Wednesday, January 27, 2010

The Bibliophile Stalker Has His Say About The iSlate/iTablet/iPad/Unicorn

Wow...so many rumoured names.

The Bibliophile Stalker has his say on the coming Apple gadget that could/might/perhaps jumpstart e-reading the way their iPod did for listening to music. An excerpt:

I want to focus on a question that some people might have overlooked: why are a lot of people excited about the iTablet/iSlate/Unicorn?

If you think about it, the answer is simple: because Amazon has done a lackluster job when it comes to the eBook industry. To readers, it could be the delivery method (i.e. the screen, the device, the format, etc.). To publishers, it might be how Amazon acts as the self-appointed police (to address the latter's concern, Amazon even recently made an announcement that it'll increase its royalty option--although that honestly benefits self-published authors more than major publishers).

Don't get me wrong. As far as its retail branch is concerned, Amazon is more than competent. That's why other online retailers, bookstores or otherwise, are having problems simply keeping up with Amazon. The only online retailer that seems unfazed by Amazon is Apple's iTunes Store.

But when it comes to eBooks, Amazon for the past few years has monopolized the market. It's not fair to say that they don't have competitors (they do, especially as other companies attempted to release their own eReaders), but let's face it, when you think of eBooks, they're the elephant in the room. And to their credit, they achieved that status because they did something right: integrating shopping for eBooks (and taking into account that they are a major source of books online, electronic or otherwise) with manufacturing the device itself.

However, whatever praise I have for them stops there.

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