Our platform focus continues this fine Sunday with the e-Book Echo, our take on the week in the digital publishing world. In the mad world of electronic book readers, a few highly anticipated models have bubbled to the surface of our attention. The Alex by Spring Design is an exciting reader due to the second color touchscreen used to control the e-Ink main screen. The Alex has been signed by Borders to handle the bookseller’s digital content. Unfortunately the Alex has run into a release delay, pushing it back from appearing this month to early next month. No reason for the delay has been shared by Spring Design.
Another interesting reader that has yet to appear in customer hands is the Entourage eDGe. The eDGe is the most unusual of all readers given the two full-sized screens that make it far more than just an e-book reader. One of the screens is a typical e-Ink display for reading digital content, although the screen has an active digitizer to allow handwriting with a pen. The other screen is a standard color touchscreen, designed to allow the owner to take full advantage of the Android operating system powering the eDGe. Word from Entourage indicates the eDGe may start shipping in just a few weeks, after a delay of a month.
These delays are not unusual in this space, it is becoming the norm. Every week sees the announcement of one or two new e-book readers, but the truth is we don’t see many actually hit the market. It is beginning to look like the reality is hitting these manufacturers across the board. E-book readers may seem to be easy to bring to market, but the reality shows it takes longer than expected. I wonder if the components are in short supply?
Related research on GigaOM Pro (sub req’d):