The article The Kindle is fine. It could’ve been much more than that is a good summary of the state of ebook reader as of now.
Kindle won the ebook reader market so early and so conclusively that the term “kindle” is now almost synonym with ebook and ebook reader ( instead of the original definition, fire). Kindle is definitely not the first ebook reader in town, but it is the first ebook reader that captured the public imagination and revolutionized the ebook market. From carrying thousands of books in your house ( or warehouse) to in your pocket, Kindle is a lifesaver for bookworms. Go, and read everywhere, just bring your kindle to an island and you can survive for weeks as long as food is provided.
But that’s the problem with early complete domination. Once Kindle established its unassailable position as the defacto ebook reader, it stopped innovating. The article lists down several areas where Kindle can be improved, but not.
Apparently Amazon thinks the Kindle is good enough for now.
But no, those who have used an ebook reader to read things know how much better an ebook reader– instead of a general tablet– is when it comes to reading. We don’t just want to use book reader to read books, we also want to use it to read news update, magazines, mangas, audiobooks other than Audible, in-depth quality articles ( which are long-form). Of course we can read these on an iPad, but the strains on our eyes are just unbearable.
Sadly, Amazon seems not interested at all to support these. One reason could be because striking a deal with magazine publishers can be hard. Publishers have to forgo 30% to Apple for every piece of content they sell at iBooks Store. How much publishers have to let go in order to publish at Amazon magazine store?
But I think the main reason is that the ebook reader war was won too quickly by Amazon, to the detriment of the consumers. Easy victory brings complacency, because it gives you a feeling of invincibility. Worse still, it deters would-be competitors from entering the fray. To further stop anyone from entering the ring, Amazon admitted that it sold Kindle Paperwhite at cost. The mere thought of competing with cheap kindles that come with 5 million book selection must have sent a chill down the spine of even the hardest resolute business executive.
But thankfully, this is a capitalist world. Onyx BOOX — along with some other ebook reader makers– has taken up the challenge to break the Amazon’s monopoly. BOOX runs on open Android system, in huge contrast with Amazon’s lock-in Kindle system. As such, BOOX Android eReaders allows you to install third party apps, unlike Kindle whereby only Kindle app is supported. You can use BOOX Android eReaderto read your newspaper apps – The Star, Kobo books, Scribd subscription, Internet articles or even apps with legally questionable content.
It’s a generic eBook reader that fulfills the potential Kindle can’t, or unwilling to fulfill. Yes, Kindle can be much better, but it’s not the only eReader in town. And petitioning Amazon to make Kindle more “open” or “inclusive” won’t do the job; the only way to wake Amazon up from their complacency, is to challenge it with a better eBook reader and better library selection. Only an open Android system can do that.