Tuesday, August 05, 2008

Another Day, Another eReader

Having failed miserably to master the basics of German at school we must thank the Bookseller for the translation of the German report in The Spiegel on Germany's Deutsche Telekom’s development of a portable e-reader. It appears to be primarily aimed at the newsprint sector with a launch later this year. They also also reported that France Telecom’s Orange is developing a a similar product called “Read&Go”.

We recently visited an ebook specialist company in San Diego and were amazed at the 3rd party devices they were testing that littered their labs. Yesterday we wrote about the potential explosion of Smartphone applications. Chip technology is changing, screen technology is changing, integration and interoperability are becoming key words so what do we really believe is the short term and long term future of readers?

We strongly believe in the ‘one armed bandit’ image which we wrote about earlier this year. It is essential that format, DRM and device are aligned. If we extend this simple approach to Smartphones there are more ‘cherries’ to be aligned but the principle is the same – you have to have all the cherries in a line to win. So we now have the new potential entrants from other sectors; Adobe, Sony, Google, Apple, Nokia being joined by an increasing number of player Deutche Telekom, Orange and many, many more. The market will choose the winner or winners and this will be based not on technology alone but more importantly on a combination of the Right Content, at the Right Price, on the Right Device, at the Right Time.

The next big question is how do publisher control the distribution of the digital content and contextual information to a rapidly expanding market and maximise their sales opportunities whilst retaining control of their asset?

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