The battle for tech-savvy bookworms is on, with Amazon, Barnes & Noble, and Sony competing to sell e-book reader hardware. And as the major players struggle for better position in the electronic-publishing industry, recent months have seen price drops, new devices, and defeats.
Competition stepped up in June when a price war broke out. First Barnes & Noble slashed the price of its Nook by $60, down to $199; the company also started selling a Wi-Fi-only Nook for $149. Within hours Amazon dropped the price of its Kindle by $70, to $189. And ten days later, Sony cut the price of each of its three Reader products by $30, bringing its most expensive 3G version down to $249.
What’s sparking e-reader price drops? Thank Apple’s iPad, the dominant multipurpose tablet available today–and the juggernaut that has the major single-purpose e-reader makers quaking. In the face of this competition, other e-reader manufacturers have thrown in the towel. Plastic Logic has dumped plans to launch its QUE e-reader, and says that it will instead focus on creating a next-generation ProReader. Samsung delayed its e-readers indefinitely.
The e-reader is at a crossroads. Amazon and other companies must make the case that their dedicated products have a place in a world filled with multipurpose devices that can display e-books, such as smartphones, tablets, and netbooks. Each e-reader maker also wants to ensure that its product becomes the de facto standard for reading e-books. After all, repeat sales of e-books look to be where the real money is. Selling e-reader hardware with hooks to e-bookstores is more critical now than ever.
The future is really bleak for e-readers, except something extremely revolutionary takes it to another level, I mean in terms of features and heavy inputs from application developers and “HACKERS”. Amazon’s kindle and Apple’s iPad are already taking major steps towards this end, let’s see how it goes. Sometimes you can’t tell with 100% accuracy what the next craze might be, except you are the one that determines what the next big thing.
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