Image via WikipediaI've covered content issues for the better part of this decade and I've seen eBook reader devices come and go. I've heard more than once than that eBooks were poised to build a huge market, so you'll forgive my skepticism (as was clear in my 2/5/08 post: Is Apple Working on an eBook Reader? Does it Matter?) But a lot has changed this year, due in large part to Oprah giving the Amazon Kindle a big plug on her show in October and a growing demand even before that.
The Kindle itself, Amazon's self-produced eBook reader has also changed the game, as has the availability of more and more titles, a crucial missing ingredient up until now. I saw recently that the Sony Reader has dropped to as low as $299 and I've discovered eBook apps in the iPhone App Store. The iPhone is a bit small to be a long-term reader device, but it's much more comfortable reading than I would have thought. And there are others.
I still think the devices are a bit over-priced, especially in today's economic situation, but they are beginning to come down to a more affordable level. If someone can produce a mass-market eBook Reader for around $100, you might begin to see them really take off, and it could happen next year as many new players are sniffing around the market ready to pounce. So I've got reason to be a bit more optimistic. If Oprah loves an eBook Reader, who am I to argue?
Photo Credit: ShakataGaNai