Home Tech eBooks: Multi-platform bookstores gaining ascendancy

eBooks: Multi-platform bookstores gaining ascendancy

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Barnes & Noble have announced a free eReader application for the iPad, with versions for other mobile platforms to follow soon. According Gizmodo, who have reviewed the app, it is a cross between Amazon's Kindle app and Apple's iBooks. Like Amazon's Kindle platform, B&N will offer syncing across devices. 

This openness, pioneered by Amazon, will surely sound the death knell for dedicated devices such as Sony's series of eReaders which offer little prospect of book portability. Why spend a fortune on a library that then ties you in to one hardware manufacturer?

It is also bad news for Apple and the iBookStore. Unless Apple can introduce iBooks to other platforms – including Android, BlackBerry and future non-Apple tablets – they will lose the initiative. At the moment I cannot see the iBookStore replicating the success of the AppStore unless Apple dive in to compete directly with Amazon and, now, B&N. 

After a taste of Whispersync, nobody wants to be restricted to one platform. On a day to day basis, it is convenient to switch repeatedly between iPad, iPhone and (if you have one) the Kindle. Who wants to buy something that can be read only on the iPad so you have to carry it around with you all the time? And on a long-term basis, buyers want portability so they can have the confidence of being able to access their library on any future device they purchase.

1 COMMENT

  1. I am puzzled by this post, I have used a Sony eReader now for a year, and never had any problem with buying eBooks from all manner of online eBook sellers (apart from the annoying geographical limitations). given that my Sony, in common with almost all eReaders, can deal with an impressive number of formats I am free to buy my eBooks anywhere I wish. and on the rare occasions when an eBook happens to be in a format that isnt OK with my Sony, then I simply convert it to ePub with Caliber.As a matter of fact, I have never bought an eBook from the Sony shop, nor even visited it as I have found more than enough online shops to meet my need for current eBooks.However, I do agree with you on the matter of transferring my eBooks from platform to platform, here I do have problems, all caused by the infuriating DRM protection system. But this is also changing now, and more and more online eBook shops are giving one the possibility to install ones eBooks on a given number of devices.

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