Editor's Note: E-books and Our Future
It’s important to note that Book Business’ list of e-readers does not include some highly anticipated devices that have not yet launched, including:
• Plastic Logic’s eReader (pilots and trials are scheduled for this year, with the market release slated for 2010);
• Polymer Vision’s Readius, with its rollout display (which was scheduled for full release earlier this year, but was delayed; at press time, no new updates were announced, other than a comment on the company’s blog suggesting that “2009 will be the year for market launch of Readius and rollable displays!”);
• Onyx International’s Boox60 (which, as of press time, was promised to be released “soon,” according to the company’s Web site);
• Asus’ forthcoming (possibly by the end of this year) full-color, dual-screen, hinged-spine, book-like Eee Reader;
• iRex Technologies’ new DR800SG (what a catchy name), with an 8.1-inch screen and 3G wireless connection ($399.99), being launched in partnership with Barnes & Noble and sold through Best Buy stores. (iRex’s press conference regarding the launch was held the day this issue went to press.);
• And, of course, the rumors of Apple’s impending e-reader launch, which Apple publicly denied.
And more devices are surely on their way as you read this.
Book Business’ list also excludes other devices on which you can read books—such as the iPhone and Blackberry—but which are not dedicated e-reading devices (most of which feature electronic-ink displays).
The point is that this kind of explosion generally doesn’t come from a market expected to stay small.
Despite the influx of e-reading devices out there, Jeff Gomez points out in his Guest Column that little has changed with e-readers and e-books the past 10 years. Sony and Amazon brought e-readers to the attention of the mass market, but these devices have been around for some time (and have been talked about for decades longer), and obstacles to their mainstream adoption still exist.