I have now written a couple of posts about this super-cheap ereader (all of $13), but like the rest of the world, I couldn’t really see how they could make it so cheap. Well now I know how.
Apparently the idea is that they (Textr) hope to close deals with various mobile phone operators in which the mobile phone operators will each have their own ebook shop (designed for them by Txtr) and customers of the operators will then be able to shop via their Smart Phones for ebooks. Using an App that you will get from your operator of course. These ebooks will then be converted from PDF or e-Pub to Bitmaps in the Smart Phone and then uploaded using your phones Bluetooth function and an App on your Smart phone to the actual ereader (the Beagle).
By the way this explains why you can only get a few ebooks onto the Beagle, whilst it has several GB of storage . E-Pub ebooks are typically only a couple of hundred Kb in size, but when each page is converted to a bitmap, then the file is waaaaayyy bigger of course.
The reason that the mobile phone operators will be interested in this deal is that we will have to buy our ebooks via their own online ebook store, and they get a percentage of the buying price – which you will pay for with your monthly phone bill. Or at least this is the business model that Txtr are hoping will take off for them.
All the ebooks you buy from your mobile phone operator will be stored online in a cloud, So, unless you somehow store your ebooks on your computer (transferring them from your Smart Phone) you are stuck with that particular mobile phone operator, as if you change your mobile phone operator you will lose all your ebooks. Not a nice idea.
The idea is that you load your ebook into your Beagle, read it and then delete it, as you will need the storage space for your next ebook, so …..
I am not sure if you will be able to simply copy e-Pub or PDF files from your computer to the Beagle via Bluetooth or not. If this is possible, then the Beagle is the seriously interesting and versatile ereader I first thought it to be, if not, then I shall be hugely disappointed and feel that a great opportunity may well have been missed.
This of course depends on whether the Beagle is capable of actually reading e-Pub and PDF files or not. In their blurbs, Txtr give the impression that this is possible, but I am not really sure.
This also implies that the Beagle is actually nothing more than a device that can show pictures (in Bitmap format) only, a sort of monochrome photo book with only two or three photos in it – So actually not really a device one could call an ereader
As of this time, they only support Android Smart Phones (with auto-pairing in 4.x), but they tell us that they will be shortly launching iOS and Windows 8 support.
Ah well, time will tell, and I shall certainly keep you up to date on any info that comes my way – which as I receive the press releases from Txtr should be quite soon.
Currently they only support Android smartphones (with auto-pairing in 4.x). iOS support will come soon and they hope that by the end of 2012 they will release a Windows 8 client too.
Link to my previous two posts about the Txtr Beagle ereader:
Link to Txtr. http://txtr.com/
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Does this cheap ereader, which is apparently nothing more than a very dumb terminal still interest you? Would you be interested in such a deal for getting your ebooks? And what will happen about the pricing of these ebooks, given that it will be a situation where you may only buy your ebooks from one seller.. never a healthy thing in my view.