Monday, October 6, 2008

Can Apple Make America Read Again?

It's been widely known that when approached about ebooks, Jobs said Americans just don't read anymore. I initially took offense to that until I realized there might be some truth to that.

I don't know if reading is now an elitist thing to do but I was at Borders last night and I did see a good crowd there.  I was at a different book store last week and I saw quite a line at the checkout counter.  So I think it isn't that folks aren't ready anymore.

The truth is, people aren't reading ebooks.  Ebooks have been around for quite some years now.  And digital growth for books are not growing as fast as other media like music.

Can Apple Make America Read Again?  Maybe.  According to Forbes, Apple may have overtaken Kindle with respect to the number of folks using iPhones to read ebooks.  I encourage heading over to look at it a bit.

I don't like the flippant use of download numbers to suggest that more folks are using iPhone to read books than Kindle, the fact that folks have downloaded about 400,000 copies of Stanza is pretty significant.  I can tell you I've downloaded Stanza myself but I use mainly eReader because I have been able to buy books on it when I used my Palm Zire 72 as my reader.

I look forward to see Stanza's sales figure once they have lined up publishers for sales.  Right now, books from Stanza are free.  In fact, I also look forward to eReader download figures and sales figures from iPhone owners.

So, how is iPhone, with a smaller screen and not meant as an ereader gaining such a big follow?  The iPhone is a mobile device.  Not an ereader.  That is why.  With the iPhone, there is no need for people to carry a separate device just to read books.  Not to mention that with the iPhone or future devices like it, downloading an app is far cheaper than buying a dedicated reader.

The Kindle costs $360.  With a medium cost of $9.99 for top sellers, you would have to buy 36 books before breaking even.

Source:  Forbes

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