Thursday, June 05, 2008

E-book readers, present and future

CNN has a detailed story on Amazon's Kindle, its e-book reader device and service, and then also talks about other devices and what is the future likely to be.

I have tested a Sony PRS and also an iLiad. I have seen a Kindle. Living in India, Kindle is not of much use right now. Nor is it likely to be for quite a while.

I have ported some of our Tamil and Malayalam books into PDFs customised for Sony reader and iLiad resolutions. These PDFs can be read well in these devices. iLiad has a better screen size, though expensive.

I will be looking forward to a better and more robust iLiad versions. Compared to the proprietary Sony and Kindle, iLiad uses Linux OS. The current hardware is a little clunky and needs resetting quite often as it freezes up.

iLiad cost us in all Rs. 35,000, including online ordering, shipping and customs duty. We do not see yet, a major market for these devices in India. But if the price falls down to Rs. 7,500, the market can flare up. However, more than the Indian language content, it is the English books that will be of huge demand. Unfortunately, none of the leading English language publisher in India takes any leadership in trying to promote e-book as a category in India. Which is sad.

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