Mark Sigal on the O’Reilly Radar blog has written an article about the potential for the Apple iTablet to reboot the book market which expresses very well my own thoughts on the implications of a prosumer ebook tablet. He provides some good examples of particular types of educational ebooks which could revolutionize education.
Mark has written earlier about prospects for the Apple iTablet and why it could be particularly attractive to the aging baby boomer generation.
Jason Schwartz on the seeking alpha blog wrote about the 4 reasons why he thinks an iTablet could be Apple’s most successful product ever. He predicted the product would launch this fall but most prognosticators now think the launch will be in the first half of 2010.
Over at the technologizer blog there is a roundup of eBook readers. The plethora of new ereaders being introduced is indicative that this market is heating up but a consolidation of standards and device types is likely as a clear market leader develops. Which ereader is going to attract the greatest selection of titles and have the best content service? Which will best facilitate owner created content? Will a standard emerge that will allow users to choose from multiple services? Will an open alternative emerge or will a closed integrated hardware device service bundle be the winner?
I can’t explain why I want a tablet when I already have a desktop, laptop, and iphone. Maybe I should reread the Power of Less or Minimalism but I have a sneaking suspicion that even Leo will get a tablet (if it ever comes out) if only to read his own books on a simple portable screen that provides page views that minimize scrolling.
Could the desire for a tablet be because the Kindle ebook reader is now available everywhere but Canada? Better hope that iTunes Canada keeps pace with the offerings in iTunes US or it won’t be a solution to the distribution problem either. The Globe and Mail has been trying to get an answer on why the Kindle isn’t available in Canada and it appears that it may be due to recent wireless Telecom competition which could offer Amazon alternatives between Rogers, Bell, and Telus for which cellular network Kindle would use.
Is it true, what Steve Jobs supposedly said, that tablets are only good for reading in the bathroom? Did Steve say that nobody reads anymore just so he could reinvent books?
What innovation will Apple introduce to suddenly make a tablet market work and steal some trendiness away from cheap netbooks? Perhaps nothing more than “iTunes” for ebooks? Why can’t we have the multimedia textbooks/newspapers they have at Hogwarts? What if the tablet is a first class special purpose creation tool in addition to a multimedia ereader? A portable digital device with a newly refined touch interface to take scrapbooking and authoring to a whole new level. Prosumer multimedia albums?
We live in interesting times and I can’t help but be excited about the breakthroughs to come and what they might mean to business, education, productivity, creativity, and entertainment. In the mean time I will turn my laptop sideways and read ebooks v1 with the occasional annotation. Maybe some HTML5 with scrolling too for now, but the innovation is to take existing capabilities and make them really easy to author and use by creative people who aren’t necessarily technical.
Update: Newsweek has an article on how Apple’s iTablet could evolve trends on how media is produced and consumed.
Update 2: Barnes & Noble has announced the android based Nook ereader to be released in November and this is just the start of several ereaders planned for release by various companies in the coming months.