What eReaders might CES bring? plus Kindle news

The Kindle is going to see a lot of new competitors at CES. At least it seems that way. Let’s take a look at what Kindle rivals CES might introduce us to, and throw in some Kindle news.

Pocketbook’s Mirasol Color eReader

We found out in November that PocketBook is going to release a Mirasol-powered color eReader in Q3, 2011. At CES 2011, PocketBook promises to preview this ereader – It’s named PocketBook Mirasol, which beats the usual trend of eReader names picked by drunk robots.

Perhaps it’s just me – However, it seems unlikely Qualcomm would set up a $2 billion Mirasol screen production facility because it had signed a deal with PocketBook. Which strongly suggests there’s a larger eReader company working on color eReaders using Mirasol screens. One that is not the type to trumpet its forthcoming eReaders at CES 2011.

Wonder what secretive eReader company that might be?

Amazon announces Kindle reading apps for forthcoming Android and Windows tablets

Amazon has already promised a Kindle reading app for the forthcoming Blackberry Playbook tablet. It’s now promising that Kindle reading apps will be made available for the plethora of Windows and Android tablets that will be arriving in 2011. These will be optimized for Tablets.

Don’t even know why this is news.

At the Kindle Reading Apps page at Amazon, it’s stated that a Kindle for Windows Phone 7 reading app is coming soon.

Will there be any reading tablets introduced at CES 2011?

That’s an interesting question.

All the tablet makers are gunning for the iPad market. Not very many are thinking about the reading tablet market. Nook Color has that to itself for now, and it might have the reading tablet market to itself even after CES 2011.

Trusting Surveys, even though the last time you trusted surveys everything went to Hell in a Handbasket

The same people who believed all the ‘iPad will kill Kindle and destroy eReaders’ surveys in early 2010, are now believing a new survey that claims 40% of iPad owners are Kindle owners.

Here are the details from the ‘Kindle and iPad are in love, and ready to elope’ survey -

  1. J. P. Morgan surveyed 1,000 people. Do keep this in mind, since we’re extrapolating from 1,000 people to 10 million plus iPad owners.
  2. 40% of iPad owners (some unknown number out of that 1,000) also own a Kindle.
  3. Another 23% plan on getting a Kindle in 2011.
  4. 23% have no plans of getting a Kindle.
  5. 14% don’t know what a Kindle is.

The survey isn’t content with one surprising set of statistics. It brings up another interesting set of figures – 49% read 0 to 10 books per year, the remaining 51% claim to read at least 11 books a year. Really?

Just that 51% figure alone is enough to deem this survey highly unreliable. Out of 1,000 people randomly surveyed, J. P. Morgan found that 510 people read 11 or more books per year. Did they take the survey in a library?

Details for this Kindle is not going to die survey are at TechCrunch.

It’s amusing to see everyone trusting this survey, given how woefully inadequate surveys are at predicting the future, or, for that matter, the present.

Will there be any Pixel Qi devices at CES 2011?

We know that Notion Ink will be showing off the Adam tablet. One of the variants uses a Pixel Qi screen.

Will there be any Pixel Qi based reading tablets?

Pehaps. On the other hand, there probably won’t be any dedicated eReaders using Pixel Qi. It doesn’t really make sense to create an eReader with a Pixel Qi screen – the whole point of the screen is that you can have an eReader mode, and also a Laptop/Tablet mode.

Pixel Qi hasn’t really done much yet – especially given the amount of hype it’s gotten.

Asus’s Eee Note – Could it be the first hit eReader + eWriter?

Asus is releasing the Asus Eee Note EA800 in the US in 2011. It’ll probably be shown off at CES 2011. 

It’s an eReader plus eWriter, with an 8″ monochrome screen that lets you take notes using a stylus. The expected price is said to be over $300, though it’s selling in Taiwan for around $250.

Laptop Mag has details on the Asus Eee Note.

It has a matte grayscale LCD screen. There are 8 buttons including page turn buttons – a nice add-on to the touchscreen. There’s no backlight. It runs on Linux, and can supposedly last 13.5 hours on one charge.

Laptop Mag really liked it, and it sounds quite promising. The applications included are – Notes, Reader, Calculator, Dictionary, Voice Memos, Text Memos, Browser, Photo Album, Music Player, and a few games.

It has WiFi, but WiFi only works in the browser. It has limited multi-tasking. There’s a micro-USB port, a memory card slot, a headphone jack, and something that looks like a set of speakers.

It’s definitely a nice angle to approach the eReader and Tablet markets from.

Kindle 3 under threat due to poor retail availability, rival eReader offers

The Kindle 3 might be in for a very interesting holiday season.

On paper the holiday season seems like it should be a cakewalk for the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi -

  1. B&N has gone with a color-screen Nook Color instead of releasing an eInk Pearl based Nook 2. 
  2. Sony has hidden behind its claim that its focusing on quality and not competing on price.
  3. There are hardly any worthy Android tablets.
  4. iPad hasn’t killed eReader sales.
  5. No strong, new eReader rivals have emerged and no eReaders with Pixel Qi or Mirasol or Color eInk screens have emerged.

Given these data points you have to wonder what could stop the Kindle 3 from taking an even more dominant market position.

Well, there are actually a few serious threats to the Kindle 3’s take-over of the eReader market this holiday season. Let’s take a look at a couple of the more worrying ones.

Kindle Retail Availability is still poor

Here’s a comment from a user who bought a Nook because he couldn’t find a Kindle -

… this made me decide to go with Kindle 3.  But they seem to treat this thing like tickets to a Hot Rock concert!  I would have to just about camp in front of the store to get one.

Well guess what.  I am not a teenager anymore and if you want me to buy your product, and you announce on the news that it is now sold at Target, Best Buy, Staples, etc. One of those stores better have it in All of Houston.

So I bought the Nook, even though I love to have the latest technology. 

The problem is actually much deeper than ‘being sold out’ in all of Houston -

  1. Firstly, Amazon is available at far less stores – Nook is now available at WalMart and lots of other places Kindle isn’t retailed.
  2. Secondly, Amazon doesn’t have its own physical stores – Both B&N and Sony have their own stores from which they can sell Nooks and Sony Readers directly to customers.
  3. Thirdly, Amazon doesn’t send out enough stock. There are numerous cases of people talking about not being able to find a Kindle 3 at their nearest Target.
  4. Fourthly, Amazon severely limits the demo units so you can’t test out wireless and a lot of the other Kindle 3 features.

So we’ve gone from ‘Kindle isn’t available in brick and mortar stores’ to ‘Kindle puts in a guest appearance at a few stores but is usually impossible to find’.   

Nook and Sony Reader continue to have a big advantage in retail availability – very few people are going to keep trying to find a Kindle in stores when they can test out a Nook or Sony Reader in person and get it instantly.

Rival eReader makers are cutting prices mercilessly

Thanks to Lucy S we know Best Buy will have Nook WiFi available for $100 for Black Friday. It’s just 10 units per store but it’ll still sell a lot of Nooks and give Nook a lot of free publicity.

Now, courtesy MobileRead, we find out about some very good deals on the latest Sony Readers.

Nov 15th Update: B&H Photo changed prices from $170 to $200 and $120 to $150 a day after this post first went out.

B&H Photo now has the Sony Reader PRS-650 for $200 and the Sony Reader PRS-350 for $150. It’s also offering free shipping. The offers last till the 27th of November and make the PRS-650 close to the price of a Kindle 3 and the PRS-350 close to the price of a Kindle WiFi.

Sony Readers are going to be on sale at the Sony Store from November 15th to November 27th – 

  1. Sony Reader Pocket Edition PRS-350 will be $30 cheaper at $150 – that’s within shooting distance of the $139 Kindle WiFi.
  2. Sony Reader Touch Edition PRS-650 will be $30 cheaper at $200 – which brings it very close to the $189 Kindle 3.
  3. Sony Reader Daily Edition PR-950 will be $50 cheaper at $250. That’s the same price as Nook Color and not bad for a 7″ eInk Pearl screen.

Like Nook 1 the Sony Readers support library books and ePub and unlike Nook 1 they sport eInk Pearl screens. They also have touch. The PRS-650 suddenly seems very tempting. For most of November Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi will no longer be the obvious eReader choice.

For the first time since Kindle 3 was released users will have to think twice about what eReader to get. At $170 and with library book support and touch support the Sony PRS-650 is suddenly a very dangerous Kindle 3 opponent.

What does Amazon need to do to make Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi the clear #1 choices again?

Well, it’s quite simple -

  1. Drop Kindle 3 to $170.
  2. Drop Kindle WiFi to $110.
  3. Expand retail availability. WalMart is probably not going to embrace Amazon but other stores might.
  4. Make sure there is enough retail availability.
  5. Let users try out Kindles properly – make sure demo units allow users to explore full Kindle functionality.

Nook and Sony Reader have gone from disinterested competitors that had little chance to threaten the Kindle 3 to surprise contenders that threaten to steal away eReader sales from the Kindle. Perhaps they have finally realized that if they let the Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi run rampant this holiday season it might be the end of the eReader Wars.

Top 10 Kindle differentiators

The Kindle 3 has two big differentiators according to Barclays Capital analyst Douglas Anmuth – WhisperSync, Apps. He feels these, along with the low price of the Kindle WiFi and retail availability, will help Amazon sell 5 million Kindles this year.

The question that’s been stuck in my head is – What are the top 10 Kindle differentiators?

Well, let’s take a look.

Top 10 Kindle Differentiators

Kindle Apps – Not at the Moment

At the moment it’s not a differentiator. Nook has Chess and Sudoku and Kindle has word puzzles and Scrabble and Minesweeper and Gomoku. There’s no differentiation. Perhaps as more apps come out we’ll see a true differentiator but at the moment there’s none.

At ZDNet someone’s asking whether Scrabble changes everything and quite frankly it doesn’t. Once we have 100 apps with at least 20 killer apps then Kindle Apps will be a differentiator. Perhaps even one of the top two. For now, it’s just an experiment.

WhisperSync – Perhaps

Being able to synchronize your place in a book is great as is the ability to sync notes, highlights, and more. However, Nook has this feature and other eReader makers and eBook stores are adding it in.

Kindle has the most complete implementation and some unique things like Popular Highlights but don’t see WhisperSync remaining a true differentiator for long.

WhisperNet – Ever since Kindle 1

Amazon has three big pluses here – 60 second downloads, free 3G internet, international 3G.

The 60 second downloads were a big reason Amazon Kindle beat Sony Reader. Nook and Sony (with Daily Edition) have matched the first but not the second and third. This will continue to be a huge differentiator for Amazon.

WhisperNet might very well be the most important differentiator at this point.

Ease of Use – Yes, and continues to be

Kindle is still the easiest to use eReader. Nook’s two screens and sluggish touch screen cause issues and Sony makes a mess of its touchscreen interface.

Kindle also doesn’t require a computer. Nook doesn’t either but Sony does.

Not sure how big of a differentiator Kindle’s extreme ease of use is but it’s certainly present.

Range of books, magazines, and newspapers

Kindle Store has more new books, more magazines, and more newspapers available than B&N, Sony, and Apple. This is a pretty big differentiator and Amazon continues to maintain a healthy lead over its competitors.

By expanding worldwide it’s added to this differentiation.

International Support

There are three aspects here -

  1. Amazon offers books in lots of countries – 150+ at the latest count.  
  2. Amazon ships the Kindle to lots of countries – 150+ at the latest count.
  3. Amazon offers 60 second downloads and WhisperNet in lots of countries – 100+ at the latest count.

Nook is US only. Sony is expanding out to various countries but it isn’t close to matching Kindle’s availability. Apple’s book availability outside the US is even worse than its limited book range in the US.

This is a pretty big differentiator for Amazon.

Exclusives – Not so far, but threatens to become a differentiator

It’s unfortunate that people are signing up exclusive deals with Amazon but they are. At some point all the exclusives might add up to be a differentiator. Thankfully, it’s not a big deal so far.

Accessibility

Yes when it comes to other eReaders which don’t support accessibility. No when it comes to Tablets which do support accessibility.

It’s interesting that neither B&N nor Sony has tried to match Kindle’s text to speech feature.

eReader = Kindle Association

There are lots of ways in which we see the Kindle’s association with the terms ‘eReader’ and ‘eBook’ manifest as a differentiator -

  1. People think first of Kindle when they think eReader. 
  2. Every new eReader and every new device targeting reading gets compared to the Kindle. 
  3. It’s close to becoming a verb – Is that a good book? I’ll read it on my Kindle. 

It won’t be long before people will be Kindling books.

eBook Prices – Huge Differentiator earlier but now is threatened

Kindle Store’s low book prices were a huge differentiator. The advent of the Agency Model has reduced that as has B&N’s attempts to match Kindle Store on prices.

Kindle Store still has the lowest prices on books that fall outside the Agency Model – However, it’s a much less significant differentiator now.

Kindle Lighted Cover

You have to use the Kindle Lighted Cover to see how well it does. It instantly makes reading Kindle at night far more convenient and it’s just a cool, cool cover+light. Sony Reader and Nook need an equivalent or Kindle will become the default reading choice for night.

Also, Kindle + Kindle Lighted Cover is a better choice than a back-lit LCD screen in my opinion.

Value for Money

The $139 Kindle WiFi is better value for money than any other reading device. You could even throw in the ‘does more than just read’ argument and you still wouldn’t be able to get more value for money.

Sony has given up on this front – it’s claiming it’s focused on quality. Nook WiFi is a generation behind.

At the moment Kindle WiFi has the low price, high value eReader market to itself.

Kindle 3 is also pretty good value for money, especially with the free 3G Internet, and leaves the Sony 650 far behind in terms of value per dollar spent.

Top Differentiators for Kindle’s rivals

It’s worth taking a quick look at ways in which Nook, Sony Reader, and Apple iPad differentiate themselves. These lists are pretty rough.

Nook’s Top Differentiators

Nook sets itself apart in several ways -

  1. ePub support and support for Library Books.
  2. The color LCD touchscreen. It isn’t implemented very well but does provide some benefits.  
  3. In-store promotions at B&N stores plus being able to read any book for up to 1 hour per day.
  4. LendMe feature. This isn’t fully done but it’s very promising.
  5. The promise of Android.
  6. Its own retail stores and a lot of them.

These are the ones that come to mind.

Sony Reader’s Top Differentiators

The new Sony Readers do make a decent effort -

  1. ePub support and support for Library Books.
  2. Size and Weight of the Sony Reader 350 is a big differentiator.
  3. Touch Screen. This is very impressive.
  4. Perhaps looks and design. It’s definitely better looking than Kindle and Nook.
  5. Freehand drawing and ability to scribble notes.

The Sony Readers miss out by not having wireless. They also miss out because Sony is not thinking outside the Sony builds Devices box.

iPad’s Top Differentiators

The iPad has quite a few differentiators -

  1. Does more than just read. This holds a lot of value for some people.  
  2. You can get books from all stores on it. Kindle Store, B&N, and more.
  3. You can get ePub on it.
  4. The back-lit screen eliminates the need for a reading light.  
  5. Color Screen. Useful for textbooks and illustrated books.
  6. Touch.
  7. Lots of apps for different purposes – Comic Reader App, PDF App, News Apps, and so forth.
  8. You can use it to signal status and to show you have lots of disposable income.

There are probably other differentiators too. These are the ones that seem relevant to people interested in a reading device.

It’s surprising that Kindle has so many more Differentiators than Sony Reader and Nook

With the Kindle 2, Nook, and Sony Reader we had three devices that were pretty close. With Kindle 3 and the continuous improvements to the Kindle Store and to Kindle WhisperNet Amazon has distanced itself from the rest of the Big 3 eReaders.

If the Kindle App Store adds 10 to 20 killer apps by end of the year Kindle 3 might cement its position as the #1 eReader for a while. B&N is a little distracted as it fights off Ron Burkle’s unwanted advances – However, it needs a solid Nook 2 and a solid Android based App Store or it will cede this holiday season to the Kindle 3.

Kindle 3, eReader Wars – Sept 2010

The Kindle 3 faces two interesting new challenges – Sony released its new eReader models today and Borders cut the prices of the Kobo and Aluratek eReaders.

How much of a threat to the Kindle 3 are the new Sony Readers? What impact will the $99 Aluratek eReader have on the eReader wars?

Let’s dive into the specifics and see what impact these changes might have on the  eReader Wars.

Kindle 3, eReader Wars – Borders selling $99 eReader

Borders has reduced the prices of two eReaders – Aluratek Libre is now $99 and Kobo eReader is now $129. All the talk of us seeing $99 eReaders by end 2010 seemed presumptuous until a few months ago. Today, we already have $99 eReaders.

The Aluratek Libre at $99 puts some pricing pressure on Kindle WiFi but not much since Aluratek’s eReader isn’t very good. The Kobo at $129 isn’t really a factor since Kindle WiFi is much, much better than the Kobo eReader.

A few months ago the Kobo eReader at $149 was the first eReader from a big/well-funded company to break the $150 price barrier and there was talk of it stealing away market share from the Kindle. It’s a reflection of how quickly things are changing that today, even at $129, it’s an after-thought. The Nook WiFi at $149 and Kindle WiFi at $139 are much better options.

Not having a competitive eReader is the least of Borders’ problems.

A World without Borders?

Borders is really struggling. For Q2, 2010 it had a loss of $46.7 million and NY Times chronicles Borders’ dismal state -

  1. In the last  3 years Borders has reduced its store count by almost half. This includes exiting the UK.
  2. It raised capital in Q2, 2010 by selling $25 million worth of shares to a cigarette executive who became the largest shareholder. 
  3. It sold its Paperchase chain for $31 million.
  4. It still has debt of $262.1 million.
  5. Sales at Borders stores open at least a year fell 6.8% in Q2, 2010.

Its share price also took a hit – falling 4.5%. Basically, Borders doesn’t look like it’s going to survive – It is hardly in a position to mount a serious threat on the eReader market. With the $149 Kobo Reader and the Aluratek Libre it was trying to corner up the lower end of the market but Kindle WiFi has destroyed that opportunity.

The lower prices of the Kobo and Aluratek eReaders don’t change the fact that they aren’t very good – they couldn’t even compete with Kindle 2. Put them up against the Kindle WiFi and the new Sony Readers and they are terribly inadequate.

Kindle 3, eReader Wars – Sony releases pricier eReaders

Sony seems to have given up on trying to beat the Kindle 3 and seems focused on creating the perfect product for a market that only exists in its imagination. It talks a lot about how it couldn’t afford to put WiFi into its $179 Sony 350 and its $229 Sony 650 without taking a moment to wonder how Amazon and B&N managed to produce WiFi capable eReaders at sub $150 prices.

It’s also got really strange priorities – It seems to be more interested in building a device, selling it, and running away than in earning money from ebook sales. In a sense it’s trying to build TVs and hoping cable companies supply the service and content. The only problem is the cable companies in this market have their own TVs.

The net result is a beautiful eReader (good-looking, good features, touch screen) that doesn’t really have good infrastructure or a good store to back it up. It’s an eReader made by a company that doesn’t really grasp that people are going to read books on the eReader. Sony is trying to provide one part of what the customer is asking for and is hoping the other parts just magically appear.

Is Sony using really smart strategy or deluding itself?

There are three entirely reasonable possibilities -

  1. Sony has figured out that it can get a solid #2 or even a #1 spot by selling higher end eReaders with touch screens and selling them all over the world via their retail channels.  
  2. Sony has decided it’s just too much work to compete with the Kindle 3 and has given up on the US market.
  3. Sony is delusional and it’s convinced itself that the product it has to offer meets the needs of the eReader market perfectly. If you look at Sony 650 and contrast it with Sony 600 the only thing Sony has changed is that the touch screen now doesn’t hurt readability. In almost every other way it’s the same product.

We do have to give credit to Sony for differentiating and managing to release eReaders with touch screens. The lack of WiFi and the high prices are madness – However, the touch screen gives Sony an angle that it might be able to leverage to generate sales despite the high price.  

Kindle 3 to be sold at Staples

Amazon isn’t exactly sitting still and it’s begun to expand the Kindle’s retail presence. Kindle 3 will be sold at Staples stores starting this Fall. Reuters reports on Kindle 3 at Staples -

Staples will start selling the Kindle at its more than 1,500 U.S. stores starting in the autumn, the company said.

It plans to sell the $139 version of the Kindle, the 3G model and the more expensive Kindle DX.

Staples makes a lot of sense as the $139 Kindle WiFi and the $189 Kindle 3 are both good products that meet the needs of businesses looking to cut down on paper and printing costs. Additionally, the prices are low enough to entice some Staples customers into impulse purchases.

5 million Kindles sold?

The Reuters report goes on to talk about Kindle sales estimates -

Forrester Research estimates that Amazon has sold about 5 million Kindles since the product’s launch in 2007, and that Barnes & Noble has sold 1 million Nooks since their introduction last year.

Every day there’s a new Kindle sales estimate – 5 million is one of the higher ones. Keeping Kindle sales figures secret is the gift that keeps giving.

Nook 2 still missing in action

If Nook 2 really is slated to be launched in parallel with B&N’s big in-store push for the Nook (which starts around September 4th/5th) then we might soon find out what B&N has in store for us.

At the moment, Nook 2 is missing and every day readers are picking Kindle 3 and Kindle WiFi over Nook and further increasing Amazon’s lead. It’s hard to understand what’s stopping B&N from announcing Nook 2 and letting readers place preorders.

Google Editions still missing in action

The other mystery is around Google Editions which was supposed to launch in summer 2010. It would make so much sense for Google to team up with one or both of Sony and B&N and with every smaller eReader to take on the Kindle Store.

It already has Android in nearly every non-Kindle eReader and it’s already providing a million public domain books (via Google Books) to nearly every non-Kindle eReader. It might as well add the store. Most eReader makers are desperate and this would be the perfect time to push and promote Google Editions. 

Apple doesn’t announce iPad 2 at today’s Apple Event

There were rumors that an iPad 2 would be announced at today’s Apple iPod event. That didn’t happen and there wasn’t any mention of iPad sales figures either. Perhaps they are being saved for a later conference that would also see the announcement of the iPad 2.

It’s pretty likely that we’ll see the iPad 2 arrive by October/November of 2010. The main question is price – At $350 or higher there is little threat to the Kindle 3 but at $300 or below iPad 2 would start eating up pieces of the eReader market.

There’s still a lot left to be unveiled

Nook 2, iPad 2, and Google Editions are far more important than the over-priced Sony Readers and the irrelevant Aluratek and Kobo eReaders.

Kindle 3 has the eReader market all to itself but that might change any day as Nook 2 is probably going to be released/announced soon. Apple will probably wait till holiday season to make a splash and Google might just be waiting for a certain settlement. Sony has kicked things off and Borders is doing it’s part – However, the real fun has not yet begun.

the kindle vs new ereaders

It seems that everyone and their mother are getting into the eReader business and taking on the kindle.

Here are some of the latest entrants to the eReader jungle -

Entourage Edge – Finally a Video

Love how the reviewer gets confused by the name. It is a very well done video and it’s refreshing to see someone focus on the product.

The key details on the Entourage Edge (available for preorder, ships February 2010) -

  1. 9.7″ eInk screen on the left and 10.1″ LCD screen on the right.  
  2. $490 price.
  3. Interactions are primarily with the LCD screen, including an on-screen keyboard.
  4. It’s pretty quick.
  5. 6 hours battery life.  
  6. 1024 by 600 screen resolution.  
  7. You can flip the eInk screen into note taking mode via a dedicated button. There is a dedicated Journal application.
  8. They have a newer generation that they’ll be releasing soon which is much thinner and seems better designed too.

It’s good to see a high-end eReader enter the market. It’s also good to see the dual screen design and a dedicated journal feature.

Read more about it and other dual screen ereaders in my Dual Screen eReaders Review

Taiwan’s IDRI unveils 4.1″ flexible color OLED

Just some interesting technology from Taiwan’s Industrial Technology Research Institute -

It’s a 4.1″ flexible AMOLED display. The cholestric LCD screen at the end is also interesting, especially as it can hold an image without using power (just like eInk EPD screens), making it ideal for eReaders.

Netronix to launch Android eReader, selling 30K to 60K eReaders a month

Update: Netronix is apparently a subsidiary of FoxConn. Certainly makes things interesting.

Digitimes covers Netronix’s planned Android eReader and chairman Arthur Lu’s bold predictions -

  1. Interoperates with Android smartphones.
  2. Expected Release date of mid-2010. 
  3. Partnership with Texas Instruments.
  4. 3G/3.5G connectivity to transform eReaders into personal communication devices.  
  5. Netronix say that they will ramp up monthly eReader capacity to 200,000 units in early 2010.
  6. Arthur Lu expects shipments to top 1 million units in 2010.

If they hadn’t partnered with TI would laugh at their 1 million eReaders in 2010 claim.

Netronix did release their current numbers -

Netronix is currently shipping e-book readers at a rate of 30,000-60,000 a month in the fourth quarter of 2009 and expects total shipments for the quarter to reach 140,000 units, Lu stated.

Lots of anti-Kindle people would like to believe that’s the number Amazon are shipping. If Netronix is shipping 30,000 to 60,000 eReaders a month you can guess how many Amazon are shipping.

BenQ eReader … um … nReader

PC World reports that the BenQ nReader will be out in China and Taiwan in January 2010 for $280 -

  1. 6″ touchscreen. 
  2. They said the screen quality is the same as the Kindle – doubt it with the touch layer. It’ll probably be more like Sony Reader Touch quality.
  3. The screen is from SiPix and not eInk. SiPix is an AU Optronics subsidiary.
  4. Plays music.  
  5. 3G and WiFi support.
  6. 2 GB flash memory.
  7. eBook Store will launch along with the nReader.
  8. Chinese, Japanese and English support.
  9. ePub support.

BenQ have very ambitious plans -

  • They want to sell 50,000 nReaders in Taiwan and 300,000 units worldwide in 2010.
  • They claim they’ll have a color eReader out by 2nd half of 2010.

The PC World article also mentions 5 other companies releasing eReaders -

Netronix, Delta Electronics, Greenbook eReader, Asustek, MSI.

Everyone’s joining the party.

Que is not new – but it has new content partners now

Thanks to Press Releases every time anyone at Plastic Logic sneezes we all know about the Que Business eReader.

Plastic Logic are doing a great job of adding new content partners -

  1. Que already had Financial Times, USA Today, Detroit Free Press and other newspapers and magazines. 
  2. They have now added Popular Science, MIT’s Technology Review, PCWorld, Macworld, CIO, Network World, and ComputerWorld. 
  3. The Que release date is January 7th, 2010 so look forward to more partners being added.

One of the things Que has going for it is its support for PDF, Word, Powerpoint and Excel. That together with all the content partners increases its chances of making inroads into businesses.

Hearst’s Skiff Reader

It’s still way too early – However here are the few known details about the Skiff Reader and a Kindle Vs Skiff strategy review.

Hearst certainly aren’t shy about revealing their intentions.

the Kindle vs new eReaders

All the new eReader releases and announcements are getting a lot of coverage, including people asking the inevitable question – Can this new eReader hurt the Kindle?

While the Kindle could handle these new eReaders one on one, at some level you have to feel that together the new eReaders will eat up a chunk of the eReader market.

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