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Old 01-06-2020, 10:46 PM   #16
tomsem
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It depends what is meant by ‘adequacy’.

Certainly many smartphones exceed adequacy when it comes to core functions of making phone calls and messaging, no need to spend more than $100 for that, but well, it is nice to have a decent camera and probably a good idea to get one that will get prompt security updates for a few years and now you’ll spend 3x that or more.

Lab126 has churned out millions of cheap Fire tablets and they are adequate at being cheap but are insufficient in other ways. They are okay for consuming media but beyond that they are inadequate. For more generative tasks (drawing, editing audio or video, productivity, etc.) you need something much more ‘adequate’, including a community of app developers to meet those more sophisticated requirements.

When it comes to eReaders, it seems adequacy is more easily achieved, and requirements develop more slowly. I’ve never been that interested in color shift, waterproofing, or larger screen size, or expandable storage, or having buttons in addition to touch screen.

But yeah, I eventually got a Voyage that happens to have buttons when the price was right and found the display a vast improvement over 7th gen Paperwhite, and since bought the latest Paperwhite that happens to be waterproof (even though I have no plans to immerse it and do no bath or beach reading), because I hadn’t bought a new Kindle for a few years. And after some trade-in credit/discount and Prime only deal, I bought the 10th gen Kindle for $5: it’s perfectly adequate, much better than the 1st gen Paperwhite I traded in!

OTOH I would be interested in seeing support for TTS (as K2 through Kindle Touch had, but with additional languages) and immersion reading, even if it drains battery 3x faster (I have not benchmarked power consumption of VoiceView or audiobook playback on my newer Kindles but assume it is about what it was for the older Kindles or better). Or support for BT keyboard and simple BT remote page turner. But these features should not require anything more than a software update to the Kindles I already have.

I’d probably be a sucker and buy the next Paperwhite if it had these features and they couldn’t be ported to previous Kindles for some reason. And then probably would play with these features for a few weeks and go back to my iPad Mini, which had these features the day I bought (and now has Voice Navigation, and if reading apps would only implement it, multi-document views).

I’m probably beyond the point where I’d buy a new Kindle just for faster page turns or incrementally better contrast. And my mini is probably likewise ‘adequate’ until there is one with OLED and FaceID.

Last edited by tomsem; 01-06-2020 at 11:51 PM.
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Old 01-07-2020, 01:12 PM   #17
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Originally Posted by mtreader View Post
I'd rather save a few bucks than have a waterproof reader, but the features that add key value to me (as a heavy non-fiction and article reader) are highlighting / ability to export a passage and integration with the Pocket app.
Whereas I wouldn't care if an ereader had no WiFi. I never export passages or use Pocket.

But I do currently use two ereaders. The Clara has the nice orange light which is more pleasant in the dark, but the 2015 Nook Plus is waterproof, which is handy for reading in the bath. Each has a feature the other doesn't.

fjtorres post sounds wise until it comes down to who is defining what is meant by 'adequate'.

When it comes down to it, I could still read on my Nook ST and I'd bet in a pinch you could too. Does that mean there should be no forward movement in the ereader market? Of course not.
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Old 01-07-2020, 02:31 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post
Whereas I wouldn't care if an ereader had no WiFi. I never export passages or use Pocket.

But I do currently use two ereaders. The Clara has the nice orange light which is more pleasant in the dark, but the 2015 Nook Plus is waterproof, which is handy for reading in the bath. Each has a feature the other doesn't.

fjtorres post sounds wise until it comes down to who is defining what is meant by 'adequate'.

When it comes down to it, I could still read on my Nook ST and I'd bet in a pinch you could too. Does that mean there should be no forward movement in the ereader market? Of course not.
Adequate is what one talks about when one is talking commodities. Some companies business model is to turn everything into commodities, so we are only talking price rather than features. The question becomes have eInk eReaders become commodities. When you have price point ranging from $50 to $350 and the $350 eReader sells, then I suspect that eReaders are not commodities. So it becomes, what new feature will make customers want to buy my top of the line eReader.

For me, I had a perfectly good paperwhite, but bought an Oasis last year because of the feature mix for the Oasis. I bought a Kobo Aura because I like the form factor of the Aura better than the form factor of the Oasis. Plus, I think the library aspect of the Kobo is better than the library aspect of the Kindle, and I have enough books that library is important to me. Someone who reads one book at a time and then never reads that book again, most likely doesn't care a bout library.
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Old 01-08-2020, 12:54 PM   #19
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ZodWallop View Post

fjtorres post sounds wise until it comes down to who is defining what is meant by 'adequate'.

.
It's not *my* idea. it is Osbourne 's.
And it's not about what consumers will or won't buy but about how *many* will buy and what economic sense it makes for the *business*.

Adequacy means meeting the needs of enough customers to turn a profit.
Any added feature needs to bring in enough *added* buyers to justify the expense and product complexity. Adding features adds cost and complexity, often resulting in lower reliability and lower profits despite higher costs.

The best example in recent times is the story of the PS3 that ended up with the firing of Playstation architect Kutaragi. Sony lost more money over the first three years of PS3 than they made over the entire PS2 generation (on the order of $16B). It cost them anywhere from $900-1200 per console to build, yet they sold for $600.

The original PS3 launched with 100% backwards compatibility because it had a PS2 chipset built-in, it had full BluRay compatibility (and was cheaper than contemporary BD players in Japan so a good fraction of the 20 and 40GB models were used solely for audio and video playback) and they even provided hooks for Linux, which resulted in people building compute server clusters with PS3s instead of gaming.

All those things were true advances in gaming consoles and found people quite happy to buy because of those features. But those buyers weren't the core customers that bought Playstations to game. And they weren't enough to justify the features, especially when they didn't bring in added revenue by buying games.

It took them three years of removing extraneous features and introducing a PSlite focused on gaming that they actually started maiking money.

Microsoft made a similar mistake with the original XBOX ONE by making the Kinect motion sensor (a true advance in computer vision technology) a mandatory component of the system at a time the core console buyer was playing FPS, RPG, or MMORG games instead of party games.

The core ereader buyer wants easy access to commercial and PD ebooks. Readability matters a bit less, which is why the entry level models sell just fine.
Some people care about larger sizes, color changes, waterproofing, pen markup, or even social features. But not a majority or even plurality.

Ask any Kindle ereader buyer why they bought it, and the Kindle store is tops. Even front lighting used to be secondary until last year. Welcome and a sales driver but not essential. A lot of people did without to save the extra cost.

Products exist to make a profit, not to satisfy commenters or pundits.

Sometimes that is pricing to maximize volume, sometimes that means premium pricing and enough added features to excuse the higher price. It's not about market share (ask Palm Conputing about protecting narket share at any cost) but about profit. Share follows adequacy and mission suitability.

"Adequacy is sufficient" is why 6-8in ereaders dominate, by far, the market and why bigger models with pens, color, etc, are at best niche. Because the added value doesn't bring enough sales to justify the cost.

"Adequacy is sufficient" comes from the same business school as KISS--"Keep it simple, stupid"--and, most recently, Elon Musk's "The best part is no part, the best process is no process". It is about identifying what a market needs and offering it at the best price to maximize profits.

Last edited by fjtorres; 01-08-2020 at 01:01 PM.
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Old 01-08-2020, 01:11 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
...

Ask any Kindle ereader buyer why they bought it, and the Kindle store is tops. ...

...
Any Kindle ereader buyer - 1.

But I get your point.
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Old 01-08-2020, 05:12 PM   #21
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Quote:
Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
It's not *my* idea. it is Osbourne 's.
And it's not about what consumers will or won't buy but about how *many* will buy and what economic sense it makes for the *business*.

Adequacy means meeting the needs of enough customers to turn a profit.
Any added feature needs to bring in enough *added* buyers to justify the expense and product complexity. Adding features adds cost and complexity, often resulting in lower reliability and lower profits despite higher costs.

The best example in recent times is the story of the PS3 that ended up with the firing of Playstation architect Kutaragi. Sony lost more money over the first three years of PS3 than they made over the entire PS2 generation (on the order of $16B). It cost them anywhere from $900-1200 per console to build, yet they sold for $600.

The original PS3 launched with 100% backwards compatibility because it had a PS2 chipset built-in, it had full BluRay compatibility (and was cheaper than contemporary BD players in Japan so a good fraction of the 20 and 40GB models were used solely for audio and video playback) and they even provided hooks for Linux, which resulted in people building compute server clusters with PS3s instead of gaming.

All those things were true advances in gaming consoles and found people quite happy to buy because of those features. But those buyers weren't the core customers that bought Playstations to game. And they weren't enough to justify the features, especially when they didn't bring in added revenue by buying games.

It took them three years of removing extraneous features and introducing a PSlite focused on gaming that they actually started maiking money.

Microsoft made a similar mistake with the original XBOX ONE by making the Kinect motion sensor (a true advance in computer vision technology) a mandatory component of the system at a time the core console buyer was playing FPS, RPG, or MMORG games instead of party games.

The core ereader buyer wants easy access to commercial and PD ebooks. Readability matters a bit less, which is why the entry level models sell just fine.
Some people care about larger sizes, color changes, waterproofing, pen markup, or even social features. But not a majority or even plurality.

Ask any Kindle ereader buyer why they bought it, and the Kindle store is tops. Even front lighting used to be secondary until last year. Welcome and a sales driver but not essential. A lot of people did without to save the extra cost.

Products exist to make a profit, not to satisfy commenters or pundits.

Sometimes that is pricing to maximize volume, sometimes that means premium pricing and enough added features to excuse the higher price. It's not about market share (ask Palm Conputing about protecting narket share at any cost) but about profit. Share follows adequacy and mission suitability.

"Adequacy is sufficient" is why 6-8in ereaders dominate, by far, the market and why bigger models with pens, color, etc, are at best niche. Because the added value doesn't bring enough sales to justify the cost.

"Adequacy is sufficient" comes from the same business school as KISS--"Keep it simple, stupid"--and, most recently, Elon Musk's "The best part is no part, the best process is no process". It is about identifying what a market needs and offering it at the best price to maximize profits.
And yet, some 62% of the eBook market uses tablets and 61% use smartphones (yes, people do read on multiple devices). Dedicated eReaders are most popular with readers 55 and up, who are the most likely not to have a smart phone or table.

Interestingly, when broken out by app on a tablet, the most popular is the Kindle app (20%), followed by Apple iBooks (16%) and Goggle Books (14%).
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Old 01-10-2020, 03:52 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by fjtorres View Post
It's not *my* idea. it is Osbourne '.
I didn't say or imply it was your *idea*. I said it was your post.

Probably I should have left your name out, but honestly, I was trying to give you credit. I thought it was interesting, even if I don't know that it helps in the discussion of ereaders in this crowd.
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