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Wednesday, January 6, 2010

Are Kindle and Nook About to be Obsolete?

2009 saw a major push in mainstream acceptance of eBooks.  Kindle was Amazon's best selling item of the year.  Barnes & Noble's Nook came out and was immediately out of stock (and still is).  Though there are a few differences they are essentially the same product: a lightweight reader with a 6" paper-like display for conveniently reading eBooks, newspapers, and blogs.  Both offer a few other features like mp3 capabilities, but both are primarily designed for reading.  That is why Apple will crush them both.

Apple's upcoming tablet, possibly called iSlate, could be officially unveiled sometime this month.  This tablet looks like a super-sized iPhone, and judging by the functionality should have the same game-changing impact as its smaller cousin.  While Kindle and Nook simply offer electronic versions of books the iSlate will focus on interactive content.  This demo of Apple's tablet featuring an electronic issue of Sports Illustrated says it all: the content is supported by pictures, sound, video graphics, hotlinks, and more, all of which is fully integrated.  Though it will be more expensive (reportedly just under $1,000 compared to Kindle and Nook for $260) there appears to be more than enough features to justify the increased cost.  Oh, and I bet you can read books on it too.

Update: as I was about to post this blog I learned that Apple may not have a free path to tablet dominance.  At least not if Google has anything to say about it.

Update #2: I just saw that Microsoft is expected to unveil their tablet device, Courier,  today at the Consumer Electronics Show (CES).
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