TOC and Kindle 2

So i’m attending TOC and was simultaneously  following the Kindle 2 launch (via liveblogs). My impression: Publishers are really exploring all opportunities to publish their content.

To my surprise e.g. Leslie Hulse (Vice President, Digital Business Development at HarperCollins Publishers) stated that Piracy and hence DRM is no big concern. They are monitoring the torrent sites, but see it largely as marketing. She also hinted a couple of times that Apple is moving in the eBook area. At the minimum this could mean that they provide some better means to filter  the Book section of the app store. But maybe this means more. (fingers crossed).

Cynthia Cleto (Global Manager for eBooks at Springer Science+Business Media) told the audience that they have given 30000 books to Google for the Google Book Scan and that they are seeing 30% of the traffic to their sites coming from Google.

I already tweeted that the Kindle 2 is still EV-DO only, so no Kindles outside the US  soon. In addition the hints that Amazon eBooks are coming to phones (including iPhones) soon are mounting.

All this leaves quite some opportunity for a decent eReading device in Europe. May be one based on a phone OS.  To see the potential of a GSM/Wifi-based device one only has to compare the sales figures of the original iPhone  being sold only in the US vs. the sales figures of the iPhone 3G.

So all in all i think the market is getting ripe enough to make it interesting enough for a move by Apple.  Put up a Books and Magazines Section in iTunes (parallel to Music and Apps, not as a section within Apps), and introduce a bigger iPhone OS based reading device. Use EPUB as the base format and include a Reader with all iPhones etc.

Either Apple moves within the next 6 -9 months or some Android based devices will be the first to do so. All in all i don’t think that Amazon wants to lock their eBooks to their devices. Primarily they want to sell books, the kindle is an instrument to develop the eBook market.

eReaders and eReading [Updated]

Yesterday PlasticLogic demo’ed their forthcoming PlasticLogic reader at DEMOfall08. It is a very impressive device:

  • 8,5×11 inch, very thin, under a pound.
  • Displays all kinds of documents.
  • Switching screens still takes a lot of time
  • A color version of the screen is expected in 3- 5 years time.
  • Nothing about the price point nor the connectivity.

But have a look for yourself:

More coverage over here and here.

But stillI think that LCD based ereaders will take the majority of the market. Because:

  • They have colour tday
  • They can display video
  • The screens are much cheaper to manufacture.

Hence i’m hoping that either a forthcoming Apple’s netbook with multitouch and/or a bigger iTouch based device (with a 7 -9” screen) will debut this year (maybe even today). Apple has everything it needs to build an axtraordinary ereading device from hardware to software to distribution channel. Given the success of netbooks and the Kindle, it would be stupid for Apple not to do one of these devices. But one never knows.

If they don’t, i’m pretty sure that somebody eles will jump in using existing netbook designs and /or Google Android.

Update: Unfortunately no iReader yesterday, maybe in an upcoming MacBook Event. But the official DEMO08 is available now.  Since there is speculation about the flexibility of the device.

My guess : While the display itself is flexible, the device isn’t, because of the processor and other electronics.