Thursday, January 28, 2010

Pretty price, same device

It's called the iPad and while it's cheaper than those mysterious tech specs speculated, I find myself having to say I told you so.

In a nutshell, Apple has produced a large iPod Touch, which is very spiffy, yes, but not very practical for most people's needs. Curiously, though, those who are unimpressed technologically suggest that the iPad will revolutionize eBooks and challenge the Kindle (and for some odd reason, keep mentioning the lackluster Nook). On one count the iPad may make a difference - magazines. Magazines look great glossy and shiny, and now they'll look even cooler, with the potential for embeded videos, sound clips and more. But eBooks? Just because publishers are excited for the future of eBooks doesn't mean consumers (or the readers of these eBooks) should be. Or as Chad Post of Three Percent so eloquently put it:
[I]f I had one of these things—and I read a hundred plus pages every day—and had the choice between video, gaming, and books, I’ll tell you what I ain’t going to choose . . .
I'll just reiterate my point. This iPad is a curious mashup that seems unlikely to stand on its own. It's not an eReader, as it does not have eInk screen technology and while it allows for reading, that does not mean much. Publishers are eager to get in on this because they think this is what consumers will go for, except consumers and publishers seem to be at odds more and more on this subject (more on that another time). Basically, the whole thing is a mess but some things still stand: the iPad is not an eReader, it shouldn't be a game-changer, and publishers (and consumers as well!) should stop hoping that Apple will magically take care of a system that is in desperate need of an overhaul. It won't.

3 comments:

  1. Not sure if I heard this right but one thing that the IPAD may have over other ebook readers, is that you'll OWN the books and can transfer it to others who have the IPAD as well. The screen size for movie viewing seems to be a plus too, but then there will be that monthly fee...oh well we will see how it sells?

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  2. The possibility of embeded video other other moving parts in e-Newspapers, books and magazines reminds me of the picture, paintings, newspapers, letters, etc that come to life in the Harry Potter series.

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  3. I think Apple totally missed the boat with this one.

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