Friday, December 26, 2008

Review of our 2008 Predictions - 8.Readers

At the end of 2007 we made 10 predictions for 2008. Many predictions made have now been conveniently forgotten but we stand by our thinking at the time and believe it appropriate we openly review these individually and see what we think happened and assess them appropriately. Today we review the readers.

8. Readers – an upgraded Sony, Kindle and the introduction of the Apple offer. The key is not the reader but the content but what is becoming crystal clear is that platform convergence onto the mobile and its network is certain.

We recognised the limitations of the current eink device offer and that a single dimensional device offer was not going to fly. True the Kindle started to raise the market awareness and demand but even with the Oprah endorsement it isn’t going to dominate anything except the eink segment. Sony claimed 300,000 units and 3 millions downloads in 2 years but when compared to the sales of iPhones alone this was a mere blip on the market.

Sony tried to create suspense in the UK market with a Waterstones exclusive launch. It achieved its ‘15 minutes’ of news but was soon usurped by the release of their bigger and better model only two weeks later, (how to endear oneself to those who had just bought the original model). We had the introduction and announcement of more and more readers - the same technology in different industrial units, but all lacking any WOW factor. We now have a number of A4 sized readers and also a new breed of larger eink screens aimed at the newsprint and professional markets. The issue is not the size but minor detail like no colour, graphics or video. Some would say that they merely converted text from paper to screen and at a heavy price.

We have long championed the mobile platform as the natural mobile device alongside its bigger notebook brother. Convergence continued at a pace and we saw some exciting iPhone applications start to appear in 2008. We now have Symbian/ Nokia, Blackberry/ RIM, Android / Google and of course iPhone / Apple all poised and ready to move in 2009.

We must also congratulate Nintendo for their entry which on reflection offers more that the eInk crowd.

We believe that 10 out of 10 is justified.

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