For Hardcore PC users tablet fatigue is slowly setting in. It seems like almost every week we hear another rumor or two about upcoming devices, and its only going to get worse. A recent patent application shows that Sony is the latest company preparing to pile on the bandwagon, but this time you might be interested to hear they are taking a page from the scrapped Microsoft Courier, namely its dual displays.
Described in the application as an "electronic book with enhanced features" the screens would take on different characteristics depending on its orientation. If held like a paperback book the device would simply function like a normal e-reader, but flipping it over into portrait mode would reveal and onscreen keyboard. It is unknown at this point if the device concept is for an e-reader or a multifunction tablet, but only time will tell.
Of course patent applications don't always become products so it could be quite some time (if ever) that this ends up seeing the light of day. What do you think of this form factor for an e-reader / tablet?
If you don’t want others knowing what your reading, you should probably stick to paper. That’s the conclusion of an Electronic Frontier Foundation study that looked at how our e-book readers collect information, and what the device maker has access to during our daily use.
Not surprisingly always on connected devices such as the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes and Noble Nook log everything from what you read, to how long you read it, while more limited devices without wireless such as the Sony Reader can’t track you quite so closely.The EFF suggests anyone concerned with their privacy stick with the open-source FBReader, but lets face it, we prefer having our e-books delivered in seconds over a high speed wireless network don’t we?
Anyone else concerned with the privacy of your e-reader? Or did you check all your expectations of privacy at the Ethernet jack when you first logged on to the net in the first place? Let us know what you think.
In an increasingly overcrowded e-reader market, content will likely decide the ultimate winner. It worked for Apple, and Sony is hoping they are on track as well by signing new deals with News Corp to add content from the Wall Street Journal, MarketWatch, and the New York Post to its e-ink devices.
According to Reuters, Sony will offer monthly subscriptions to the Wall Street Journal for $14.99, MarketWatch for $10.99, and the New York Post for $9.99. It seems as though Sony believes the e-ink editions formatted for their devices can command a slight premium since the Wall Street Journal online can be viewed from any web browser for less than $8 a month at today’s prices. This represents a pretty significant price delta, but it likely has something to do with the additional formatting that needs to go into reorganizing the content for a smaller screen.
Exact sales numbers for e-ink devices are hard to hammer down, but analysts currently forecast the Kindle alone will bring home about $301.4 million in revenue for Amazon in 2009, and this number is expect to grow as high as $1.8 billion by 2012. Only time will tell if the Kindle will remain the dominant platform, but clearly its still anyone game at this point.
Which e-reader do you think has the potential to become the next iPod? Or will the market fragment the way PC’s did?
In the last few weeks, competition in the eBook market has heated up. Sony has announced new eReaders at competitive prices. Amazon has also cut the price of the Kindle slightly, while introducing an international version with GSM 3G data. These developments, along with the increased media awareness of eReaders caused Forrester to make their predictions.
Forrester also expects next year to be even better for eReaders. The Barnes & Noble backed iRex 800 will be an additional challenge to Amazon’s dominant Kindle. If Apple’s tablet ever materializes, and is a decent platform for reading books, it may also have an effect. With this rapid growth, you might as well just pack up your paper books now. Who wants to read books made from dead trees anyway?
The print media is under constant pressure from its more dynamic electronic counterpart. As if the idiot box and online news outlets weren't enough, it has now got blogs and podcasts to contend with. It will have to evolve quickly, so as to to keep its rivals at bay. Some companies see an opportunity in that imminent need for reinvention.
Plastic Logic happens to be on of those companies. It has developed an electronic newspaper reader that uses a plastic display. The company will be showcasing the device at an emerging devices show in San Diego. It hasn't still named its electronic newspaper reader, which has a screen size twice that of Amazon's Kindle. Pocket Logic’s reader didn’t have to pay a hefty price for the increased screen size: it weighs only two ounces more than Amazon’s reader and is thrice as slim.
It replicates the look of a newspaper, but is also meant to display business documents. The company will make key announcements regarding its reader, including its price and details of content providers, during the International Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.