Netly: The Third Screen

Why you shouldn’t buy an e-reader.

Posted on: October 13, 2009

imagesI was flying to New York yesterday reading my Kindle and, and, as is almost always the case these days, the guy next to me asked, “What do you think of that thing?”

People are super curious about Kindles, and the gamut of e-readers. If Forrester Research’s recent estimates are true, 3 million E-Ink-based devices will be sold over the holidays. I actually think this is a bad thing: many of these buyers will be unhappy.

Which is, sort of, what I told my seat mate. I love my Kindle, as far as it goes. It’s a fine way to read books. But that’s all it is: An e-book reader. If you go out and spend $300 on any E-Ink device this year, be prepared to be enormously disappointed within six months, when all the new color-screen devices come out.

Yes, consumer technology changes fast. But the pace of change on third-screen devices is breakneck, unlike anything we’ve ever experienced. So much cool stuff is in the pipeline that only the folks who love being early adopters will have the stamina to keep up with it all.

This is a new trend. In the olden days, when you bought a desktop or even a laptop, you could get 3-4 years out of the thing without feeling that you were stuck with an antique. Not so with e-readers. In fact, as Brian Lam pointed out yesterday in a Gizmodo rant, they’re already obsolete.

The only good thing you can say about e-readers is, at least you will always be able to read your library of e-books on them.

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    • Steven Baker, PMP (@STEVEPMP): I just read your comment about wanting an artist to be a part of the resurrection of Netly News sometime. If you ever want to try, I have a very tale
    • Magda: If you're looking to buy these arceilts make it way easier.
    • Mikel: Such a deep ansrew! GD&RVVF
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