Wednesday, December 24, 2008

Look Out, Amazon: iPhone Gets Real E-Books

Lets face it, the iPhone and iPod are not the best devices for reading books, newspapers, or magazines. Heck, the screen is too small to be a real game device either, but it does offer those apps too. What it does indicate to Apple is that they are positioned to bring an "iReader" to the marketplace, using the iTunes store to download print material across devices. Allowing its owner the flexibility to move a purchased subscription or book to one device and move it effortlessly to other devices that we own, would be the ultimate in convenience and usability.

And with Kindle slow to market with its next generation device, the timing is impeccable for Apple to announce at Macworld that they are selling their own reader. With the iTune store already in place, and consumer appetite growing for digital reading, Apple should be reading the signals. The iPhone is not the device to use "for serious readers -- the screen is small, the battery life is iffy, etc. But we could see book snackers reading a chapter a day or so -- or a magazine, or travel guidebook, or reference materials -- on their phone or iPod touch." But it is an opportunity to create a competing reader and make the content accessible across its various devices.

Until then, "there's plenty of e-books for the iPhone already, ScrollMotion has two advantages over its rivals: A gorgeous, feature-filled e-reader app called Iceberg and deals with several major publishers, including Random House, Simon and Schuster, Houghton Mifflin, Penguin, and Hachette." Nice!

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