Lessons Learned from myebook and LinkedIn
The First iPhone 3G Book on a Kindle

One Very Happy iPhone 3G eReader

Iphone 3G The new iPhone's eReader has been referred to as a potential killer app, not that the iPhone really needs one.  Having seen one in action I'm not sure this app will kill other cell phone sales as much as it will simply give iPhone owners a very good reason to pass on the Kindle.  I can't picture many prospective customers saying, "wow, that eReader app is the reason I'm going with the iPhone 3G and not the xyz phone."  On the other hand, I can definitely see iPhone 3G owners saying, "why should I spend another $350 on a Kindle when I get a reading experience that's 'good enough' with eReader on my iPhone?"

Here's an excellent review of the app from Joe Hutsko over on Salon.  He notes that the lack of a backlit display is one of his biggest gripes against the Kindle.  Another reader of Hutsko's post beat me to the punch by stating why the Kindle is backlit-free.  To be blunt, backlit displays are harder on your eyes and the eInk technology is all about reading comfort.  That's why my eyes go nuts after a couple of hours of working on my laptop but I can read all day on my Kindle with no discomfort whatsoever.  Sure, you need a separate light source for the Kindle but I rarely find myself needing to read in the dark.

Given the choice between a Kindle and an iPhone 3G I'd still go for the Kindle.  I'll read a Mobi book from my Blackberry in a pinch but I wouldn't want that to be my primary reading device.  It's too darned small and so is the iPhone screen.  Heck, there are times when I think the Kindle screen is a tad bit too small, but it's still a far better reading experience than any other e-reading device I've seen so far.  I'm also starting to realize that multi-purpose devices aren't always the best solution; I'd prefer the larger screen of the Kindle even though it means I have yet another gadget to lug around.

P.S. -- On a related note, here's a formal announcement of Sony's decision to embrace the EPub format.  The net result is that Sony Reader owners will have more content alternatives than just the Sony store.  It's a good idea for Sony but I don't think it's a compelling reason for customers to pick their Reader over the Kindle.

Comments

Joe Hutsko

Wow, a smart, fair story that asserts your own preference yet respects the preferences of others. I thought I was the only one in town! Great work, and great meeting you by way of our blog entries - keep up the great work, and you can count on me to visit your site again, now that I've found it. Best, Joe

Kat Meyer

At the first TOC I was the lucky winner of an iRex Iliad drawing. I truly couldn’t have been more excited about it, but once I had it and had used it a few times I found the complexities of figuring out downloading, formatting, syncing, (remembering and actually) charging the battery, remembering passwords, etc. all seriously eroded the convenience factors and I took to using it as a very high-end doodle pad. Don’t get me wrong, it is a very cool device, but I’m apparently not the ideal user. (okay, guilt now sets in as some techno-geek who really would have appreciated winning the very cool Ilidad is going to read this and hate me – if it’s any consolation, it now belongs to someone who DOES appreciate and use it to its fullest).
This past spring, our office collectively purchased a Kindle. Again, there was much excitement and anticipation as we awaited its arrival. Again, a few months later and maybe two of us use it to actually read. Though, we all find it useful in illustrating the concept of the ebook to our less tech-savvy authors - it's not something i'd buy for my own use outside the office.
Personally, I love the idea of the iphone as a reader for a few reasons – first: I’m a book marketer and as a rule we don’t read books and we certainly don’t read books in their entirety (I kid, I kid). Most of my reading though, is in the form of book reviews/reader reports/magazine and newspaper articles and other short, transitory snippets of opinion and data. Second: The ebook reader feature gives me the perfect justification (rationalization) for finally purchasing the aforementioned pretty gadget. I like the idea of having internet, reading material, email, oh yeah and phone all in one place and that one place not being my desk. And for how and what I read, this could work.
I guess my point/observation is that after “evaluating” the Kindle and the Iliad, and looking forward to getting my hands on an iphone of my own, I imagine there might be room for multiple devices (including ye olde fashioned regular books). Maybe market forces will ultimately result in one reigning e-reading device, but for now - to each his own!

Kelli Beth Schmith

Thanks for the call-out about myebook, Joe. It was new to me!

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