Apple CEO Steve Jobs said in 2008 that 'people don't read anymore' and predicted that Amazon's Kindle would never catch on. Well, considering the fact that Apple is in talks with publishers regarding its new rumored tablet that is set to be shown this week, it is quite apparent he is eating those words.
Although e-book readers have been in existence for about ten years, it was the Kindle reader that took the technology forward by allowing e-books, stories, essays to be downloaded wirelessly.
If Steve Jobs and team are planning on introducing their new device as a partial digital book reader, the company will most likely wish to sell the downloadable books themselves. If Apple can pull this off and succeed in much the same way as they did with the iPhone and iPod, the competition will certainly be sweating.
Apple's new device is rumored to be a tablet with a large touch screen that is capable of video watching and web surfing, and if it is in fact a multipurpose tablet that supports e-book reading, this could become very welcome news to the publishing industry. Publishers have shown strong support for a publishing system from Adobe Systems, Inc. which grants them permission to sell their books themselves for several e-book readers such as Sony's readers. If Apple were to come up with its own book store it would be the third big player in the e-book publishing world which could very well upset some electronic reading device users who wish to move their e-books between different e-readers.
Much of Apple's success with the new device (if it is part e-reader) will depend on the price tag attached to it. Some believe that a new tablet from Apple could cost between $500 and $1000 which could put the apparatus far out of the reach of the mainstream.
Only time will tell, and we're waiting for the unveiling from Apple which should come any day now. Stay tuned.