Though updates about the DOJ lawsuit are dominating the publishing industry newsfeed, the war of the ereaders rages on with new developments and speculation about what Amazon, Apple, B&N, and other companies might have up their sleeves. It’s a bit of an arms race at the moment with rumors swirling of new features that future devices might offer. Case in point was the speculation at the beginning of the month that the Kindle would be getting a lighted e-ink display, only to have B&N release the Nook Simple Touch with a GlowLight that allows for reading in the dark. Reviews for the Nook with GlowLight sing the device’s praises, but with whispers of features like bendable screens and color e-ink possibly on its way from competitors, B&N’s lead may be short-lived. Attention may have shifted towards tablets as of late with the iPad New, but dedicated ereaders just might be back on the rise.
So which ereader has the brightest future? Read on to decide who you think standing out in the crowd.
“So here’s the upshot: for one-third of what I paid for the new iPad, I can accomplish 95 percent of what I want to do with a tablet, and with a smaller design I find more appealing. Different strokes for different folks, of course, but for me this is a no brainer: I’m returning the new iPad and jumping into the Fire.”
– Rick Broida, CNET (3/30/2012)
“LG last month announced it has begun manufacturing a flexible plastic e-ink display with a 1024 by 768-pixel resolution. The durable yet thin screen, which doesn’t need a sheet of glass for protection, is slated to arrive in Europe as early as this month.
Finally, the future may bring hybrid, switchable displays that offer the best of both worlds: color LCD for tablet-oriented tasks such as games and video; and monochrome e-ink for reading, predicts IDC analyst Bob O’Donnell.”
– Jeff Bertolucci, PCWorld (4/6/2012)
“Rumors relating to a new Kindle, or three, land in our inbox with surprising frequency, but when they come from our brethren at TechCrunch, we’ll definitely give it a listen. Devin Coldewey reports how he was lucky enough to snatch a glance at an in-development Kindle, which sports an illuminated screen. “
– James Trew, Endgadget (4/7/2012)
“This is an increasingly difficult device market to classify as each subsequent generation of e-reader turns more tablet-like, but one thing is clear. Kobo appears to be trouncing Kindle [in Canada]. Just one year ago, Ipsos found the Sony eReader, the Kobo, and Amazon Kindle to be virtually tied for market penetration at 28%, 27% and 25% respectively. But in 2012, Sony slipped a massive 15 percentage points while Kindle also slipped by one, and Kobo grew by 18 percent.
At the trailing end of 2011, Kobo introduced its answer to the Kindle Fire, called the Kobo Vox, an Android-powered e-reader/tablet that retails for $199. But the major boon for Kobo has been its exclusive partnership with Indigo books, Canada’s largest book retailer, and the third largest book retailer in all of North America.”
– Tim Conneally, BetaNews (4/20/2012)
“For many people who are already devoted e-book readers, the Nook-or-Kindle conundrum boils down to a simple question: which bookseller have you been buying from? Most digital tomes are locked up with copy protection that only lets you read them on devices and apps supplied by the company that sold them to you. And as cool as GlowLight is, it’s unlikely to get Kindle customers with substantial investments in Amazon e-books to switch. They’d lose access to their library unless they bought everything all over again from Barnes & Noble.”
– Harry McCracken, Time (4/24/2012)
“And thus, so sayeth I: The NOOK Simple Touch With GlowLight does Winneth the e-reader Wars, for the inability to read in the Dark was the Largest Problem with e-readers, and now that Problem had been Extinct-ed by Barnes & Noble.”
– Jason Gilbert, Huffington Post (4/24/2012)
“But the Nook family offers the only reader with a far more important feature: a glowing E Ink screen. Of course, this is a long and exciting horse race, and it’s not over yet; rumors of a new glow-screen Kindle are already buzzing online. And I’m guessing Amazon’s pricing czars would sooner eat Barnes & Noble’s cafe muffins than let the Nook’s price advantage stand.”
– David Pogue, The New York Times (4/24/2012)