Netly: The Third Screen

Posts Tagged ‘E-reader

Not a week goes by where we don’t hear about a possible would-be Kindle-killer.  This one’s gonna be a touchscreen.  That one promises color.   They’re all going to be wireless.  So why are we still looking around the corner?

According to Tom Barlow of Daily Finance, an Apple Tablet would be a quantum leap forward:  Among his reasons listed here: “Sex. Kindle is n.o.t. s.e.x.y.  Design-wise, it’s the Pontiac Aztec of the e-device world. Apple knows how to design sexy.”  And then there’s that enormous iTunes merchandising system…

500x_Sony_Readers_with_MagiciansMy old buddy Wilson Rothman at Gizmodo spent some time with Sony’s latest e-readers and found them underwhelming. Rothman says the $300 “Touch” suffers from a terrible glare problem, making it hard to read; the $200 “Pocket,” which isn’t touch based, is so stripped down it doesn’t offer Search.

Sony is trying hard to be a contender in this market, but has yet to produce anything innovative, much less up to date. Its upcoming wireless model, the “Daily,” is supposed to be here in time for the holidays, which, I guess, makes it somewhat competitive with the the very first Kindle, launched well over a year ago. Perhaps now that the Reader division is under Sony’s Vaio division, it’ll pick up the pace. Color by 2011?

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c0a85e61faa0fc21_landingMany of the Internet pure plays—such as CNET, AOL Media and Yahoo—won’t charge for content. Others, such as the NYT and WSJ, have said they will. Interesting Mediaweek roundup here.

The argument for and against is obvious.

My opinion: The Web always was and always will be free. It’s a surface medium, designed for skimming, not deep reading, and as such, users won’t ever pay for any one source of information. It’s like buying a single grain of rice—why pay for that when you can get a bowl for free?

The question now is: Will readers pay for it when it’s delivered on a lean-back, deep-reading device. I think they will.

The head of BPA Worldwide, which bills itself as the largest auditor of media in the world, says that as e-readers proliferate, the publishing industry runs the risk of being stuck with a “hybrid model” that values content somewhere between the Web and print.

I’m not following the reasoning; I actually think that if e-reader content has hybrid valuation, it’s the best of both worlds: The power of full-page, high-impact relevant print ads, coupled with the engagement metrics of the Web.

Link to The Australian, via BoSacks

cool-er-150x150Upcoming product refresh still will be black and white and won’t offer  wireless connectivity.

“No one’s going to read GQ magazine on a Cool-er,” Interead CEO Neil Jones tells Mirror.

So, why bother at this point? Says Jones:  “We have some really sexy ideas that we’re going to talk about in January…(That will) set us well apart from the competition.” Mmmmmmm, sexy.


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