Round up #93: E-book predictions, Kindle phone
I’ve heard of a shoe phone, but…
Along with wild and contradictory predictions about upcoming EBRs (E-Book Readers) and tablets from Amazon, speculation about Amazon producing a SmartPhone is starting to heat up.
Everybody is calling it a Kindle SmartPhone, that I see, and since we are stuck with them calling their tablet (the Kindle Fire) a Kindle, I guess they might call all of their hardware a Kindle (“Hey, did you see the new Kindle Can Opener?’).
I don’t know that there will be one released this year…there is still a lot going on without that. One of the things I’d be considering is the possible convergence of the tablet and the SmartPhone. The SmartPhone is too small to replace a lot of the functions of a tablet. A tablet, though, could do everything a SmartPhone does…except fit in your pocket (unless we get something that can change shape, eventually, which is possible).
Will enough people decide that just carrying a tablet is enough, if it makes phone calls? Will it seem like too much to pay for two dataplans, even if the tablet is clunkier to carry?
Amazon is very forward looking…could SmartPhones be an evolutionary dead end in the next three to five years? Is that enough of a window of opportunity?
You may think it’s a silly idea to think that people might not feel like they need SmartPhones in a few years…they laughed at Apple when they stopped putting in floppy disc drives, too.
has some fascinating speculation…not about the hardware, but about how Amazon might turn the current model on its head.
Where do most people figure they get their cellphones?
From the carrier, right? You go to the AT&T store, or wherever, and see if you can trade in your phone for another one yet.
Carriers subsidize the phone…they are going to make a whole more money out of you very quickly than the phone costs them.
The article suggests that Amazon could sell the phone itself…without customers going through a carrier. I don’t want to take much away from it…I recommend you read Ewan Spence’s piece.
Forbes: “Five More E-Book Predictions: Making E-Book Predictions Is Hard”
Sticking with Forbes, I saw this article in my Flipboard: Your Social News Magazine app (which I’ve now decided I like, but only when connected to the wireless):
I first have to commend Jeremy Greenfield for owning up to earlier success (and lack thereof) in predicting events in the e-book world. I always give an accounting myself (here’s one for my 2011 predictions), and I appreciate it when others do that.
Generally, I’d say Greenfield is well informed. I don’t want to give away too much about the predictions. I’ll mention that he cites a July 27th date for a possible settlement in the Department of Justice’s Agency Model suit…and he thinks public library lending of e-books will increase. I’ll let you read the justifications and the other predictions.
I’m still thinking that at some point, publishers may do “needs tested” e-book lending, and basically drop public library lending. They seem unconvinced with Overdrive’s arguments that doing public library lending increases sales. That’s not a prediction on my part, just speculation.
Independent Booksellers Week just ended in the UK, and I have been hearing a lot of interesting stories about brick and mortars recently.
I’m a former bookstore manager, so this does particularly interest me. The fate of bookstores definitely has a dependent relationship on e-books, so I think it’s worth discussing here.
In my area, Kepler’s Books has been a classic bookstore for decades. It’s in Menlo Park, south of San Francisco. I used to go there…and I remember being there when there was a live raven (I think it was a customer’s).
They are doing some very innovative things to reinvent the bookstore for the future.
They are splitting into two legal entities: a for-profit to do events, and another non-profit community-supported bookstore.
The non-profit part reminds me of my story, A Trip to the Bookstore.
If we accept the postulate that local bookstores, as a whole, will not be able to survive continuing their current business model, the question becomes: what can they do?
I’m not sure that community support, in terms of actual donations and taxes (like a museum) is going to be the way to go. I just can’t see that sort of support, unless it’s a tourist attraction…and one that makes money.
I think that the event part is different…that could work.
Of course, another part of the strategy is worth noting:
You can buy books through http://www.keplers.com/.
This post by Bufo Calvin originally appeared in the I Love My Kindle blog.