On What to Read, That’s the Question

If eBooks are the future of book publishing, the debate over which device to get them on is key.

The iPad seems the obvious winner. It has a Kindle App which allows effortlessly swift transactions via Amazon, AND it offers utility with multimedia and mail. Competitor tablets currently can’t compete – they’re just too expensive. So, read books, and more.

The Kindle costs about a third of the price, but only reads books.

Maybe that’s not such a bad thing?

Responding to the choice between a Kindle and iPad as preferred reader, Jeff Bezos explains that the audience for the two differ significantly and that this differentiation should influence your choice. iPad users are spoilt for choice and might sooner play games (like throwing birds at pigs) than read a difficult passage by Stieg Larsson. Championing the literary elite, he also mentions that the Kindle is lighter to hold and easier to read in daylight.

To perhaps cinch the eBook market (of which it currently owns a 47% share with iPad on 32%), Amy Gahran writing for CNN Tech says the best thing for Kindle to do would be to give the device away, for free.

Her motivation? In the last quarter of 2010, the sale of eBooks on Amazon exceeded the sale of paperbacks. Since Amazon is in the business of selling books sooner than Kindles, perhaps a way to completely capture market share is to give the device, the cost of which is declining rapidly, away for free to guarantee the ever-increasing electronic reading market.

Interesting idea. It worked for cellphones.

Next, three cheers for free connectivity, music devices and TVs.