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This should be boom time for the e-reader.

The end of 2012 saw a glut of new 'front-lit' e-readers Kindle Paperwhite, Nook Glowlight and the Kobo Glo. All of these devices offer touch screens, Wifi (some even 3G) and a new  technology that projects light from the side or top of the screen, avoiding backlighting to simulate a less obtrusive ambient light.

Yet in his outlook on 2013, Walt Mossberg (@waltmossberg) mentions in passing that tablets are "gradually replacing another device: the dedicated e-reader".

And Pew research supports this: while e-book or e-reader sales continue to grow, moving from 10% to 19% market penetration in the US between December 2011 and November 2012, tablet penetration increased from 10% to 25% in the same period.

So is Mossberg's statement true? Just as the e-reader evolves, the tablet has usurped it?


Nick Tjaardstra


2013-01-02 12:00


The rumours have been flying, but now it looks certain that Amazon will release their new tablet, supposedly called the Kindle Fire, on September 28.

This is going to be a big deal for those in the publishing industry, because not only did Hearst form a potentially lucrative partnership with Amazon prior to the release of this device, but Conde Nast and Meredith are also on board with the new tablet.

So, what's it like? Good, apparently.

Here comes the tech bit: the tablet will run on a customised version of Android - which apparently bears no cosmetic resemblance to the system as it currently appears on other devices - that will rely heavily on Amazon's own appstore, MP3 store and, naturally, the Kindle Bookstore. The device uses multi-touch technology to navigate - so no buttons, just a slick screen. In appearance it is very similar to the BlackBerry PlayBook, probably because it was actually designed by the same company. Amazon wanted The Fire to be stoked and ready for the December shopping period so outsourced the design to PlayBook developers Quanta.



Katherine Travers


2011-09-27 16:40

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