Picture Credit: Wowio.wordpress.comEver since iPad was released, there are murmurs about the eventual death of specialized ebook readers. Already, we saw some of the much hyped ebook readers going down the drain. With the release of iPad, people are slowly realizing the usefulness of multifunction devices over specialized devices just for reading ebooks. The e-Ink technology of ebook readers are great for the eyes. Even with this advantage, ebook readers are failing because
  • The cost is too much for a single function device
  • They are seeing the advantage of a multifunction tablets like iPad and these ebook readers pales in comparison to what one can do with such devices. Even though the makers of ebook readers are trying to add additional functionality to the readers, like the browser in Nook, they are pathetic at the best. With a device like iPad, one could go well beyond simple book reading to entertainment, web browsing, work related tasks, etc.. There is no way ebook readers can beat these multifunction tablet devices
  • Though it is not important, reading ebooks with such ebook readers on the bed is a pain. Managing a booklight along with such readers while lying down in the comfort of one’s bed is a big pain
Ever since iPad came out, we saw Amazon and Barnes and Noble cutting the prices of their ebook readers. According to PC World, Sony has joined the price cutting game.
Sony dropped the price of its cheapest model, the Reader Pocket Edition, from $170 to $150, the second price cut after an earlier $30 drop in April. The Touch Edition Reader is now $170, cut from $200, and the high-end 3G Daily Edition Sony Reader is down from $350 to $300.

I think this is just a beginning of the price wars. It is going to get ugly with some big disappointments. In my opinion, it is time for Amazon and B&N’s to give away these ebook readers for free and focus on selling ebooks. Already they have a great strategy for the iPads, iPhones and Android devices of the world. They just have to focus on selling ebooks rather than spend their resources on device making.

What do you think? Do you think the days of single function devices like ebook readers and GPS are numbered? Are you personally comfortable with ebook readers or iPad kind of devices for book reading. I would like to hear from the readers of Cloud Ave.
CloudAve is exclusively sponsored by
Krishnan Subramanian

Krish dons several avatars including entrepreneur in exile, analyst cum researcher, technology evangelist, blogger, ex-physicist, social/political commentator, etc.. My main focus is research and analysis on various high impact topics in the fields of Open Source, Cloud Computing and the interface between them. I also evangelize Open Source and Cloud Computing in various media outlets, blogs and other public forums. I offer strategic advise to both Cloud Computing and Open Source providers and, also, help other companies take advantage of Open Source and Cloud Computing. In my opinion, Open Source commoditized software and Cloud Computing commoditized computing resources. A combination of these two developments offers a strong competitive advantage to companies of all sizes and shapes. Due to various factors, including fear, the adoption of both Open Source and Cloud Computing are relatively slow in the business sector. So, I take it upon myself to clear any confusion in this regard and educate, enrich and advise users/customers to take advantage of the benefits offered by these technologies. I am also a managing partner in two consulting companies based in India. I blog about Open Source topics at http://open.krishworld.com and Cloud Computing related topics at http://www.cloudave.com.

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