Techdirt has published a post that pinpoints the problem that dedicated ebook readers face in the marketplace. The author looks at it from the holiday gift perspective- would you give a reader to someone for a gift? I know I wouldn’t for most of the reasons they give in the article. Why give someone a $350 device that only has one specific purpose? If you did the recipient then has to get a way to purchase ebooks and get them into the reader, which means a computer of some kind for most of them.
Actually, if anything, it’ll probably be the opposite: the failure of this e-book reader to take off will demonstrate that many of the past issues, like screen resolution and battery life, were never really the problem. It’s still unlikely that many consumers will plunk down $350 for a device with limited functionality, that doesn’t solve any pressing problem.
That’s the real problem in that last sentence, for the masses ebook readers don’t solve any problem. Long-time ebook readers like me have multiple devices that solve other problems that also happen to handle ebooks. It’s added functionality for me and that’s why I like reading ebooks on those devices. A dedicated reader doesn’t add anything for me and solves no problem for me. I would be a likely candidate to purchase one of these readers as I already love reading ebooks but I won’t buy one for the reasons mentioned. The mass marketplace that ebook reader OEMs want to reach have to be sold on the ebook as a medium and then sold on the reader as a solution, but it solves nothing really.