Is An Ebook War Brewing Over Tablet Formats?

Is an ebook war brewing over tablet formats similar to the one waged between Betamax and VHS 20-30 years ago? Read the ‘MediaCollege‘ article for a brief but concise replay of that battle.

Speculative Amazon TabletThere are two major competetors for interactive book content. The crown is currently being held by Apple iPad, with Android tablets coming in a distant second. Amazon’s Kindle has not been in the running as an interactive book reading device. Instead, it has been content to dominate the ebook market that serves static ebooks. To a lesser extent, Amazon offers magazines and newspapers. That may soon change.

Speculation is running high that Amazon will introduce a color touch screen Kindle this Wednesday. With a color touch screen, the Kindle will be able to serve up multimedia content similar to the iPad and Android tablets. While it’s true that Amazon uses the Android operating system, they have ‘forked’ it. Kindle is essentially making its version proprietary.

JVC’s VHS eventually won the battle for consumer video tape over Sony’s Betamax. However, I don’t expect to see a competitor for ebook reading devices knock the others out cold. Here’s the reason… We interact with our tablets as much as we interact with the content. Most of us who have handled a Kindle and an iPad will agree that the Kindle is kinder to our arms and eyes when reading text laden content, especially in bright light. On the other hand, nothing compares with the iPad for reading interactive books in a setting not flooded with sunlight.

So, if formats may not be standardized, then authors and designers need ‘bilingual’ tools to produce our content that can be distributed across platforms. In an upcoming post, we’ll look at some developers who claim to have a solution.

Note: In order to devote ample time for research on this fast-evolving genre of interactive books while tending to my other obligations, I’ll be updating this blog Monday’s, Wednesday’s and Fridays. I may throw in a little something extra when time permits.

Should the rumors come true, do you plan to get the new Kindle?
If they have come to pass, how do you like the color Kindle?

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