Welcome to another round of State of the eBook! There’s been an avalanche of eBook news and releases, so let’s dive right in!
Barnes and Noble releases the nook upon the world
B&N’s nook came out swinging, with a dual screen design and an Android foundation. Check out Gear Diary’s coverage of the nook’s release here, and commentary on a B&N conference call that answered some questions and raised new ones here. In related B&N news, Plastic Logic has announced that their Que reader will be not only using the Barnes and Noble eBook store but will also be sold in Barnes and Noble locations.
Amazon isn’t taking this lying down
Not content with blowing away their earnings numbers AND announcing Kindle-related sales are their best selling products, Amazon also quickly dropped the price of their international Kindle to $259 to compete with the nook. And since AT&T’s network isn’t crowded enough, they also quietly dropped their Sprint Kindles, bringing all Kindle 2’s on the AT&T network going forwards. Finally, Kindle for Windows is coming shortly, with a mac version in a few months!
Newcomers to the eBook reader world
ASUS says they are on track to launch an eBook reader by early 2010 that will include WIMAX and 3G. Engadget is reporting it will also have a 9inch screen and be priced competitively with the nook and Kindle. MobileRead is reporting on an eBook reader from a company called italica; it appears to be a rebrand of Netronix designs, similar to the Cybook and others like that. Very few details are available so far beyond support for .epub and .mobi formats. Finally, Engadget has a small scoop on an eBook reader with a color screen and flexible design.
Miscellaneous Misguided Misanthropy
Finally, author Alan Kaufman has a very controversial and harsh stance on eBooks. (Warning: May be NSFW for language and questionable hyperbole) Essentially, Mr. Kaufman believes that eBooks are killing paper books and takes deep personal offense to the digitization of the written word. Unfortunately, he does so by comparing eBooks to book burning and the Holocaust. While I enjoyed joking that it was probably the first time Godwin’s Law has been invoked in conjunction with eBooks, I thought it was extremely offensive and overly harsh. Michael had a good point, he said “If you went back a decade and inserted B&N / Borders / Amazon for eBook you could probably find a dozen similar articles …” What’s your take on Mr. Kaufman’s article?
That’s all for now, but stay tuned for more eBook news and commentary!