Friday, April 30, 2010
E-Reader News--and the First iCat
Here are snippets on what's happening with e-readers since the launch of the iPad.
1. From Advertising Age: IPad Poised to Revolutionize Retail Industry
The iPad could have a major impact on everything from retailers' catalogs to e-commerce to enhancing the in-store experience. For example iPad applications from retailers could include e-commerce and interactive catalogs. In time the iPad could be used as a "virtual sales assistant," allowing, for example, staff in the dress department to pull up coordinating accessories from other store departments. Car dealers could customize a vehicle. Retailers like Home Depot, Best Buy and Williams Sonoma could imbed video of product demos, while apparel retailers could include styling advice from designers. Gap's 1969 Stream app, launched earlier this month, takes that idea one step further by including content from designers, musicians and fashion insiders.
Of course these are apps outside of e-book reading. But the point is clear--the more iPads out there, the more readers may turn to Apple for downloading e-boooks. Amazon, watch out. But then ...
2. Google plans to open an online e-books store, called Google Editions, by the middle of this year. These books will be accessible for use on any device. Publishers will be allowed to set the price of their books. Google's ace in the hole is that it has already digitized twelve million books, including out-of-print titles, so it will have a far greater selection than Amazon or Apple. Google Editions will also make its e-books available for bookstores to sell, allowing those stores to keep most of the money.
3. Now for the Kindle. Target has just started selling the device (as of April 25) in their downtown Minneapolis store and stores in south Florida (over 100 Target stores). Later this year they'll spread the sales to other Target stores. In total Target has 1,740 locations.
4. As for the Nook, Barnes & Noble's device, B&N has begun airing TV commercials for the ereader. And B&N has struck a deal with Best Buy for selling the Nook.
Hot competition with the e-readers. E-books may now only comprise around four percent of book sales, but that's going to be changing.
Oh, and finally--back to the iPad. Introducing ... the first iCat.