Thursday, March 05, 2009

A Realistic Look at the Future of E-Books

TWICE, the industry magazine for consumer electronics, has an excellent, sober, and well researched piece today about the realistic potential for growth in e-books. In essence, there are several factors that will determine the future, but the biggest one seems to be the educational market: as the textbooks go, so does the mass appeal.

Some interesting tidbits:
  • In all the hubbub about the Kindle iPhone app, Stanza got missed. Stanza claims more than 1.4 million unique iPhone and iPod Touch users, and links users to a store with more than 100,000 books and periodicals.
  • A new type of e-reader is due next year from Plastic Logic, and features a plastic screen made from plastic transistors. It's the width and height of an 8.5-inch by 11-inch sheet of paper, is less than a third of an inch thick, and weighs 16 ounces. Its dimensions make it suitable for reading magazines and documents as well as books.
  • Plustek introduced a scanner that creates do-it-yourself audio books. It’s not an e-reader, but the BookReader V100 lets you scan books, then convert them from text to speech and then to MP3 files for your iPod or other portable.
Overall, an excellent, informative read.

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