Amazon getting into ebooks

Posted by Otis Chandler on September 6, 2007
An article in the New York Times today titled Envisioning the Next Chapter for Electronic Books announced that Amazon is getting into the ebook business, with the launch of a new ebook reader called The Kindle. With the launch of both software and the hardware to go with it, Amazon is clearly following the iTunes/iPod model.

Sony made similar headlines last year with the launch of its eReader, which uses some really cool digital ink technology. But it hasn't exactly revolutionized the book business in the last year (although the article says its doing ok). I think this is expected. Unlike music, books aren't easily consumed electronically. I think this will be more like the transition the News industry is seeing, with a 10-30 year transition, as only the younger generations are going to really go digital.

All the same, I have to applaud Amazon, because this has big potential. At the very least, it is sparking a reaction from book publishers - here is my favorite quote from the article:

"Book publishers also seem to be preparing for the kind of disruption that hit the music business when Apple introduced the symbiotic combination of the iPod and its iTunes online service. This year, with Sony’s Reader drawing some attention and Amazon’s imminent e-book device on their radar, most major publishers have accelerated the conversion of their titles into electronic formats."


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