Two things triggered the following post today. First, was a stop at the local mall. Second, was happening across an online article on ereaders.
This afternoon my wife and I happened by the local Apple store. It was my wife’s first iPad interaction. She’s seen, and briefly used, my Sony eReader PRS-505. She ‘gets’ the eReader.Over lunch, I was surprised when she asked me where the iPad ‘fit,’ and who it was best suited for.
Darn good question…as the sole device for someone…it’s a narrow market. I think she said it right. In her mind the iPad’s a luxury device. Most of us need a computer first, iPad later.It’s been said elsewhere, of course. But I found it very interesting coming from someone who focus is elsewhere; not worrying about ‘iPad dominance’ or ebooks and ereaders..
Eventually, I will get an iPad (or similar) device. I do a –lot—of reading, in multiple formats, from newspapers, to magazines, eBooks, whitepapers, and presentations. Being able to consume all that content, mixed with in-line video and active linking to complimentary content, has strong appeal to me.
Having spent some time with a friend’s iPad, and having consumed oodles of books/PDFs/docx on my eReader, I’m somewhat surprised. I’m not drooling over getting an iPad.
iPad’s got a problem for me: battery life. I make the following comparison:iPad|eReader and iPhone|Blackberry. The ‘i’ devices just suck power. “If” you get 10 hours real use, be happy about it—especially as their batteries age. My eReader, like my former Blackberry, isn’t sexy, but does most of what I want and—importantly—happily goes days (or over a week for the Reader) on a charge.
Cost, so thoroughly debated elsewhere, is going to continue to be a barrier to adoption. What I believe will happen, as in the cell phone market, is that devices like the iPad will redefine the high-end market, pushing more options down, lower in the market, giving more functionality to everyone at all price points. We’re no more likely to see ‘iPad only’ offerings in 2013 than we are dedicated ‘eReaders only.’
A major current impediment is coming from the market makers themselves, folks like Barnes & Noble, Borders, Amazon, Sony’s eStore, and the like. Some of them are focused on trying to lock us in with one of ‘their’ devices and selling content only those devices can consume.Guess what: there’s a reason I stayed away from the Kindle, and it had nothing to do with the device itself.
Yes, iPad can borrow from McDonald’s signs of years past, with signs saying, “Millions and Millions Sold.”The stage lights are bright. iPad’s strutting its stuff. It is itself a great market maker for application developers selling to specific markets. Let’s not forget the world remains pretty busy off-stage too.
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