I finally decided to address the elephant in the room and write about the tablets that are about to burst forth on to the scene. There has been a lot of talk about whether the tablets are going to kill off the eBook readers and my answer is both yes and no. Yes, I know that’s always and annoying answer to give but that’s the way life works.
To further explain, it will interest the readers of this blog that I don’t the Kindle is in any kind of danger at the moment even if Apple really launches a tablet device this month complete with a full range of content on iTunes. Here’s why.
The Kindle started this whole eBook reader thing, even though it wasn’t the first one at the scene. Amazon hit it on the head with the Whispernet. Then, the Kindle went international, giving Amazon much greater market penetration. It is also a device that has gone through more than one product cycle and that means it is better tuned and more in sync with the demands of the market. This is not true for almost all other readers in the market.
That is why they are easy victims for the tablets to pick off. Tablets will be multimedia devices and hence much more attractive at the onset. They will have full color and everything that a portable computer does today. But they will still lack the paper like display that is easy on the eye and lasts for days on end. The two most important things that made the eBook readers click.
Still, these hurdles will slowly be overcome and we might see a tablet Kindle in the future because convergence is where we are headed and Amazon will surely upgrade the Kindle to counter this threat. So overall, I think it will basically be the survival of the fittest, just like it always has been in a free market economy.