e-Reading Platforms & e-Readers in review

Posted by on Oct 7, 2012 in Articles | Comments Off on e-Reading Platforms & e-Readers in review

e-Reading Platforms & e-Readers in review

The business model for the publishing market is in deep transformation. From the several players in this area (who have so far been very conservative), we see that external agents are the ones that normally challenge the publishing model mostly. With the introduction of the electronic books reading (also known as e-reading), which experienced a huge expansion due to mobile devices like e-readers and tablets expansion, other players have emerged in the publishing market, that are responsible for a big share of the innovations in this area.
One of the main areas in which we can find a big step forward is on the e-reading devices. New products recently showcased by AppleAmazon and Kobo,being the latter on the verge of establishing a partnership in Portugal through Fnac who is a big supporter and seller of e-reading devices in the country.
Apple has presented its new iPhone model and an update to its iPod collection. Nothing very innovative was shown in comparison to what already exists, but there was a slight increase in the screen size when in vertical position which helps the reading of e-books in a general way.

Amazon gave its second big strategic step by renewing its existent models of the Kindle e-reader and tablets, bringing new and interesting technologies and content services like the Kindle  paperwhite who introduces an e-Ink screen with integrated lighting. With this e-reader it’s expected that the user can comfortably read his electronic book with little or no light at all. The Kindle Fire devices have also had some hardware and software improvements like for example by reducing of the thickness of the screen which results in a less reflective screen for a better reading. For Amazon, its main business is the sale of services and contents making the Kindle nothing more but the means of reaching the desired goal. This justifies the variety and accessibility of prices in the e-reading devices which follow Jeff Bezos’ slogan: “Any tablet at any price”.
Kobo is placing a bit bet in the internationalization of the brand by establishing partnerships in several countries and also by recently launching several e-Book readers like: the Kobo Mini with 5” (2” less than the Kindle e-Reader), the Kobo Glo with 6” and lightning capabilities and also the Kobo Arc with 7”.
In addition to all these innovation in the devices we are also witnessing the adoption of mixed strategies by companies according to their philosophies. These strategies consist on making their own e-reading platforms available in other competitors’ devices like Amazon and Kobo who have chosen to release e-book reading applications in the iOS platform by Apple while still having their own e-readers.

Humberto Neves