Apple has just announced that its iPad has grabbed 22% of ebook sales since its release and that the device is soon to get some new features. There will be a PDF viewer thrown into the iBooks application at the end of June and it will be joined by the ability to bookmark and take notes.
I was one of the many skeptical people out there that said that the Apple iPad and ebook readers are simply not the same things. You cannot compare the two really as the iPad is a tablet that is designed for, well, playing games, viewing videos, listening to tunes, sending emails and surfing the net. In my opinion it is a toy for Apple fans who have four or five hundred bucks to throw around. It does have the ereading capability but I never dreamed that I would be reading the fact that Apple now is already responsible for nearly a quarter of all ebook sales. Steve Jobs is quick to point out that a whopping five million ebooks have already been downloaded onto the iPad and it has only been on the market for a couple of months!
I own an iPod Touch. It’s a first generation Touch that I actually bought used on an online auction site from a young lady who was ditching it for a new iPhone. The reason I bought it was to see how it did as a ebook reader. The first thing I did was to take the Apple upgrade so that the device had the same ‘guts’ so to speak as the gen 3 iPod Touch. I then downloaded Stanza and loaded a few free books onto the device. I actually was very impressed with the clarity, fast page turns and the opportunity to increase the font size of the text as well as dim or brighten the backlight.
So back to the more interesting news. Apple is also set to expand its iBooks user base by offering the app to the iPhone and iPod touch users. So this means I can get the same note-taking and bookmarking features, only on my smaller screen and for free! It will be possible to buy a book on one device and then read it on a wide range of iDevices.
While not an Apple fan I do own one of their devices and I do like it. I simply do not agree with Apple politics and the recent happenings with the ‘lost’ iPhone and how Apple reacted did not sit well with me. But the fact remains that Apple is doing well with the iPad and obviously a whole lot of people are using it as a e-reading device in spite of the fact that it weighs a pound and a half.
What do you think? Are ebook readers doomed? Please leave your thoughts and comments!