Friday, January 29, 2010
iRad will cause other ebook readers to Dwindle
So most of you have probably heard about the new iPad (what I have decided to affectionately call the iRad), announced by Steve Jobs this week in a press conference.
First a little background. I've been researching ebook readers for a year and a half now and have been let down completely (the Barnes & Noble Nook) or only marginally interested (Kindle and Sony Reader) in what the market has had to offer. So I've watched and waited.
Apple's new iPad not only DOMINATES the ebook market now with a fully touchable, fully colored platform, but it also comes with a gazillion other major resources. First, on ebooks, though. Apple has opened an iBooks store, selling open, non-proprietary (i.e., Kindle ebooks) ePub format books. These books are instantly downloadable through 3G or wi-fi, and are viewable on a 9.7 by 7-ish inch screen (same size as Amazon's large DX version, which sells for about $400 compared to iPad's $499). Also, anyone who has purchased B&N or amazon books can read them on the iPad through the Kindle and B&N apps downloadable through Apple's Apps Store.
In addition to ebooks, the iPad has iWorks, with word processor, Powerpoint-like, and spreadsheet software that all works completely by touch and keyboard. There are also major iPad apps for photos, movies, art (illustration), maps/GPS, calendar, e-mail, web-browsing (with zooming), and music.
It's no wonder that Barnes & Noble rushed a buggy and unacceptably poor-quality product--the Nook--to the market before Christmas (not even delivering the product in time for preorders to be filled by Christmas--or even December, for that matter). They probably had hints of what was coming and wanted to dupe a few people into buying their product before the iPad tsunami hit the beach. Understandably so. It is certain that iPad will obliterate the Kindle, Nook, and Sony platforms, reducing them to the same status as a generic MP3 player when compared to the iPod.
To sum it all up, in my opinion the iPad is the biggest mobile functionality tool since the creation of laptops, and ironically it will possibly replace laptops in the near future for most common tasks.