This is a post I found on an old blog I was doing, back in August 2011 for my MIS degree.
It's on ebook readers. I found it interesting.
It’s difficult to conceive that just as the dedicated ebook readers have grown in popularity to become mainstream, technology is advancing so fast it could render them obsolete.
Admittedly, predicting their obsolescence might be well over the top but in the sixteen months since the release of the iPad (July 2010 here in NZ) the way in which a lot of folk read has been revolutionised. This year has already seen the release of ebook readers such as the Nook Colour and the Kobo Touch but with a few more months left in 2011, what can happen? In a word - the Amazon tablet.
The looming Kindle tablet may prove to be the next big game-changer, especially if dedicated ebook readers lose ground to it. It's rumoured to be the device that will seriously rival the iPad - even though at time of writing, there has still been nothing concrete from Amazon to confirm the existence of the thing. What has been suggested from those-in-the-know is that, unlike the Nook which is essentially an ereader that can be used as a tablet, this will be a full on tablet from the get-go. With the initial phenomenal sales of the iPad, how will the new Kindle fare? Will it attract new readers to the electronic age, such as those toying with the idea of ebooks but hesitant to take the step?
I believe so. More ebooks are sold on Amazon now than traditional paper books but it also follows that at some point, readers will want more utility in their devices, especially considering the financial outlay involved.
While Amazon's foray into the tablet will hot up the competition between themselves and Apple, let’s not forget Sony are developing a Tablet which they plan to have available by the end of 2011. Their device will naturally work in with the Play Station suite of games. Proof that the appeal of new technology lies in its diversity. The more there is out there for we consumers, the more we want it, and after a while an ebook reader that doesn't do all the “stuff” we want it to will just end up making us frustrated.
In the end, though, what does it all mean?
On a personal level, it leaves me hesitant to purchase. The iPad2 sells for around $799 at the moment, and that's a fair whack out of the budget - especially when we don't know what's around the corner to woo us. Who's to say what the next big thing in ebook reading will be, what app it has that right now I have no idea could even exist? And how much will it cost?
The technology is appealing - but the rate at which new versions of readers and tablets are being released is scary. True, some don't live up to the hype, which is where the Amazon Android is interesting. The only hype is buzz. Amazon are extremely tight lipped on it. Add the Sony tablets, the S1 and S2, in to the mix and - yikes.
Still, this game of anticipation and expectation is what gamers have been thriving on for years with the Play Station, X-Box, the Nintendo... The difference is that folk who read novels are - well, they're book readers. They're not tech loving gamers. And there's a difference between a Mills and Boon romance and the Dark Knight on PS3.
If I was in the market for an ebookreader I'd definitely wait.
Some reviewers are advising book readers to hold off purchasing a Kindle until the new tablet is out which sounds like good advice - until the next iPad rumours surface.
Watch this space, peeps.