Well, here they are.
1) It’s rather strange that Apple hasn’t announced iPad 2 yet. By this time last year the main news sites and big blogs were already writing obituaries for the Kindle and Nook. It seems less and less that iPad 2 will be reading focused and more and more that it will be Tablet focused.
It’s also not going to be the same – When Steve Jobs says ‘Look it even has wooden shelves’ it suddenly seems that wooden shelves are more important than having electronic ink or readability in sunlight. When Tim Cook says ‘It replicates leather-bound books and smells of rich mahogany’ everyone thinks Ron Burgundy should go back to being anchorman.
2) The previous 40 days might have been the most boring ever. There haven’t been any new releases or announcements. Even CES was a desert for eReaders.
3) About that wave of tablets that is going to fight iPad and destroy eReaders. Let’s see -
Xoom (with a name that bad you’d think it was an eReader) is going to be priced at $1,199.
The only good option is the Nook Color. So, a reading tablet is the best non-iPad Tablet right now and threatens to destroy eReaders. Except it’s a reading tablet.
Notion Ink Adam might be a decent option – only hitch is they sell their Tablet using the same distribution and shipping model that people making ancestral rugs in Burma use. You want to give the company $500 and they don’t have the product in stock, and when they will it’ll ship from somewhere in Asia and if something goes wrong you have to ship it to Timbuctoo and wait till the next harvest festival of the cockatoo.
4) Apple might be making a mini-iPhone, just like it might be making a mini-iPad.
The mainstream press is rejoicing. It can just recycle all its ‘iPhone will destroy Kindle’, ‘iPhone will destroy Baz Luhrmann’, and ‘iPhone as a signalling mechanism for primates’ articles from past years.
5) Guess what this is – 1, 10, 1, 13, 10, 5, 1, 5, 1, 4, 5, 10, 3, 3, 15, 5, 6, 5, 1.
That’s a list of the prices of the 20 best-selling items in the Kindle Store. A 13, a 15, 3 10s, and 15 books at prices Publishers probably can’t survive on.
6) Amazon really, really likes Kindle Singles.
Every single page of the Kindle Store has this sequence of links at the top – Kindle Store, Buy a Kindle, Kindle eBooks, Kindle Singles, … everything else.
So Singles get priority over Newspapers, Blogs, Magazines, Accessories, Discussions, and Support. Or to put it another way – Amazon only considers selling Kindles and selling Kindle Books more important than selling Singles. It must really believe Kindle Singles have a future.
7) It’s rather uncomfortable to think that this week Borders might announce its bankruptcy.
One of the blogs is claiming its due to the Internet. Blogs seem to love attributing everything to the Internet – Egypt, Iran, everything. It’s like some neanderthal village where the villagers all assume their shaman, the Internet, is responsible for everything.
8. Washington Post is writing about how Kindle is the only eReader to not offer library books.
Amazon added ebook lending in December 2010 and is adding page numbers now. Can we give the anti-Kindle articles a break for the next few months?
9) There are rumors that Apple has set an end of March deadline for the Kindle App. There’s also an article claiming that this rumor is utter nonsense.
However, you can feel a showdown between Amazon and Apple is imminent.
10) Kobo has a $20 off coupon on its Kobo eReader (Kobo20). That takes the price down from $139 to $119. Based on what people have written about the Kobo eReader and about Kobo’s customer service (or lack thereof) it’s still not worth it.
If B&N is making a loss on every Nook Color sold it’s in trouble.
- Thanks to using ‘open’ Android, the Nook Color is easily hacked and repurposed as an Android Tablet.
- Thanks to using ‘open’ ePub, the Nook Color can read books from just about any store selling ePub.
- Thanks to being hackable, and thanks to Kindle for Android, the Nook Color is a great reading tablet for people with a large Kindle book library.
The common thread – Book sales not going to B&N.
Nook Color is an absolutely beautiful reading tablet that 25% of people are hacking into a Tablet, 15% are using with other ePub-based ebook stores, and a further 15% are using with the Kindle Store.
B&N is probably left with 45% or so of Nook Color owners. If it’s assuming each Nook Color owner is going to buy enough books to offset a $100 subsidy, B&N is going to find itself in a ton of trouble very soon.