With Sony quietly folding their ereader tent and disappearing from the USA ereader market, a feeling that I have had for some time seems to have been confirmed. Sony were one of the chief pioneers of the whole ereader idea, producing what in its day was the best and toughest ereader there was, but for some time now they have lagged behind other ereader makers , especially in the USA market, loosing out heavily to the Kindle and Kobo ereaders.
Basically the ereader has become a completely standard gadget for people to own, a cheap, one function gadget, much like a portable DVD player or similar. Not really interesting in itself any more, simply a very efficient and handy gadget that performs its appointed task very well.
And as with the portable DVD player, it isn’t really the device that is interesting to the makers, but the content. As the prices of ereaders go down to the point where it isn’t really economically interesting for a company to manufacture them unless they can at the same time tie their consumers into their content market I think we will see more and more players leaving the field to the companies, such as Kobo and Amazon who have set up serious and functional online ebook stores to support their ereaders.
So I suspect that in the next year or so, we shall see that the only people making ereaders any more will be those who have managed to set up a large scale and easy to use online ebook marketing system, as Amazon have so spectacularly done – and small factories in various Asian countries making cheap knock-off ereaders for the eBay type markets around the world.
Also significant is the growth of tablets, which whilst not everyone’s ideal device for reading ebooks with, do have obvious advantages over the one function, monochrome ereader. And the prices of tablets are also going down steadily as competition heats up between the various manufacturers of the things. So apart from their depressingly short battery endurance and lousy performance in bright sunlight, they are obviously the device of the future and have already had a serious impact on the sale of ereaders around the world.
Share with us:
Any thoughts on all of this? Do let us hear them here……