Posted tagged ‘e-book readers’

Is Apple also going for e-books?

October 22, 2009

As I have mentioned before, I seem to have become some sort of global authority for the Amazon Kindle, and so I thought I would also draw attention to the fact that it may soon have a powerful rival. Of course I should acknowledge in passing that it already does have rivals, in particular the Sony Reader. But there’s another one coming, or at least that’s what the rumour is. And it’s from Apple.

For some time now there has been chat in cyberspace about Apple’s plans for a ‘tablet’ computer – in other words, a touch screen flat computer. However more recently the view has emerged that when (if?) it emerges it will principally be an e-book reader and a (rather large) iPod. It will probably be bigger than the Kindle (maybe more like the Kindle DX, which is not being sold yet for customers outside the US), and it will have at least some functionality beyond the Kindle.

It must be stressed that Apple have said nothing about any of this. But their most recent announcements have fuelled speculation, because it appears that some new product is due by the end of the year, and for various reasons the tablet/e-book reader is seen as the most likely option.

What will this do to the market? That’s hard to say. The Kindle is by now very well established, and it has gone global. Nut then again, nobody could doubt that once the Apple marketing machine gets going, it packs a powerful punch. And it would probably be (as Apple products are) very user-friendly. And, presumably, have a colour screen. And right now the company is on a high, having beaten analysts’ revenue and profit forecasts in its most recent financial statement.

So I would watch this space!

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The future of books

July 22, 2008

I confess I am a gadget freak. If there’s a new gadget, I feel I absolutely need it. Put an iPhone on sale, and I’m in the line to get it. New and better satellite navigation? Let me have it! An electronic corkscrew? Absolutely! So for a while I have been eyeing up e-book readers, and oddly enough I still haven’t made a purchase, despite on the whole wanting to. How convenient to be able to bring the entire collection of Dickens novels, Shakespeare plays, books on university leadership and poetry anthologies on to the plane with me!

So I look at eBay offers, Amazon reviews of the Kindle (not yet for sale in these parts anyway), Sony devices and so forth. But I don’t buy. Even for me, there is something about books in their paper version that still attracts me. There is something satisfying about putting the paper bookmark in the pages as you close the book, that even the best electronic memory cannot match. And if you’re that way inclined, something beautiful and sensual about a leather cover of an antique book.

Sooner or later I know I shall buy an e-book reader. But I bet any amount of money that, in 10 years time, I shall still be buying paper-based books, admiring them, and reading them. Even in this age of fast-paced technology, some things will stay the same.