It was busy, busy week for eBook news items. Here is a grab bag of the ones I found the most interesting.
Google announced that it's library of 1.5 million scanned books is now available for the PC, the iPhone and the T-Mobile G1. These books are scanned so that there are no links but the image quality is pretty impressive. Check out it out on the Google Book Search Blog.
Amazon Kindle 2.0 and Surprise Announcement
Rumor has it that Amazon will be releasing a new version of the Kindle next week. More info and pictures can be found on the Boy Genius blog
AND according to the New York Times, Amazon is now working on making Kindle titles available on a variety of mobile phones. Not surprising really. . . of course there is no time estimate but the idea has a lot of people watching this new development.
Computer World Predicts a Bright Future for eBooks
One of the most interesting articles I have read about the growth in the eBook market showed up over the weekend in Computer World. Staff writer Mike Elgan makes a case for revolutionary growth in the eBook market. He believes that six major trends will finally kick eBooks into the mainstream:
- The economy
- The environment
- Publishing revolution
- Aggressive eBook marketing
- A rise in books written for electronic reading
- The decline of the newspaper industry
An excellent and persuasive piece which is worth reading from top to bottom. Click here to read it.
A Short History of eBooks
Another excellent piece is a rather long article by John Siracusa at ars technica. He traces his experience with eBooks starting with his job at Palm in 2002 to the present. My favorite quote:
Let me leave you with a quote from another Peanut Press founder, one which reflects his not-entirely unfounded optimism about the subtle seduction of e-books: "You know what we call people who finally try e-books after they've sworn they could never read on a handheld device? 'Customers.'"
It is an excellent history of eBooks and the story of his personal experiences with the content and the technology. I actually laughed out loud a couple of time!
Cell Phones -- the Statistics
I know. Lies, Damn Lies and Statistics. I can not resist, however, quoting some statistics that back up my belief that cellphones are going to rule the world of eBook reading.
- 1.18 Billion new mobile phones were sold in 2008 (IDC 2009)
- There are 4 Billion mobile phone subscribers
- The world has about 6.7 Billion people, so this means that 60% of the world population has a cell phone
Admittedly some people own multiple phones but even so, that might take the percentage down to 50% (extremely low).
Tomi Ahonen and Alan Moore explore this phenomena in great detail on their blog. Check it out!
That's it for this week -- my top five stores. Stay tuned for news and updates and follow the links to read the items mentioned here.