Saturday, December 18, 2010

Readers will be free

When people have said that ebooks will always be limited to "people who can afford the device", I have said things similar to those which reader Stephen A says in a comment on an earlier post:

Both decent e-book readers and tablets will be cheap (<$50) to free in a year. I purchased a Maylong-150 android tablet for $99 from Walgreens recently. While not as spectacular as the color Nook it is a perfectly good ebook reader which runs all android readers: aldiko, nook, kindle, and Borders, etc. as well as browsing and all the other functions of android. The Indian government has demoed a tablet with comparable capability for $35 with the aim to drive the price to $10-20. MIT Media Lab's OLPC program is targeting the $50 price point.
My prediction is that $50 android tablets will be ubiquitous by next year with free units available from cell providers and bookstores. This will change things radically both due to their omnipresence and due to the use of multiple tablets at a time.

Then I guess it will be time for those devices higher on the price scale to compete on quality and capabilities, might get interesting.

My neighboring electronics store is already giving away *laptops*! Free with a broadband contract. This is Currys, UK.

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