Thursday, July 10, 2008

Mobile eBook Reader?

When Apple opens its store on Friday and Steve Jobs launches the new iPhone, the impact is likely to be as significant at last time, but the difference this time, is that its not so much the phone, but what you can do with it.

The new 3G phone has been effectively unlocked to enable more than 500 developers to create new applications and download others. The technology market has harnessed applications to drive demand before. Remember the IBM PC powered by Microsoft Window and more applications than the Mac. Remember the IBM and HP and DEC mid range periods of dominance all driven by software applications.

The availability of rich software could help tip the market further towards iPhone. However the gulf they have to breach is not small with Palming claim to have some 30,000 active software developers and Microsoft more than 18,000 applications available for its Windows Mobile operating system. 25% of the initial Apple applications will be free and 33% will be games. Of the commercial applications some 90% will be sold for $9.99. Apple would provide distribution and marketing.

Many have said that if Apple were to create an ebook reader then the market would take off. Others have agreed that the content and it packaging would need to change also to fit the mobile demands. What is clear is that the mobile applications market is hoting and opening up and it may not be Apple who now has to create that magic connection. Interestingly it is not rocket science to understand that the reason that Adobe back the epub standard so heavily and developed the only DRM to support it today was to have re-flow text that can be rendered on the mobile platform.

Perhaps things a closer than we all imagine.

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