The Kindle is Dead, Long Live the Kindle!

July 9, 2010 | By Tal Givoly | In: Gadgets, Strategy

Since the iPad was announced on January 27, people immediately started asking (and answering) the question: “what will happen to Kindle and eReaders?” And since the iPad became available in April 2010, many have been putting those questions to the test. Most recently, Amazon completed porting their Kindle application to a wide variety of popular devices, now including Android, and came out with the new Kindle DX.

So here’s what I think about iPad/Tablets vs. Kindle/eReaders:

  • It’s not going to be a slam dunk – eReaders are not going to completely vacate the scene for the iPad to replace them. They will coexist. Dedicated eReaders, with their E Ink are still best for reading outside during the day – the iPad’s screen makes this very difficult. Since reading outside is an important reading environment, eReaders cannot completely disappear (here is a photo comparison).
  • Dedicated eReaders will be priced between $50 and $200, and few, if any, will survive at prices higher than this. This will allow them to exist as a separate category, and it will take a few years for Apple to reduce price of the iPad to this price range.http://www.givoly.com/comparing-outdoor-readability/Android-powered tablets (from LG, Nvidia, and others), iPad competitors, will likely battle head-to-head with eReaders in the lower price range. That’s why, the recently announced Kindle DX is practically DOA (dead on arrival). Even though its price dropped immediately, it is still too expensive (at $379).
  • iBookstore will not succeed like iTunes has. Kindle will win the book distribution business. This is actually much more important to Amazon than the Kindle device itself. Amazon and its Kindle application ultimately win. Kindle app might not be quite as”pretty” as iBooks app, but overall, it does provide a better book reading experience.
  • Applications like Zinio and PressReader will make the iPad a terrific device for reading magazines and newspapers – something neither the Kindle device nor app nor ecosystem are particularly good for.

Why I think this way?

Amazon was the innovator that made eReaders work – technically, and commercially, where others had mostly failed. It brought the Kindle to market creating the eBook business almost single-handedly. Amazon succeeded thanks to the huge eco-system of publishers that made it the world #1 book seller, very smart pricing/licensing with $9.99 best sellers, and because the Kindle worked completely independent – over the air. Amazon partnered with mobile operators completely hiding the “network connectivity” experience from the customer. This made impulse book buying easy – you could buy a book wherever you were whenever you wanted it. You could sample a first chapter and then pay for the rest, right from the Kindle device.

All seemed good for the Kindle, but any product/service can ultimatley be replaced. And now, the market has changed in two important ways:

  1. Dozens of competitor eReaders are now crowding the market at prices of $100-$200. All with eInk, some with WiFi connectivity and some with 3G, some with their own book stores and some just sync with any book you bring in, most use the open ePub format.
  2. The iPad came out, and it (and other tablets following it) is setting new expectations: that eBooks are, well, no longer just ‘books’. Making it quite clear that an eReader, is really just good at being a ‘reader’.

The Core Problem with eReaders

The eReaders came to succeed thanks to both E Ink and Amazon’s ingenuity in figuring out a working formula. E Ink is a technology that barely consumes power, since it is not backlit, which also makes it much easier on the eye compared to a glaring display. It’s very much like the technology we used to play with as kids – Etch a Sketch. Energy is required to draw and redraw the page, but not to display the image once it’s there. So eReaders can work on very limited battery (required only to flip pages and browse/download books), and therefore, run a very long time between charges.

E Ink is both the chief advantage and fundamental problem with eReaders. Due to its very nature, it must be static. Energy is required to change what’s on the display. It also takes more than half a second to blacken the entire screen before the new page is displayed on it. It’s very annoying.

This makes very difficult – nearly impossible – to do anything dynamic with E Ink, such as video, animation, scrolling, cursors – or anything with color. This means it’s not good for web browsing or any kind of dynamic or image-based content (video, games, animation, and more). Therefore, it’s also very poor for magazines, which are usually printed on glossy paper with gorgeous imagery – all totally lost on E Ink. Yeah, you can read the text, but that’s pretty much it.

It’s like comparing an old monochrome CRT screen vs. a colorful graphical user interface. There’s simply no going back. Or is there?

For all but avid readers, the iPad will replace the eReader

The iPad is not just a reader, it makes you fall in love with it upon first touch. So the question is, why would you carry around another, dedicated eReader? While there are some exceptions, most will prefer a tablet such as the iPad to a dedicated eReader. The tablet is a terrific eReader – if it has 10+ hours of battery life, it is good enough for the overwhelming majority of the reading public, despite the active display. I, for one, have read several books on my iPhone and iPad, and it is great. It has advantages over E Ink and paper – I can read in the dark and there’s no crease. The Kindle application on the iPad makes buying and reading books offered by Amazon very easy. The most serious problem for the iPad seems to be reading outside. If this is where you read, the iPad will do you no good. For some avid readers, this will be the reason they stick to eReaders.

So what will happen with all the new eReaders?

Very simple – most will fail. This is unfortunate for many companies that have invested heavily in their success. These are the consumer electronics manufacturers and the book retailers. Tens of eReaders were announced in January 2010 at CES, almost all of them will not survive 12 months. The market of avid readers is simply not big enough for them.

The category of eReader will, in my mind, be a range of $50-$200, which is well below a full-featured powerful tablet, such as the iPad. This is almost half the price of the recently announced Amazon Kindle DX. There are many eReaders in the $100-200 range today, which will keep the competition fierce in this space, and prices at bay.

So if the dedicated eReaders fail, and eventually even the Kindle device itself, how is it that Amazon (and its Kindle) still wins?

Amazon was wise, and developed application versions of their Kindle – first for the iPhone, then the iPad, and more recently, Android and Blackberry. This approach makes it possible to buy and read books from Amazon regardless of the end device. It also works on both Windows and Macs.

But wait, didn’t Apple announce iBooks and iBookstore for the iPad? Yes. But Apple’s approach will be less successful than Amazon’s. Even though both applications are free, and even though the iBooks interface is gorgeous (and slightly better than the Kindle app), this isn’t enough to beat what Amazon has going for it: the wide variety of books (now over 620,000!). The iBookstore has a much more limited selection. While it may grow, it will cost them critical ramping up time before it nears the vast offering available from Amazon. And by then, it will be too late to become the preferred channel. I recently tried to find several books I wanted to read from iBookstore, and ended up havin to buy them all through the Kindle app instead. While the Kindle device will ultimately displaced (for the most part) by the iPad and other devices, Amazon will continue to win by being the dominant seller of eBooks – for a rapidly growing number of devices.

When I say “displaced”, I do not mean “eradicated”. eReaders, such as Kindle, will continue to exist for avid readers, especially those that often read outdoors. However, for the overwhelming majority, an iPad (or tablet) will serve as their reader. The iPad cut into the eReader market, reducing their overall market potential, which has also become very crowded.

Two Questions Remain Open:

  • How will we read dynamic and colorful content outdoors? No existing technology handles these particularly well. Perhaps there’s an opportunity.
  • Book format is still an open issue. It’s not clear whether Kindle will ultimately support ePub, or if we’ll have a long-term duopoly of ePub and Kindle – and whether all books be available in both formats. But either way, Amazon Kindle app is not going away any time soon.

Bottom Line: The Kindle is dead, long live the Kindle (Application).

Either way, Amazon wins!

Others have discussed this topic, though I haven’t seen many bold predictions. Here are a few good reads on the topic:

What do you think?

33 Responses to The Kindle is Dead, Long Live the Kindle!

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Shai Shamir

July 13th, 2010 at 6:55 am

Great review Tal,

The reflection on Glossy screen is also a problem on Mac Book Pro but Anti-glare solutions from 3rd parties available for purchase.
I still prefer the regular books for leisure time reading especial for children books where illustrations and flipping the pages is lots of fun.

Shai

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Gidi

July 13th, 2010 at 8:29 am

Tal
eBooks are only now entering the second of three phases in technology integration – acceptance. The first phase – development – is characterized by a deluge of different approaches, formats, base technologies, etc. The acceptance phase winnows out technological dead-ends and marketing buzz. The third pase – internalization – will probably focus on two or three basic paradigms: dedicated readers (such as Kindles), integrated/convergent devices (iPads, etc) and maybe interactive devices (think schoolbooks with exercises)
There will be, of course, many flavors (multiple e-ink pages, color e-ink pages) and capabilities – but unless something really unexpected happens – the electronic book is here to stay

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Oded Shopen

July 13th, 2010 at 8:43 am

I think that the market will very quickly move to hybrid screens like those offered by Pixel Qi. The company was founded by the folks to started the One Laptop Per Child at MIT, when they saw the problems with using LCD screens outdoors in poor countries.

The screen is a “regular” LCD screen with some modifications that allow it to work in two modes: standard mode and outdoors mode. The outdoors mode looks just as good as E-Ink, but with the refresh rate of an LCD. Still black&white, but at least you can see something. You can watch a full HD movie in grayscale outdoors :).

Info:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oawX3wenxNc
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Mm8WoItVRn0

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KK

July 13th, 2010 at 9:11 am

Tal,
Its a very good review. Explored & covered from all angles.

However I think one point is being missed. Audio books. they are slowly gaining their market share. First of all the number of book readers are less. and audio books are gaining share.

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Oded Cnaan

July 13th, 2010 at 9:16 am

Print-Books are here to stay. They provide the best (and simplest) user experience, they don’t need electricity, tearable but unbreakable, they don’t radiate, cannot be hacked and much more.

On the other hand, eBooks are here to stay as well, probably as a niche market (compared to print books’ market), at least for the next few years.

Dedicated eBooks technology, as Gidi indicated in his comment, will improve, adding color, animation (improved refresh rates) and prices will fall down. The main advantage of iPad like devices (over time) will be the tendency towards device consolidation – people prefer not to carry too many different (and dedicated) devices. A good example is the evolution of mobile handsets from voice oriented devices to fully featured computers that include cameras, PIM, Internet, messaging, applications, games etc.

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James Halliday

July 13th, 2010 at 9:21 am

Amazon would appear to be pushing themselves as a seller of books primarily and then of ebook readers. If you’ve got anything that doesn’t directly compete with the kindle, then there’s probably a free app for the platform already.

Apple are in the business of selling hardware. If they can make some money off you buying a book as well, that’s great. If they can sell you a load of books that are going to require another Ipad to read them in the future, that’s even better. They did it for music, and now they’re doing it with books.

Put very simply. I own neither a Kindle or an Ipad.
If I go to Amazon I can buy a book, but they’ll suggest maybe I’d enjoy it more on a Kindle. If I go to Apple, I’m told to buy an Ipad, then come back for my book.

Personally I’m not lugging around two devices and just going to wait for the dust to settle.
I’m guessing in a year or so, the benefits of the ebook screen will start appearing in the devices we already carry, e.g.
http://www.makershed.com/ProductDetails.asp?ProductCode=MKPQ01

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Vijay K

July 13th, 2010 at 9:24 am

Tal, It’s been a pleasure to read your posts. I must say, especially this one about e-readers.

I don’t know what else I can add. You have pretty much covered all aspects of these devices, including links to similar posts.

Please keep those posts coming… We’re hungry to read :-).

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Vijay K

July 13th, 2010 at 9:26 am

Now, I recall what to add :-).

May be you’ve heard of Pixel Qi. It looks promising alternative to combine the best of color displays and the ability to read outside like e-ink.

There’re several tablets working on to use this tech.

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Sanj

July 13th, 2010 at 9:48 am

This links shows a new type of screen for colour eBook readers.

http://www.pocket-lint.com/news/34014/full-colour-kindle-by-christmas

There is no mention of reading in sunlight though, and the same screen can be used on standard iPad like tablets.

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Oded Shopen

July 13th, 2010 at 10:28 am

Sanj, this looks REALLY promising! Will beat Pixel Qi hands down if it gets to market. Pixel Qi already has one screen in production and the demand was very high. But this goes one step further. The deal break would ofcourse be the refresh rate of the screen.

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Fabio Correa

July 13th, 2010 at 12:26 pm

Qualcomm has a very promising color display technology that can make some difference (see it at http://www.mirasoldisplays.com/). I love my Kindle 2 for leisure reading (mostly text only books) and I love my iPad for reading colorful interactive magazines and PDF books (mostly technical ones). The Amazon store is very good if you are using the US one but the International store lacks important titles. The iBooks store so far is not convincing. It is much better to use Kindle on the iPad or even Stanza. I don’t like to use the iPhone for reading books, the small screen is not comfortable enough if you spend hours reading and I don’t think that the retina display would change that. But it would be amazing to have the retina display on the iPad. One thing that I miss is non-English books on any of the platforms. Best Regards.

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Gautam

July 13th, 2010 at 2:20 pm

Kindle and other e-readers will have wo legacies:
1. They kept the “Book Reading” as a hobby from vanishing. Thanks to these readers, people still can cling to books.
2. E-ink display technology breakthrough.

In the days to come we would see more innovative uses of E-ink. Since it takes hardly any energy to display text using E-ink, it is environment friendly and follows the tenet of planet sustainability. I think E-ink displays would replace the our common displays like- Clocks, Traffic Signs, Restaurant Menus, For sure text books and so on. I think future generations would marvel, how people used a Paper which has Hard-coded text and only one-time use.

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Yogesh Dengle

July 13th, 2010 at 2:52 pm

As some other folks pointed out PixelQi is definitely something promising (Notion Ink Adam if anyone recalls), But one thing that may be in favor of e-Readers and particularly Kindle is their simplicity. I would like to point out the Flip Video cameras, people bought those just for the simplicity of those, they could always have bought Camcorders/Digital cameras with all the features that are included in those, but the Flip cameras are still doing good. Leaving asides us “geeks”, there will always be a decently sized segment of consumers that wants just will want simplicity and ease of use.
And as you summarized, doesn’t matter which platform/devices prevail Amazon had ensured that it is in the right place or should i say right places at the right time.

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Andrew Harbourne-Thomas

July 13th, 2010 at 3:54 pm

I tend to agree in terms of driving trends, however, the future will evolve as the technology and usability does (the unknown unknown).

An example from a recent tweet of mine (http://j.mp/9gFe6G via @Orli) was the ‘Kno’ – more than an iPad, Kindle or Netbook. Video at http://j.mp/bKDRIM . A particularly interesting version of this could put the two together as a hybrid device.

I think you’ve hit the nail on the head – either way, Amazon wins! The kindle app will keep their market intact (for now at least).

Waiting for the next disruptive innovation. . .

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Tal Givoly

July 13th, 2010 at 6:34 pm

First, thanks for all the terrific and encouraging feedback. I loved reading these comments!

Some general comments:

– Indeed, Pixel Qi and Mirasol® are very promising technologies – and they will help drive device consolidation and cross-overs (eReaders that develop into tablets, and vice versa). This will also resolve the daylight dynamic/colorful content question I raised.
– However, fundamentally, they don’t change the fact that Amazon has figured out how to remain the dominant eBook seller. I think they might ultimately adopt ePub in order to allow access to their books even beyond their application – but they’ll do so if that’s what’s necessary to maintain their position – so I don’t expect it very soon.

Now to specific responses:

Shai suggested that anti-glare solutions from 3rd party might work. Can they make the iPad readable outside? Possibly, but I doubt this will solve the problem for most users. I see much more promise in the technologies Oded and others have pointed to – that is Pixel Qi. Great video his points to (and others from that), from which you can learn a lot more about it. I missed it at CES this year. But it’s big. It does appear to be a technology that answers my first open question.

Gidi, I certainly agree that eBooks and eReaders are here to stay. I further agree, the market shape will change. I’m just predicting that iBookstore will not hurt Amazon much at all, nor will the decline of their Kindle device, or even, perhaps, their proprietary format. They are making the right moves to sail through and emerge the winner through this – at least so far.

KK, I tried audio books once or twice, but I never got comfortable with it. I think it’ll be a long uphill battle for audio books, but without lots of justification for this.

Oded, true, but I see a steady, and rather rapid, migration between paper books and eBooks. In about 15-20 years, I think paper books will be quaint and we’ll fondly remember seeing them last. Alternatives to paper are finally really here, and people will shift in mass. How long will it take for most schools to use only electronic material? I think we’re talking 10-20 years from now, perhaps sooner. After that happens, physical books will be rare. It’s possible that with display technologies like Pixel Qi, it will be impossible to tell an eReader from a tablet in a few years. But that’s not my main point- I’m saying that Amazon’s cross-platform approach for selling books is the winning formula.

James, thanks for the link and perspective. Indeed, the iPad has not replaced a single device I carry around – I now lug more devices. I will (try to) avoid a dedicated eReader, but I can see consolidation taking place with new technologies.

Vijay, you are right, apparently, I missed Pixel Qi – but others have pointed it out. And indeed, it is promising and will likely enable consolidating the two over time.

Sanj and Fabio, thx for pointing out yet another alternative technology to enable cross-overs and consolidation, Mirasol.

Fabio, I read a few books on the iPhone. Found it great for reading at night in bed, lying on the side… was very fast due to size, so quickly scanning through.

Gautam, I hadn’t thought of that legacy of E Ink, but you’re right, it might resurrect itself elsewhere. That said, I see most external displays using very light-intensive technologies, because they often need to work at night. E Ink might still require power. Finally, all those advertisements and colorful displays are often animated – again, something E Ink doesn’t excel in. So I do wonder where E Ink will find itself, but I don’t think it will be as successful as it had intended to be. If I were an investor, I would think that E Ink is going down in a few years rather than up.

Andrew, Thanks for sharing the Kno movie. I liked it, but thought that it’s much easier to create a concept video than an actual product. The video focuses on two things – the device, and the software. The software is something Apple can really get right, and others, might find that very difficult. The device? Looks like an interesting form factor – the iPad does require some sort of protective cover, and so does the Kindle. You cannot just throw these things around and expect them to survive. But then what about the accessories market?…

Thanks again for all the great feedback and information.

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@Drivelry

July 14th, 2010 at 1:43 am

Tal, a couple of other distinguishing features of the Kindle v iPad aside from the point you raise about outside screen readability are:

– data subscription (you must buy a plan with the iPad)

– weight (the Kindle weighs less than half the weight of the iPad and even the DX is 30% lighter) – the DX is just at my comfort level reading in bed, any heavier and I could suffer nose damage when I fell asleep with it on my face

– battery life (2 weeks is stil way better than 10 hours)

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Manish Sukhwani

July 14th, 2010 at 8:42 am

The technology is changing as we talk, so definitely cannot predict who is going to be an ultimate winner in this race because a single mistake can take away the consumers from you.

Apple on one hand believes in creating a closed world where everything start and end at http://www.apple.com . This is one main reason which annoys the free souls who believe in free information flow and minimal control the example of such type is Android OS. With the success of Android in it’s kitty Google would also come out with it’s own version of bookstore but keep in mind it’s going to be free or at minimal cost. Google is working out on scanning a big chunk (big means really big)of books and making them available online. So this will be ultimate challenge to Amazon and Apple both.

Now coming back to original point Kindle device vs Ipad, i think this fight is going to be there for sometime and would get more Interesting as it progress. I agree with Tal that other eReaders would have give up ultimately and there would be only few devices left in the race. With Amazon coming up with Kindle App for smart phones they are for sure will be in the race may not be for device but sure for Online Bookstore. And amazon with it’s history would definitely advantage from knowledge of handling online store and how to make it successful. And the fight for the device will be there for atleast a decade because there are so many users with different preferences. Perfect example of fight for device is the fight of IPod vs Zune vs Sony vs ….. We still have so many players in the market as media players device providers, The same way the device fight would continue.

The key factor why i think so in terms of device is cost, Apple being greedy will always keep its prices on the upper side which actually is a breather for other companies to target consumers who want similar devices but at a lower cost.

And let’s not forget the ultimate truth of this industry: CONSOLODATION. Who knows, Amazon and Google may tie up and come up with something great. or someone buys other out and expands its portfolio.

There is one more point that we should not miss, these days the consumer has become used and also prefer reading small texts like tweets on twitter. We can’t predict how this would change the future of reading but will surely impact the industry for sure.

Lemme know what u guys think.

Manish Sukhwani

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Tal Givoly

July 14th, 2010 at 7:21 pm

@Drivelry, there are indeed many more differences between the Kindle and the iPad aside from those I mentioned. However, I chose to focus on few. Battery life on iPad is good enough to serve for reading, though does require periodic charges. The weight, I believe, is less of an issue. Data subscription is a tricky subject. If you are roaming, especially internationally, the issue of being able to buy books on the go is indeed a nuisance for the iPad.

Manish, the fact we cannot accurately predict the future, doesn’t mean we don’t make choices based on our predictions that affect the present and future all the time. So I like to predict the future as much as possible, realizing that I am bound to be wrong quite a bit. Google scanning of books helps primarily for public domain books. There are tens of thousands of books whose copyright has expired and are available on all book platforms in eBook editions. This is the long long tail. I don’t think this will throw a major wrench into neither Apple’s nor Amazon’s story.

I also agree that Apple is open up for low-end-disruption by usually being priced higher in the market. The question is whether they will replicate the tactics from the iPod – and if they do, they will continuously lower prices to fend off such competition. There, they gave very little, if any, room for competitors to creep up on them.

Will it be fast enough? We’ll see. I’d like to see them start selling iPhone 3G’s, for instance, without contract, locks, or subscriptions at about $100. That would begin to really be tough for competitors in the phone business. It would be somewhat equivalent to what they’ve done in iPods. This is also true for tablets. A $100 price drop/year is almost a given, can they make it $200?

Finally, I don’t think social media and Twitter will change book reading more than the web, blogs, etc.

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Tal Givoly

July 14th, 2010 at 8:06 pm

Yet another alternative to E Ink / E Paper from Nemoptics.

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Vlad

July 16th, 2010 at 7:59 pm

I think it is as pointless as comparison of “wrist watch vs cellphones”. The fact that Ipads can also read books means nothing
to people who just want to read books and are not ready to pay 4 times more for a nice gadget with more features (not speaking about data plans and years of contract).

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Tal Givoly

July 16th, 2010 at 8:16 pm

Vlad, I certainly realize there’s a place for both. The thing is, that before the iPad showed up, eReaders were poised for dramatic growth. Now, their market will be substantially more limited given that many will not choose to have both a tablet and an eReader, reducing the overall business potential to the many companies that are vested in them. I believe this will have a signifant impact on the landscape. That’s why it’s important – for all those involved now. Some have suggested that the categories will ultimately converge and blend together.

The business model offered by eReader vendors, such as Amazon, whereby they buy wholesale network connectivity and make their money by selling the eBooks is very convenient for consumers. But imagine what will happen if/when ubiquitous connectivity at a flat rate might be available for broadband globally? That would imply that any device is always connected to the network.

This is still a few years out (especially the roaming part of it), but I think it’s in our future.

Thx for comments!

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Tanya Modlinne

July 18th, 2010 at 8:44 am

I liked your Kindle article – since I love reading myself but I am very attached to my books and I can’t see myself curling up in bed with a Kindle. There was a time when I travelled to work by train – more than an hour’s journey in each direction and I decided to educate myself by reading the classics. Years later I am unable to part with those Penguin classics with their beautiful covers of paintings by the masters which capture some theme of the novel. So even if Amazon is given the classics as freebies – that will not do the trick for me.

Another point – I am always threatening when things get too much for me that I will pick up and take off to my desert island with a pile of books. As long as I take enough replacement batteries and enough of the titles I want to read are available on Kindle, this may be a way of travelling light. While I sit leaning against my lone palm tree with the sun setting below the horizon, I will kindle my little bonfire and a favourite title.

Lastly, with the advent of electronic books – Is “bookworm” going to become an anachronism? Just saw the movie Toy Story in 3D (don’t tell me I am not exploring this blogger’s world) and there the bookworm has a cameo role.

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Yair Sadeh

July 18th, 2010 at 4:01 pm

Tal,

I’m reading your two articles and I have to say it’s quite interesting. You see I belong to those who are not that techy , but in other hand I am not a nostalgic fan. I lke to admire classics, but I kow evolution of tdchnology is stronger than anything and not necessarily this is the best solution but like the real, natural evolution what is survives is not the strongest specie but the one who knows how to adjust.

So far I have to admit the e-books are quite dissapointing in terms of capturing the market, if we compare it to other areas, like papers, music etc..
I also tihnk like oyu, it’s a matter of 10-20 years that another kind of media iwll eventually replace te classical one. Ipad, E-reader? well to be honest im not familiar with neither, but I”m not saying I will not whenever it wll be more standard.
Regarding audio-book – i fully agree with you, not because audio books are good or bad, but because audio book and reading books is totally different experience while regular books vs. e-books is same experience just different media.

Keep on with it – it’s interesting.

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Jeff Barak

July 20th, 2010 at 1:03 pm

Interesting to see that Amazon said this week that it had sold more ebooks than hardcovers over the past three months (at a rate of 143 Kindle books for every 100 hardcover books)and that sales of the Kindle also grew each month during the quarter, despite the launch of the iPad. Looks like the Kindle and iPad will be co-existing for some time to come.

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Oded Cnaan

July 22nd, 2010 at 7:47 am

Google is about to make war on the world of e-books. Called Google Editions, it is a massive undertaking involving tens of thousands of publishers and millions of books. Google will sell them across their platform, using their massive traffic as the genesis point for scale.

Google Editions will provide a sales front for any smaller publisher to get into the e-book game in a big way, and on the double

Check out
http://thenextweb.com/us/2010/07/21/how-google-plans-to-crush-the-e-book-market/

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Tal Givoly

July 25th, 2010 at 10:02 pm

Thanks again for the comments.

Tanya, there’s always place for “romance”. Both the “bookworm”, and the physical books are somewhat “romantic”. We will have physical books around us for many years, but their role in our lives will be more limited in a few tens of years from now. The question is whether they will disappear in 10-20 years? In 20 years from now, will elementary school children or college students read any books on physical paper? Sure, they’ll be able to hold and fondle physical books. But will they need to? How much effort will they need to reach them?

Yair, as Jeff mentioned, Amazon just announced that eBook sales of titles EXCEED that of physical books of the same book. Jeff Bezos (Amazon CEO) announced, we are at a tipping point for eBooks. Seems like it.

Oded, Google is indeed a force to be wreckened with. What their role will be remains to be seen. I still believe most read books will be copyrighted material that will be distributed through much of the same channels that exist today (for the near future) – with one primary exception – the physical vs. digital distribution.

Finally, I just read Shelly Palmer’s analysis of this in his blog post. Great analysis and suggesting to users what to buy. Nevertheless, I think the impact of the iPad on eReaders is huge, and while some will own and use both, most will not.

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zisel

July 26th, 2010 at 1:51 am

I prefer ipad.
I love my iPad. It has almost completely replaced my personal computer. For the things I do… Is is perfect! Much nicer than any CPU I have ever owned. All my other computers would do a lot of things I would never use it for, and do it painfully in the process (slow, buggy, etc.). When you get down to what you do most on you personal computer… the iPad does almost all of the things an average user needs, and with a much much nicer U/I. Easy of use, fast, and efficient. The other computer manufacturers could learn a thing or two from this, but even if they do… they will probably screw-up the one they come out with by adding all the crap back in again. Ugggggg!!!!

I am sticking with my iPad. I think other will do the same once they try it and realize it is the perfect personal computer :-)
And some of my collections: http://www.ifunia.com/ipad-column/index.html
http://www.ipadhelpguide.net/
make the cool device more fun.

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Book Lover

July 27th, 2010 at 3:30 pm

One thing not addressed in your blog on book readers is why an avid reader like me would ever want to give up the smell of the printed page, the feeling of the binding in my hand, the dog-eared favorite passages. I am a book moocher (www.bookmooch.com) and a recycler and freecycler. One thing I hate is that I cannot pass the ebook on to anyone when I’m done. We need a secondary reseller market for ebooks!

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Oded Shopen

July 29th, 2010 at 11:35 am

Amazon’s Kindle just got a new WIFI-only edition, for merely 139$. This is the first time I actually consider getting one – it’s just the right price – cheap and does what you expect it to.

By the way – Israeli users out there – Kindle is now available in Israel with whispersync, shipped to Israel for 20$ extra.

http://www.amazon.com/gp/product/B003DZ1Y8Q?country=IL

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Oded Shopen

July 29th, 2010 at 11:38 am

Oops – sorry about that, seems like the Israeli Kindle is WIFI-Only, no 3G available.

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Tal Givoly

August 1st, 2010 at 3:18 pm

Oded, you’re right. I’m also going to get an Amazon Kindle 3 – just to check it out. One interesting thing that Switch11 says on his terrific blog (worth seeing this post, in particular) is that the iPad does not ENCOURAGE reading – it encourages other activities. The Kindle ENCOURAGES reading.

So at ~$100 range for eReaders, much higher for others, the Kindle (as device) does not need to die at all. But certainly, Amazon is holding this stick on both ends – selling the razors and the blades. By continuing to innovate and come up with new devices and new distribution platforms for their books, they are doing a great job.

Zisel, read Switch11 post and let us know if you are certain the iPad is the only device.

Book Lover, as I said, (physical) books aren’t going away, but they’ll be further away from most over time.

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Shai Shamir

September 16th, 2010 at 7:05 am

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My Kindle – Happiness is a box from Amazon | מנה מנה

May 18th, 2011 at 6:44 am

[...] על אייפד אבל זה לא כמו קינדל שהוא רק לקריאה של ספרים. ידידי טל גבעולי דן על כך בבלוגו. אני מתכוון להוסיף "פינת הגאון" בסוף הפוסט הזה למי [...]

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Tal PortraitTal Givoly has over 20 years of telecommunications technologies and software development experience, and has held management positions in technology, innovation, intellectual property, research, development, standards, and product management at Amdocs, XACCT, MIS, and other companies. Until March 2011 and for the 7-years prior, Tal was Chief Scientist at Amdocs and led innovation activities across the company.

Tal is a prolific inventor with over 25 granted patents. Tal is recognized for his passion for, and expertise in, innovation, being invited to speak at major industry events such as TeleManagement World, Mobile World Congress, CTIA and Billing & OSS World. He was also actively involved in industry forums and standard bodies including TM Forum, IETF, ATIS, and IPDR.org. Tal was a director on the board of IPDR.org and TM Forum. Tal has been named one of the top 10 people to follow in OSS/BSS.

Tal is now a full-time entrepreneur and inventor – focused on trying to build some world-changing companies. The most important startup Tal is now involved in is Medivizor, as Co-Founder and CEO. Occasionally, he shares his thoughts on this blog.