Color Kindle 4? a color eInk video + 2 kindle free books

First, the two free kindle books -

  1. Slow Ride: Rough Riders by Lorelei James. Genre: Romance, Touchy-Feely Covers.  Price: $0. It’s got one very strong endorsement -

    Keely has always been my favorite female character…What a treat to be able to read more about her wedding and Jack’s plans for their honeymoon.
    Slow Ride is funny, definitely SEXY and emotional…yes I cried while reading it. I also fell in LOVE with Jack all over again =)

  2. Money Saving Mom has a Thanksgiving Your Way book that’s pretty cool. It’s in DRM free PDF format and has recipes, decorating ideas, and more. Thanks to the kindle forum commenter who mentioned the book.

It’s a never-ending stream of free kindle books this week – not that we’re complaining.

Color eInk Video leaked 1 day in advance

Akihabara News has a video of the new color eInk from PVI/eInk which is called ‘Triton’. It’s quite remarkable and definitely worth watching (thanks to CW for the tip).

PVI/eInk was supposed to launch the Triton color eInk screens tomorrow at the Waste-of-Time Conference in Japan but it’s already got all the information on its website -

  1. Up to 1 month battery life. That’s shockingly good.  
  2. Thousands of colors in addition to 16 levels of grayscale. eInk claims the text is still crisp and that color graphics and text are both fully viewable in direct sunlight.
  3. Triton, just like eInk Pearl, is 20% faster than the previous generation of eInk.

There is a Triton Color eInk page at PVI/eInk’s website and that too is well worth checking out. There’s even a customer showcase with Kindle and some other eInk powered devices shown off.

Here are the technical specifications for Triton color eInk screens -

10:1 Contrast Ratio
White State: 70 (minimum)
Dark State: 24 (maximum)
Bit Depth: 4-bit; 4096 colors, 16 levels CR
Reflective: 40% (minimum)
Viewing Angle: Near 180 degrees
Image Update Time: 240 ms to 980 ms
Update Modes: Color, Text, Pen, Animation

Also,
Available Display Sizes: 2 to 12 inches
Display Thickness: 12 mm
Resolution: Capabilities exceed 200 dpi
Aspect Ratio: Typical eReaders use 4:3 

The reflectivity is not ideal, the sharpness and richness of the colors isn’t comparable to LCDs, and .25 to .98 seconds image update time is slow. However, color eInk is still very impressive due to its battery life, its readability in sunlight, and for the fact that it’s finally about to materialize.

The video and website do a good job of explaining how Triton works. All of this leads to an obvious question.

Will we see a Color Kindle 4 powered by Triton Color eInk?

Surely, Amazon isn’t going to let Hanvon have all the fun.

The way things stand it seems that Mirasol and eInk Triton are the only two horses in the race - you have to wonder which one Amazon has picked. The Triton color eInk video isn’t as impressive as Qualcomm’s Mirasol videos but Amazon has worked with PVI/eInk since the first Kindle and PVI/eInk has proven it can deliver ePaper screens at scale.

Will Amazon release a Kindle 4 in mid or even early 2011 that uses eInk Triton?

Perhaps Amazon will wait till end 2011 and release a Color Kindle that uses the Mirasol display. Perhaps it will be a $249 Kindle Color meant to take on Nook Color and the iPad mini (assuming it materializes - Steve Jobs’ denial pretty much guarantees it exists).  

Don’t know whether Amazon will be able to release a color ePaper based eReader at $249. If it can, a Color Kindle 4 at $249 would slot in nicely between Kindle 3 and Kindle DX 2.

What impact will Nook Color have on Kindle 4?

You have to imagine that if Nook Color is a big hit and/or starts taking market share in the eReader market Amazon will respond quickly. In that case it might need to release a color Kindle 4 early in 2011 and eInk Triton might be its only option. Unless of course Mirasol displays are being produced in large enough numbers and are available at low enough prices to be a viable option.

If, on the other hand, Nook Color doesn’t do well or doesn’t do well with readers then Amazon might just decide it can wait till end 2011 or even 2012 to release a color Kindle and we might see only software improvements to Kindle 3 or perhaps a black and white eInk powered Kindle 4 that adds a touchscreen.

It’s all very exciting – Hanvon’s color eReader isn’t slated to arrive until March but it sets the ball rolling and now everyone will be trying to one-up Hanvon. It just seems that color eReaders in general, and a color Kindle in particular, are closer than we thought.

Kindle 4, color eInk eReader from Hanvon, free religious books

Let’s start with the free kindle books -

  1. Can I Be Sure I’m Saved by R. C. Sproul. Price: Free. Genre: Religious, Christian, Salvation. It hasn’t been reviewed yet – guess people who’ve found their salvation have little time for trivial things like writing reviews.

    Many people in the church today are plagued by doubts about their salvation. Satan whispers that it is impossible that sinners such as they could be in a state of grace, and some churches compound the problem by teaching that it is possible for believers to lose their salvation.

    But assurance of salvation is possible in this life. Indeed, as Dr. R.C. Sproul argues in this Crucial Questions booklet, it is the duty of Christians to make their calling sure (2 Peter 1:10). To help believers reach this goal, Dr. Sproul defines assurance, shows how we can get it, reveals the blessings it confers, and warns of the dangers of false assurance.

  2. A Simple Amish Christmas by Vannetta Chapman. Genre: Religious, Amish, Christmas. Rated 5 stars on 8 reviews.

    Annie Weaver always planned to return home, but the 20-year old RN has lived in Philadelphia for three years now. As her time of rumschpringe is about to come to an abrupt end, bringing for Annie an overwhelming sense of loneliness. She returns home and finds herself face-to-face with a budding romance with an Amish farmer and Annie has several important choices to make.

It’s amusing and disconcerting that 2 free kindle books are now almost a disappointment – Where are the other 9 we were promised?

A Kindle Book Deal

Why is this $1 book showing up in free book searches? No idea.

It does, however, look very interesting – The Demon Girl by Penelope Fletcher. Be warned that it might turn into a free offer later.

Rae Wilder has problems. Plunged into a world of dark magic, fierce creatures and ritual sacrifice, she is charged with a guarding a magical amulet.

Rae finds herself beaten up, repeatedly, and forced to make a choice: to live and die human, or embrace her birth-right and wield magics that could turn her into something wicked, a force of nature nothing can control.

The First Color eInk eReader

It’s got a 9.68″ screen. A screen that is color eInk from the same company (PVI/eInk) that makes the Kindle 3′s eInk Pearl screen. It’ll be available in March 2011 in China – perhaps in the US too. It’ll be priced at $440.

This might be the first color eInk eReader. Of course, Amazon and Mirasol and Sony might spoil its debut between now and then.

New York Times has written a never-ending, rambling, article on the Hanvon Color eInk eReader - you have to wonder why Hanvon would announce 5 months in advance that it will be the first company to sell a color eInk eReader.

NY Times gets us all excited -

… on Tuesday at the FPD International 2010 trade show in Tokyo, a Chinese company will announce that it will be the first to sell a color display using technology from E Ink …

And then drops us back to Earth -

Hanvon’s first product using a 9.68-inch color touch screen will be available this March in China, starting at about $440.

Yes – wait till the 12th paragraph to let us know the trivial meaningless detail that it won’t arrive until March 2011.

We also get some eReader sales estimates from analysts -

Ms. Colegrove of DisplaySearch said these types of lower-cost products should continue to gain market share, growing from four million units sold worldwide in 2009 to 14 million units by 2011.

14 million units in 2011 – Aren’t eReaders dead?

All this talk of color eInk makes it a good time to wonder what screen Kindle 4 will have.

Kindle 4 – Mirasol or Pixel Qi or eInk?

If Hanvon is bringing color eInk to market you have to imagine Amazon can’t be too far behind. A $440 color eReader with a 9.86″ screen is a pretty credible threat to the Kindle DX 2. Additionally, Amazon would appear to be losing the eReader technology race.

Amazon needs a Kindle 4 with a color screen and it has 4 main options -

  1. Kindle Color like Nook Color that has a LCD screen. This is unlikely – Amazon is probably far more interested in a LCD powered Kindle Tablet and is unlikely to position that as a ‘dedicated eReader’.
  2. Pixel Qi with its multi-mode screen that uses LCD but has a black and white reflective mode. Notion Ink’s Adam is supposed to be the first tablet with the Pixel Qi screen. The reactions to it would determine how seriously Amazon and other large companies take Pixel Qi screens. Again, it’s likely that Amazon would use such a screen in a Kindle Tablet and not in Kindle 4.
  3. Mirasol is the most likely candidate. You have to imagine Amazon is sick and tired of the glacial rate at which eInk has been evolving its technology. Qualcomm also happens to be a much bigger and much more reliable company. If you had to choose a color ePaper technology for Kindle 4 – Would you go with Qualcomm or PVI/eInk?
  4. PVI/eInk has the advantage of being the incumbent and also being one of the few companies that have their ePaper screens being used in the real world. Amazon might go with color eInk from PVI. To the best of my understanding - Color eInk = eInk Pearl with a color layer over it.

Mirasol is the only option that’s exciting. The first 2 options are more suitable for an Android powered Kindle Tablet. PVI/eInk’s color eInk is not going to be as sharp or high contrast as eInk Pearl because it’s probably going to be the same screen with a color creating layer over it – which reduces reflectivity.

In terms of timing it’s quite conceivable that Amazon lets Hanvon bear the cost of validating the market and then steps in with a color Kindle 4 in mid to end 2011 if there seems to be strong demand. It’s a risky strategy but Amazon has enough branding, enough of a lead, and a strong-enough Kindle eco-system to bear the risk.

Color Kindle in 2011? Qualcomm confirms color eReader in Q1, 2011

We have the Kindle 3 and its recent release and we have Amazon’s firm insistence that a color Kindle is still a long ways away.

Yet, we also have Qualcomm confirm to Pocket Lint that a color eReader from an unknown partner will be released in Q1, 2010. It will be formally announced at CES 2011 (which is in January) -

Qualcomm has confirmed to Pocket-lint that it will launch, in connection with a partner, a device, probably an ebook reader, that features its Mirasol colour screen technology in the first quarter of 2011.

The company wouldn’t tell Pocket-lint which partner would be making the announcement, …

Well, they won’t confirm it but all the signs point to a color Kindle arriving in early 2011.

Color Kindle by Q1, 2011 – The Signs

Well, here are a few -

  1. Qualcomm recently won a major client. One so major it invested $2 billion into a Mirasol screen production plant. Apart from Google, Microsoft, Apple, and Amazon can’t think of too many ‘major clients’ that would motivate a company to invest $2 billion into production facilities.  
  2. In January Clayton Morris of Fox pointed out this little snippet from a Qualcomm spokesman suggesting a color Kindle is in the works -

    When pressed about who its partner might be in 2010, a company spokesman asked me, “You know that device that everyone reads books on? Well, it’s going to be a game changer on a device we all know.”

    Like tens of thousands of other people, I read ebooks on a Kindle. What other eReader would someone assume I use?

  3. When Qualcomm displayed its new screens it supposedly had a ton of interest from Amazon and one of the reps claimed Qualcomm had been approached by Amazon to use the Mirasol displays. Think it was covered in the Seattle PI.

There’s also pure logic.

Color Kindle by Q1, 2011 makes a lot of sense

  • Amazon needs something to compete with Apple and its gradual takeover of digital downloads. Whether it’s a color Kindle or a Mirasol powered gaming device or a Kindle phone Amazon could really use the advantages Qualcomm’s technology would provide. 
  • PVI/eInk is doing next to nothing in terms of advancing eInk.  
  • It helps Amazon to have an option for casual readers – the type of screen that appeals more to them and their priorities. 
  • Amazon needs a device on which it can sell (and users can view) movies and TV shows and music videos.
  • It helps Amazon to have two sources for eReader screens – especially when PVI/eInk seems to constantly run out of stock. The assumption here is that a lack of enough screens is what’s causing eReaders to be sold out so often.

There’s anecdotal evidence (although mostly from Qualcomm representatives), there’s Qualcomm’s $2 billion investment, and there’s Amazon strong motivation to build Mirasol powered Kindles and Kindle Phones and Kindle Gaming Devices.

It all adds up to a pretty strong possibility a color Kindle will arrive by early 2011.

Reasons we might not see a color Kindle in 2011

There are also a few reasons we might not see a color Kindle anytime in 2011 -

  1. Mr. Jeff Bezos has said that color Kindles are years away.  
  2. We don’t even have a touch Kindle yet. Neither do we have any flexible screen Kindles. Can we really expect color Kindles?
  3. Amazon has so far remained firmly committed to PVI/eInk and its glacial speed of evolution.
  4. Color doesn’t really add that much for the core Kindle audience. There are probably more people interested in ePub and in enabling speech to text and in adding handwriting recognition.
  5. With Mirasol’s support for color and video there’s a high chance the ‘Mirasol color screen device’ debuting at CES is a multi-purpose device and not a dedicated reading device.

The last point brings up an interesting possibility – Is Amazon building a gaming device using Qualcomm’s Mirasol displays?

That would certainly explain all the recent Xbox executive hiring and the rumors from earlier in 2010 that Amazon was approaching big gaming companies. It would also be the perfect fit – a gaming device that lasts two weeks on a single charge might blow away the competition.

Isn’t Q1, 2011 too early for a color Kindle or a color Kindle Phone?

Well, not really. Apple will have the iPad 2 out by end 2010 or early 2011 at the latest. Thanks to strong iPad sales Apple will be able to price iPad 2 much lower and if the rumors are true it’ll be targeting reading a lot more.

Amazon needs something to compete and it can’t wait another 1.5 years (like it did with Kindle 3) to release a strong Kindle 4. What better than a color screen Kindle 4 (or a Kindle Phone) to compete with iPad 2?

A color Kindle (perhaps a color Kindle 4, perhaps a Kindle phone) is becoming a very strong possibility. A debut in early 2011 would make for some exciting times plus a color Kindle 4 would slot in very well alongside Kindle 3. There’s a huge gap between the $189 Kindle 3 and the $379 Kindle DX 2 and it seems Amazon might have a $250 to $299 color Kindle slated to fit in there.

Color Kindle – Qualcomm wins client, investing $2 billion in Mirasol

The Kindle 3 hasn’t even shipped yet and we might already be seeing the wheels set in motion for a color Kindle (perhaps a color Kindle 4).

Qualcomm has said that it’s won a major client – One so major that Qualcomm is willing to invest $2 billion into a Qualcomm Mirasol display plant.

How many ‘major clients’ are there in eReaders?

The likeliest possibilities are Amazon or B&N and the latter is selling itself so you have to imagine Qualcomm wouldn’t take a $2 billion gamble based on a color Nook 3. Sony is also a candidate – especially if it feels it’s getting left behind and wants to win back a market it had all to itself before the Kindle arrived. 

Another possibility is a new entrant like Google - It’s made a phone and has a tablet ready to go and it wouldn’t be a stretch to imagine that it would consider making an eReader. It’s not like Amazon is going to let Google Editions get a free ride on the Kindle ecosystem. 

Did Qualcomm win a contract from Amazon to supply Mirasol displays for a color Kindle?

DigiTimes has the report on Qualcomm’s major client (courtesy Damaso) -

Qualcomm MEMS Technologies plans to invest a total of US$2 billion to set up a 4.5G production plant for Mirasol displays at the Longtan site of Central Taiwan Science Park (CTSP).

… a major client has already started the design-in process.

Equipment suppliers have revealed that Qualcomm is the sole investor in the new plant project.

The major client is so major it’s convinced Qualcomm to invest $2 billion into a production plant.

What about existing facilities?

It’s interesting that Qualcomm already has a joint venture production plant -  

Qualcomm already has a 4.5G Mirasol display production joint venture (JV) with Foxlink in Longtan. The JV, SolLink, successfully produced 5.7-inch color Mirasol displays in April 2010.

There isn’t much information on the existing joint venture production plant and whether it could produce enough 5.7″ color Mirasol displays for a full release of a color eReader in 2010 or 2011. My suspicion would be No since there was a report earlier (much closer to August than to April) with someone from Qualcomm talking about how they had the technology and just had to figure out a way to get it produced in quantity.

If they’re setting up a $2 billion plant then they’ve certainly solved the problem of ‘How do we produce Mirasol displays in quantity?’. They must have a contract with their major client to be investing so much.

Are we going to see a Color Kindle? In early 2012?

It seems Mr. Jeff Bezos wasn’t being obtuse when he said color displays are a long ways off. Here’s DigiTimes on the timeline for Mirasol displays -

Equipment installation is scheduled to begin in October 2011 and volume production at the beginning of 2012 mainly for 5.7-inch color applications, the sources added.

There’s always a borderline possibility that Qualcomm’s joint venture with Foxlink can produce enough Mirasol displays for a limited 2011 release of a color Kindle 4. However, a color Kindle 5 in early 2012 seems far more likely.  

It’s probably Kindle 5 in early 2012 that will get Qualcomm’s Mirasol color displays that shimmer like butterfly wings. The magical marketing Apple would be able to do with such a display – Actually, there’s no reason Apple couldn’t be the ‘major client’.

Perhaps it’s Apple

This little note indicates that it isn’t necessarily an eReader maker that is the ‘major client’ -

The Mirasol display is a MEMS device with fast response time, and it can be used not only in e-book readers but also other multimedia applications, the sources said.

Listen to the Mirasol team go on and on about how the display is like butterfly wings and scones dipped in honey (they don’t actually say the latter) and you feel Apple is already doing the marketing for them. All that’s missing is an ‘I’m eInk, and I’m Mirasol’ ad.

Waiting till 2012 for a color Kindle?

Really hope eInk manages to get color to work by early 2011 so we can get a color Kindle earlier.

Early 2012 is so far away – 18 months. In a way it fits the glacial pace of development of ePaper technology perfectly. We had to wait 18 months to go from Kindle 2′s screen to Kindle 3′s eInk Pearl screen and perhaps it’s another 18 months till we get shimmery butterfly wings to go with our Kindles.

The good news is that regardless of which company releases a Mirasol eReader or a Mirasol powered multimedia tablet we’re guaranteed a color Kindle around the same time. Amazon has shown an amazing ability to catch up with the competition and if a color eReader is set to arrive in early 2012 Amazon will make sure a color Kindle is there to greet it.

Kindle 3, Kindle 4 vs Tablets – The Next Battle

Well, now that it seems the Kindle and Nook have survived the onslaught of the magical and master-of-all-trades iPad it’s worth wondering what next great battle eReaders will have to survive.

The Press, sensing that the iPad isn’t ridding them of these pesky little eReaders that threaten to destroy their Book Publishing brethren, have decided it is going to be super-cheap Android based Tablets.

Kindle 3, Kindle 4 vs Tablets – Assumptions

The Press’ Champion – Android powered Tablets. All of the iPad’s features and none of its polish. Super low prices and you get what you pay for. The infinite promise of Android which will one day, perhaps in the distant future, be fulfilled.

Readers’ Champion – Kindle 3, Kindle 4.  Dedicated to Reading unless you want to read videos. Focused on one thing unless the one thing is rat-in-a-maze level dopamine inducing distraction. Neither the absolutely-critical-for-reading sex appeal of Apple nor the openness of Android.

This will start with the Kindle 3 sometime this year. Kindle 3 will probably have an eInk Pearl screen. It will continue with a color Kindle 4 that has Qualcomm Mirasol screens or PVI color eInk. Kindle 4 will probably arrive in mid to end 2011.

The Kindle 3 will be taking on the first generation of Android Tablets that will be struggling to get their bearings. The Kindle 4 will be taking on far more polished devices that use Pixel Qi screens and Openness 3.0 (so open their processor chips fall out).  

The number of assumptions should clearly indicate the future illustrated in this post is as likely as the chance of a straightforward ‘the-buck-stops-here, we aren’t going to make any excuses’ apology from Steve Jobs.

Android Tablets’ two big advantages over the iPad – when it comes to Kindle killing

Do note that this part applies only when it comes to killing the Kindle and Nook. It is impossible for any product to be better than an iWhatever. If it is the universe ends (though not before Apple puts up a ‘look-when-i-hold-it-with-two-hands-and-squeeze’ death grip video to protest).

We are now faced with the painful realization that the iPad has not cleansed the world of the heathen eReaders. Thus, we look for another saviour and cheap, knock-off $150 Android Tablets are the Press’ new chosen ones.

They do come with several huge advantages including two even Apple people will recognize as indisputable -

  1. Very cheap prices – Android Tablets for $100 and $150. Basically prices closer to the prices at which Apple will be selling iPad accessories than to iPad prices.  
  2. Very open OS – Android is the OS of infinite promise and infinite openness. Open people love it.

There are also a few benefits Apple people might refuse to acknowledge – You get to buy something that is not Apple, you don’t have to sit through soap opera style commercials, you don’t have to worry about people trying to kill you to steal it away.

The Press will, therefore, make two seemingly paradoxical claims – iPad is outselling every Android Tablet because it’s better; Although Android tablets aren’t selling they’ll still kill the Kindle.

Kindle 3 Vs Tablets of the 1st Android Generation

It’ll be quite an interesting comparison because Kindle 3 will probably only have a black and white eInk screen and we know how important color and video are for books.

  1. Round 1 goes to Kindle because there’s Kindle for Android so even people on Android will be buying books from Amazon. This is akin to finding out that even if you win your pay check is half that of the loser’s. 
  2. Round 2 goes to Android Tablets because it gets tens of millions of dollars of free publicity and the Press lead naive people astray about its readability.  
  3. Round 3 goes to Android Tablets because there’s a color screen and it’s awfully easy to pretend people will be perusing textbooks in color as opposed to less noble pursuits.
  4. Round 4 goes to Kindle because there’s Free Internet and there are lots of good features for reading.  
  5. Round 5 goes to Android because openness is so important. It holds a promise so vast that we can’t comprehend it. Openness is a caterpillar that will one day blossom into a beautiful butterfly with poison tipped wings that it will gently brush against every closed competitor.  
  6. Round 6 goes to Kindle because it’s easy and free of distractions – easy to get books, easy to read, easy to focus on reading.   
  7. Round 7 goes to Android – There will be so many devices out there with Android and who cares about actual statistics on books read or books bought – The only important statistic is that there are 127 million potential readers who may any day break their vow of reading celibacy and all read a book a year and make Android the most important channel ever.
  8. Round 8 goes to Android – As the Kindle is reeling from the realization that half the stadium audience is Android’s entourage Android unleashes Google Editions.   
  9. Round 9 is almost a knock-out - People are wondering if the Kindle is out. How can it take on openness and millions of public domain books and orphan works? There’s no way it could come back.  
  10. In between rounds the Kindle’s coach whispers into its ear – It can’t box. What do you mean it can’t box? It almost knocked me out. Yes. But that’s an illusion. It can’t really box. Look carefully – Its hands aren’t moving.  
  11. Round 10 - The Kindle suddenly realizes that this is a battle of reading devices and it’s the only one that has a readable screen and it’s the only one that’s actually focused on reading. Android Tablets were sunning on the artificial beaches of Paris instead of training. The Kindle rushes in with new energy and the Android Tablets are shocked – Where did this come from?
  12. Round 11 – It’s a knock-out. The Press are distraught. As are all the Android tablet makers that spent weeks copying the design of the iPad. What do you mean we had to train for boxing? No one cares about boxing. So what if this is a boxing match. We trained in openness and watching movies.

There you have it – The match turning on the surprising realization that boxers are supposed to be able to box. The Kindle realizing at the very end that it’s the dedicated reading device and Android Tablets specialize only in doing everything and they aren’t very good for reading.

Kindle 4 vs Tablets of the 2nd Android Generation

Here we have a different sort of Android Tablet - one that has a special reading mode. Perhaps it’s Pixel Qi, perhaps transflective LCD.

At the same time Kindle 4 comes in with color – which means you can finally read Winnie the Pooh the way it was meant to be read. If that isn’t a life changing event don’t know what is. It makes Kindle 4 vs Android Tablets Generation 2 a sight to behold.

The Kindle 4 vs Tablets – A play in 4 Parts

A dark brooding main in a jacket reminiscent of Joseph and the Technicolor Dreamcoat is arguing with a relaxed and tall woman dressed in an elegant evening dress.

I am Mr. Android Tablet and I am open.

What does that mean?

Mean. Well, in practical terms it doesn’t mean anything – but it sounds good. Anyways, forget that. I have 200,000 Apps. So you should concede all readers to me.

Two hundred thousand Android apps – That’s impressive. How many of them are relevant to reading or, for that matter, useful for anything?

They don’t have to be useful – they just exist and that’s a really big number. Two hundred thousand – it even sounds big.

That doesn’t impress me and it’s not going to impress readers either.

I am open and I support ePub and Google Editions has millions of books that were never checked out of libraries.

Yes, but people only care about books. As long as they can get the books they want to read they don’t care about ePub or scanned books from 1887 that weren’t read even when they were in print.

This isn’t about reading. 

I thought this was about reading.

Well, you, my dear, are wrong. This is about readers doing what’s good for Publishers and Big Corporations.

The Curtains at the side part – A reader jumps in

He looks at the two protagonists and after a puzzled look at the technicolor outfit of Mr. Android Tablet speaks to him.

Mr. Android Tablet – You’re not really a reading device are you?  

The Android Tablet turns angrily to the customer and thinks – That came out of nowhere (I should have read the script instead of playing Tetris).

Then he speaks -

What does reading have to do with this. I can do more than just read. In fact, you don’t even have to do that stupid reading. You can just play games instead.

Mr. Android Tablet – Are you a reading device? I definitely think I’d like a device meant for reading.

The 2nd generation Android Tablet is puzzled – No one told me about this. Since when have consumers started thinking.

Openness. Openness. Openness.

More than just reading. More than just reading. More than Just Reading.

He smiles broadly at the reader as he realizes it’s true – it works.

Well, OK, but I want a device that’s good for reading.

Mr. Android Tablet is really flustered now. What sort of magic is this. Neither of the magical words worked. What was that I was told about the iPad playbook?

LCD is just as good as eInk. LCD is better than eInk. LCD is better than paper.

Get a device that does more than just read. I’m sexy. I’m desirable. I’m magical.

I have no death grip. (wrong playbook, think, think.)

LCD is beautiful. LCD is technicolor. LCD saves kittens and puppies.

But you’re hurting my eyes. And I’m tempted to check my Facebook. Could you recommend a reading device?

Mr. Android Tablet is distraught. It’s always worked before. How can it fail? How can Apple’s SexyCoolBeautiful magic fail? It’s all been a waste.

Mr. Android Tablet is in anguish as his thoughts flow through and streak his rainbow jacket with shades of grey – 3 years of waiting for Pixel Qi and I’m still not able to sell myself as a dedicated reading device. How come the Karate Kid becomes a 12th level Black Belt in 10 minutes and even after 3 weeks of pretending to be an eReader I can’t get it right? I’m a disgrace. I need to go read up on the iPad playbook a little more.

Android Tablet exit – stage right.

Stage Left - A group of mean-looking men walk in. They seem overly anxious and uncomfortable on the stage.

The Press Jump In

Hey, Mr. Customer Man, since when have you been allowed to think for yourself.

What do you mean?

We told you the Kindle was dead. We’ve been telling you this for years and you still don’t get it. What’s the big fuss about a dedicated reading device anyways?

Well, I love to read and I want a device specialized in reading – like the Kindle 3 or the Nook 2 or the Kindle 4.

No, no – You aren’t getting the point. We tell you what to do. If you start reading and become smart how are our advertisers going to fool you into buying all their worthless products?

I would think that’s a good thing. You know – it’s probably good if we don’t buy worthless products.

How can you be so heartless? We save democracy. We work tirelessly for you. All we ask is that you buy a device that is so much better than any dedicated device. You broke our hearts once – Are you going to do it again?

Ummm… This is getting awkward. Goodbye.

The End

The reader turns to the Kindle and motions that they should head off.

Suddenly a svelte figure in black and white rushes on to the stage and cries out – No. This isn’t decided yet.

The reader turns in surprise – I thought this was decided. I want a dedicated reading device. Who are you?

I’m Nook 2.

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