Tuesday, October 25, 2011

This just in...

I read an interesting article this past week. It seems that “they” (the experts) are now predicting the death of e-readers. Why? New technology.

We’ve spent considerable virtual ink the past few years here at Type M, discussing how e-readers were going to change the face of publishing. We may even have been correct in our pronouncements. What we didn’t take into account is that technology, as is its want, has been moving along changing the scenery around us as we fretted over these evil little machines.

Okay, here’s the section of an article published by The Street and written by one Seth Fiegerman. The title of the article is “Gadgets that won’t be around in 2020”. I think you’ll find it interesting. I’ll wait here while you read it...

“The e-reader has already undergone significant changes in its short history, evolving from a product with a keyboard to one with a touchscreen and more recently being integrated into a kind of a tablet-hybrid, but according to Mr. Golvin, the market for e-readers will mostly disappear by the end of the decade.

“‘The tablet will largely supplant the e-reader in the same way that the iPod increasingly gets displaced by smartphones,’ Mr. Golvin says. ‘Tablets will take on the e-reader function of handling magazine, newspaper and book reading.’ In essence, spending money on an e-reader that can only handle reading when tablets can do this and more will come to seem as useless as buying a GPS system that can only look up directions when other technology does this as well.

“Just how small the e-reader market becomes may depend somewhat on advancements in display technology. One of the biggest incentives for consumers to buy a pure e-reader is to have an e-ink display (like reading from a book) rather than a backlit display (like reading from a computer screen), but according to Mr. Golvin, manufacturers are already working on ways to merge the two reading experiences and create a tablet that doubles as an authentic e-reader.

“Even then, there may be still be some e-readers on the market at the beginning of next decade, but not many.

“‘It could be that by 2020 you can still buy a super cheap e-reader for $20, but by and large, the volume of sales will be so close to zero as to be indistinguishable, like CD players are now,’ he says.”

So what do you think? From where I sit, it certainly seems to state a pretty obvious case. Technology has moved on and now things are shifting once again. Actually, they never cease shifting.

Boy! Am I glad I didn’t buy that Kindle!

11 comments:

Aline Templeton said...

This is very useful, Rick - thank you. I've just been trying to decide whether to get a Kindle Touch or an iPad, and I think that settles it. The iPad's awfully shiny too!

Aline

Rick Blechta said...

Yes, and you can check the weather on it, too. Very useful in Scotland, that. ;)

вебпромо said...

I even told my friends to take a look at your blog and in fact your blog is already bookmarked on my computer. Hope to see more of this.

Rick Blechta said...

Why, thank you! We try here at Type M.

hannah Dennison said...

Really interesting. I had no idea. I'm afraid I'm not a forward thinker. I didn't even think I'd make it to the new millennium. Thanks Rick!

Vicki Delany said...

The advantage to me of the e-reader is precisely that it is a one-function device. I use mine to read. I do not want anything that checks e-mail or connects Facebook or Twitter. I want to read my book and not find my fingers moving to that Send/Receive button. I think that will keep the e-reader alive for a long time.

Charlotte Hinger said...

I've ordered a Kindle Fire largely because of price and cloud storage. Here's the problem--I keep putting off ordering anything because something newer and greater is just around the corner. I hear the IPad 3 is supposed to be awesome. Think I'll hold out for Ipad 4.

Donis Casey said...

That's my problem, Charlotte. I want something that is going to be useful for a few years. This shows archaic thinking on my part, for technology changes too quickly for anything to remain cutting edge for several weeks, much less a few years.

Rick Blechta said...

"...technology changes too quickly for anything to remain cutting edge for several weeks, much less a few years."

Try several minutes, Donis. You might get a day if you're really lucky and buy late on a Saturday1

NL Gassert said...

I'm with Vicki on this. I love my Kindle, because it's most book-like and allows me to escape reality for a bit. In a sense, I use it to check out for a while and I really don’t want to check out with a device that’s meant to get me more checked-in/connected. I’m weird that way :-)

Aline Templeton said...

Charlotte, I do agree. I'm in that sort of dither right now - they keep telling us how wonderful the next thing's going to be and I want what I buy to last more than ten minutes.
Aline