Amazon and Apple stunting UK e-book market
Lack of models forcing readers to Sony?
Amazon and Apple are missing e-book viewer sales opportunities in the UK, a pollster has claimed.
Earlier this year, YouGov questioned 784 UK-based people it believes are potential e-book buyers. Some 65 per cent said that a Sony-made e-book viewers would likely fulfill their electronic reading requirements.
But respondents also flagged Amazon and Apple as two firms whose e-book products would likely also meet their requirements – despite the fact that Amazon’s Kindle range is only available in North America, and that Apple doesn’t make an e-book viewer.
Caroline Gaskin, Consulting Director at YouGov, suggested that Amazon’s e-book strategy and Apple’s lack of one could stunt the UK market for e-book devices.
“The lack of products from Amazon and Apple may inhibit the market in the short term,” she said.
It’s worth noting that only a tiny number of those questioned – five per cent – were aware that High Street booksellers also offer e-books.
The research also discovered which features e-book buyers in Blighty desire most. Screen clarity is of vital importance, as are the device’s size and weight.
Anyone waiting for an Apple e-book viewer will probably be more concerned about the device’s style, the research concluded, while those who favour Amazon's offerings probably care more about the range of available titles. ®
Better than Apple / Kindle / Sony?...
Given that the screens are pretty much the same technology (other than 4, 8, or 16 grey scale), doesn't it partly come down to what the software can do? As Nick said above, BeBook does the job nicely, as does the Astak EZReader and others, all re-branded from that Jink company.
Lets not forget about the OpenInkpot project too, that can work on most reader devices. Although in it's early stages, in time could prove to be feature packed more than the likes of the Kindle and Sony.
Missing the Point in several ways
Apple do make an Ebook reader - its called Iphone/Touch with Stanza or any other ebook app on it.
Amazons inability to offer ebooks on its UK site is a major block - not the lack of the Kindle.
3rdly DRM DRM DRM. I only buy from Baen.com coz there's no way I am getting locked in if I can avoid it.
Freedom vs brand-lust
There's an issue of freedom here. Do you want a reader that'll display a range of document formats like PDF and even plain honest text, or one that ties everything in to DRM and Amazon's famously Orwellian control?
I bought the BeBook, precisely because it's designed for free people. It works, it saves a lot of space (compared to paper books), and is hugely convenient to carry around. No sexy label, but I can live with that.
More Books Might Be The Answer
As an owner of a Sony eReader, I would suggest that the high costs of the readers and ebooks along with a limited range of ebooks would be a more likely cause of the stunted market. The last two books i tried to get in epub format weren't available (the new Chris Brookmyre and AC Grayling's Liberty In The Age Of Terror). Also, the pricing is ridiculous; £19 for an old Dick Francis? Anyone would think that the publishers didn't want ebooks to succeed!