Monday, November 10, 2008

Another ebook reader

Coming across another ebook reader should stimulate us to look hard at it and listen to the market’s reaction to it and ponder whether it will make the difference. There is many ereaders littering the market and all claiming to be different and the ‘must buy’ to the new ebook market. So coming across yet another eink model makes us wonder how they think they are different.

Do any have the iconic design of an Apple? Do any offer the technology at a price that is truly a no brainer? Do any offer access content that is different from the others? Do any of them have that marketing position or relationship that makes it a category killer?

The game is to guess which one this is:
Supports ebook formats from pdf, mobi, lit, epub, doc, html, txt, prc, fb2, jpg files to over 300.000 of *free* rss newsfeeds.
• Fully PC and MAC compatible
• Unique paperlike display, read even in bright sunlight based on eink
• Longlife battery, one charge will last 7.000 pageturns
• Accomodates your entire bookcase up to a 1,000 books
• Use it anywhere: at home, vacation, study, work, travel
• Use it to read: books, studybooks, papers, news, catalogs, workdocuments, reference guides/book, ebooks, training papers, any document
• Plays MP3 files and audiobooks
• It features a 6-inch reflective screen, a SD card slot, 512MB of internal storage and a USB connector. The BEBOOK's dimensions are 184mm (length) x 120mm (width) x 10mm (height) and it weighs just 220 gr including the battery.
• £229 with free leather case

The truth is its just another eink reader with more or less the same features as the rest but has a different badge. The one thing we noticed was that it listed around 22,000 titles in its catalogue. Mostly the usual publics domain suspects plus some interesting other language titles: ‘Afrikaans (3) Breton (1) Bulgarian (6) Catalan (20) Cebuano (1) Chinese (293) Czech (2) Danish (19) Dutch (344) English (21020) Esperanto (44) Finnish (432) French (1195) Frisian (1) Friulano (4) Galician (1) Gascon (1) German (511) Greek (6) Hebrew (3) Hungarian (7) Icelandic (6) Iloko (2) Interlingua (1) Irish (4) Italian (144) Japanese (2) Latin (37) Middle English (3) Nahuatl (1) Napoletano-Calabrese (1) Norwegian (10) Polish (3) Portuguese (234) Romanian (1) Russian (3) Serbian (4) Spanish (159) Swedish (39) Tagalog (51) Welsh (10)’

The answer is another Dutch product called BEBOOK.

What links the Kindle, Sony, Iliad, Plastic Logic, Fujitsu, and Bebook is eink and also the concept of a portable storage and reading device. Is eink the key to the Holy Grail or is it a technology looking for a home? There are new screen technologies being developed and adopted by other converging media and communications sectors that aim to compete, so will it succeed?

The online world will challenge the current download logic and in doing so also negate the often messy and cumbersome DRM handshakes. The rent to read and cloud computing model will question the need to build local storage devices for books that are often only read one at a time and once. The mobile convergence and netbook developments will question the one dimensional device and just as Blackberry had to these devices will have to widen their functionality. The world is no longer greyscale and is animated. Finally, ask any person on the street what gadget or electronic device they would spend £229 on and the odds would be slim on an ebook reader. The price point is way out.

1 comment:

Anonymous said...

The Kindle still seems to be the most popular - no doubt in large part due to Oprah saying it was her favorite gadget. The Kindle 2 is expected soon - an announcemnt on Monday probably - so it will be interesting to see what sort of changes they have made. Vic