Not long ago I was struck by an article about Kindle readers. The price of the device was quite substantial, and what does it do? – it allows you to read a digital book.
Now depending on your literary tastes, it’s quite difficult to justify the ROI on one. How many books do you buy to cover the cost of one of these devices (are they cheaper electronically)? They are definitely more environmentally friendly – no rain forests were destroyed in making the reading experience possible. Does the “convenience” give you a payback? How many books can you read at the same time? If you buy a paperback at the airport and abandon it once read, that’s a lot cheaper than abandoning the Kindle. Of course if you work for MI5, then the cost is going to be a lot higher – even lives come into the equation.
Back in the day, BSkyB sold their decoders - then they realised this was a hindrance to signing people to contracts – the real money maker. The decoder is simply a delivery mechanism. Maybe the Kindle should come bundled with an acquisition of books from a publisher. It’s about reading (selling) more books in reality…
It all comes back to the old question of technology and it’s perceived usefulness. Isn’t it always about the application (both software and use of)?
So the arrival of the iPad piqued my interest…
I know there are some things missing, like USB/firewire ports, etc. But casting my mind back to iPhone version 2 (and 3), these issues were rectififed/addressed quite successfully. Where is the hook? Phone contracts and the Apple store where the apps make the device absolutely “essential”.
My wife has integrated her iPhone into her work life (which has bled into our personal lives too), and yes, she’d get by without it, but it fills many gaps for her.
Like most IT practitioners – I try to wait for service pack 1 before rolling out to live systems in the work place, so I think I’ll wait and see.
However, I look forward to iPad version 2 with a certain amount of anticipation. I also can’t wait to see how the Kindles of this world respond?
Competition anyone? I hope so…