breaks >.<
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Old 02-25-2010, 10:39 PM   #4
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nomesque,

Great point about mobile phone apps being gateways to other ereader devices.
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Old 02-26-2010, 08:10 AM   #5
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For a peek at this developing future, check out wattpad.com, a mobile phone text sharing service for Android, iPhone and Java-based mobile phones. At the moment all offerings are free and it mainly serves Asian teens, it seems, but stories uploaded there get insane numbers of downloads -- hundreds of thousands, over a million 'reads' in some cases.

http://www.wattpad.com/?mode=1&searc...ics&duration=7
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Old 02-26-2010, 10:38 AM   #6
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Edit.

Last edited by dadioflex; 12-15-2010 at 06:33 PM.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:12 PM   #7
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Apparently, serial offerings work well in attracting and keeping readers with such devices.

Textnovel.com is another mobile phone text server, with an author who just signed a 3 book deal with St. Martins Press. Go figure.

I stuck my book up on Wattpad as an experiment. Almost 500 reads so far. 999,500 to go. But in many cases, a 'read' is likely a glance or a repeat visit.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:38 PM   #8
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There are plenty of people for whom reading on a smaller, multi-function device is perfectly acceptable and enjoyable to them (me included). It is already a huge market, especially in places where cellphones dominate personal electronics usage, like Japan. And as reading apps proliferate for smartphones, more people will discover the benefits to e-book reading on devices they already have.

The dedicated devices tend to "simulate" the experience of reading a printed book. This may be important to some people who grew up on printed books, or who desire to emulate the experience of reading bound books as much as possible; but I believe it will be less important of an experience over time, especially with the younger generations that are not locked into romantic, paper-based notions of what reading should be. They are the ones reading on smartphones and (gasp!) Blackberries, and not looking back to paper as a standard to hold reading up to.

Smartphones, PDAs and other hand-held multi-function devices will continue to be major markets for e-books, which is as it should be. Their ubiquity, portability and standardized operation will make them ideal for e-book reading for generations to come.
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Old 02-26-2010, 02:51 PM   #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Steve Jordan View Post
There are plenty of people for whom reading on a smaller, multi-function device is perfectly acceptable and enjoyable to them (me included). And as reading apps proliferate for smartphones, more people will discover the benefits to e-book reading on devices they already have.

Smartphones, PDAs and other hand-held multi-function devices will continue to be major markets for e-books, which is as it should be. Their ubiquity, portability and standardized operation will make them ideal for e-book reading for generations to come.
I certainly agree. I use a Palm TX without qualms when I travel. And my next phone will likely be something that runs Android.
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