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That's what I was told my a salesperson in the electronics section of a major store.

I was browsing the different devices, trying to figure out of I'd like to get an iPad or an HP Touchpad (see the update at the bottom of this post!) at some point. (Incidentally, both seem pretty cool to me and I was impressed with the HP.)

I was approached by a very eager but nice salesperson. We had a short conversation about the devices and I mentioned that I have a Kindle.

He laughed and said they were useless. His point was that you can read books on any other tablet, so why would you want a black-and-white one that can't do much on the Internet? I told him I do a LOT of reading and I read ebooks almost exclusively now, and my Kindle is fabulous.

"This ebook thing isn't going to last," he said.

I went on to cite some of the numbers we've all seen in the press over the last year or so, detailing the sales explosion of ebooks and related devices. "Plus," I said, "I write ebooks and if I buy a tablet from you, the money I would be spending was earned from those sales."

I smiled, trying not to come off as harsh or sarcastic; I was just making a point.

He said, "Huh. Interesting," and dropped the subject.



Just thought I'd share that little story from my morning out shopping. :)

UPDATE


Check this out: http://www.usatoday.com/tech/news/story/2011/08/HP-TouchPad-is-a-casualty-of-iPads-popularity/50047542/1

HP pulled the plug Thursday on its TouchPad tablet device, which was launched June 1, and plans to discontinue its WebOS-based smartphones.

And this: http://gizmodo.com/5832304/so-will-touchpad-buyers-get-full-refunds

HP has officially killed webOS. Offed it with two dinky sentences in a dinky little press release. It's sad, sure. But what about everyone who bought the $500 (then $450, then $400) hunk of now-scrap metal that's called TouchPad?

Yikes.
 

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That reminds me of the episode of The Office where Daryl walks into a bookstore, and the nice lady behind the counter asks if he'd like to try an ereader.


"I work at a paper company," Daryl said. "Those things terrify me. They could put us out of business! I heard those things hold like 10 books at once."

"Actually, it's 10,000."

"Holy ####! What? Let me see it…"

And by the end of the episode, Daryl's bought himself an ereader.

But you know what's really funny? The bookstore he walked into was Borders -- and they're the ones who didn't last. Shortly after that episode aired, they declared bankruptcy!
 

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There does seem to be a tendency for fans of one technology not to be able to imagine that anyone could want something else. There are reasons to prefer a Kindle over a tablet: cost, weight, batter life, e-ink, for example. And there are reasons to want a tablet. But some people just can't even imagine that someone else could actually want something other than what they want.
 

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Unless it's at a very cheap pricepoint, there really will be little demand for standalone e-readers, probably just in the next yr or 2. Has nothing to do with personal prejudices against devices.

Very soon they will be able to provide the same excellent (or better) reading technology that Amazon provides in the Kindle in other tablets....perhaps even in what they will be releasing in the next few months.

They already have tablets of nearly the same size and weight, for example, the HTC Flyer. Improvements in tablet memory, apps, functionality, and screens are constant....

So I'd say that the while e-books are here to stay, e-readers arent...except as barebones, cheap (but perfectly adequate) resources. I see a market for these in schools...where they might not want the added distractions provided by multi-functional tablets.

btw, to the OP, there is a difference between e-books and e-readers (title mentioned e-books but discussion focused on Kindles and e-readers.) Jus sayin'
 

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DiscoDan said:
Until they can make an e-ink tablet, e-readers are going to be around, and maybe even after that. the size of the kindle is perfect, I wouldn't want it any bigger
As QuantumIquana said, everyone has their own needs and wants.

I don't think we'll ever see e-ink tablets (unless you consider the Kindle DX 1) and the screen tech is just too limited for anything but reading and tablets are multipurpose devices. What we well see are dual mode screens like Mirasol that can switch between LCD and non-backlit e-ink like mode for reading.

Size is just personal preference. I don't carry my Kindle around anyway and usually take my iPad since it can do more. I prefer reading on a bigger screen as it's less page turns. And the bigger screen is better for PDFs of letter sized documents etc. which I read a lot of on my iPad. But the Kindle's size is definitely a huge plus for those who just read novels and carry their e-reader around with them.

So I think there's plenty of room in the market for tablets and dedicated e-ink reader devices for the foreseeable future. There are plenty of people like me that do all kinds of gadget related stuff and find tablets handy. And there are plenty of people who just want a small, portable device to do nothing but read on.

With the Kindle already being down as low as $114, dedicated readers are already getting to that point of being a very cheap device for people who just want something to read on to buy even if they're not a super avid reader. And also cheap enough for people like me to have the best of both worlds by owning an e-reader to complement our tablets! :D
 

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What I think isn't going to last are physical books. I'm thinking within 20 years they may become a luxury or niche item because of the financial and environmental costs of producing them.
 

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Give me a tablet that has the low cost, light weight, low power consumption and readability of an e-ink e-reader, and I'm in there. I could go camping away from electricity, and my Kindle would work just fine. With a tablet, I would need to recharge.

E-readers are only going to decrease in price. I bought a CD player in 1985 for $250. It had an external battery pack (which cost extra) which took D-Cell batteries, and would drain them in a few hours. Playback skipped at the slightest bump.

Today, I can buy a $10 CD player that runs off AA batteries, runs for a long time, and has little skipping. I seems that e-readers will follow a similar trend, the costs to make them keep going down. In the unlikely event that Amazon chose to discontinue standalone readers, other companies would continue to make them. Smart phones haven't eliminated "dumb" phones. My phone just makes calls, it's all I need. There are enough people like me to make the market for "dumb" phones viable.
 

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I think that paper books will last, although the market will change. We're not going to see the market for e-readers from forever, it will taper off at some point. I think that smaller bookstores may be able to thrive again. The big box stores were unresponsive to local markets, changing them is like turning a supertanker. The market for paper books will be smaller, but it probably will still be around, even if the big box stores wind up being nonviable.
 

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For me, $114 is alot of money. I see low pricepoint for standalone e-readers as under $50. And I can see uses for them..schools for one thing, for disposibility (taking with them where they might get damaged, less $ loss),  people on limited budgets, those who have difficulty manipulating or holding things, that prefer low tech (I'm thinking of older folks with these last few)....I can see them going low enough to appeal to corporations and conventions for putting all their materials on and using them as handouts instead of packets or bulky notebooks....alot use DVDs for this now, just to save on paper and distribution costs. For these needs, tablet functionality isnt needed and low price would be motivating.

 

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Victoria J said:
What I think isn't going to last are physical books. I'm thinking within 20 years they may become a luxury or niche item because of the financial and environmental costs of producing them.
I can see mass market paperbacks going away (or severely diminishing) but I think paper books in general will stick round.

1. They're simply superior to e-books for some purposes. i.e. cookbooks, coffee table books, reference books etc. Also for textbooks IMO since it's much easier to highlight paper. Basically anything that one needs to flip around in rather than read linearly one page forward at a time is better in paper than e-book form IMO.

2. Durability. We have paper records dating back hundreds (and even thousands in some cases) of years. I'm more skeptical that electronic files can be maintained over that kind of long haul as I could see them getting wiped out in wars with EMP attacks or just left behind as technology changes etc.

3. The "collector" factor. Some people just like collecting physical products and displaying them on shelves. That's why CDs still sell even though most people listen to mp3s these days. I still buy CDs even though I mainly just rip them to MP3s and seldom touch the CD.

That said, some of this is probably generational. Kids who grew up with MP3s probably don't have any affinity for CDs like I do, and people who grow up with e-books may be less resistant to using them for reference purposes etc. than someone like me.
 

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QuantumIguana said:
Give me a tablet that has the low cost, light weight, low power consumption and readability of an e-ink e-reader, and I'm in there. I could go camping away from electricity, and my Kindle would work just fine. With a tablet, I would need to recharge.
Another good example of how everyone has different needs in their gadget and thus why there's plenty of room in the market for all types of gadgets.

I'm a city yuppy so I can't recall the last time I spent a night away from electricity. So as long as my gadgets last long enough to only need charged every night or two, I'm good to go.

Smart phones haven't eliminated "dumb" phones. My phone just makes calls, it's all I need. There are enough people like me to make the market for "dumb" phones viable.
That said, "dumb" phones are becoming more of a niche. At least with verizon. I've been out of contract since early spring and haven't upgraded my phone as I don't want to pay for a smart phone data plan, and haven't been able to find a dumb phone I like any better than my 2 year old LG Voyager.

Though I guess I don't want a pure dumb phone as I do want a decent camera and a qwerty keyboard (or good touch screen keyboard) for texting. So I guess I want something between a smart phone and a dumbphone, and all Verizon has currently is pretty similar to my LG Voyager. So as long as it's battery stays good, I'll just stay on month to month as there's no point in locking myself into a 2 year contract if I can't get a new phone I like a lot better than this one.

9MMare said:
For me, $114 is alot of money. I see low pricepoint for standalone e-readers as under $50. And I can see uses for them..schools for one thing, for disposibility (taking with them where they might get damaged, less $ loss), people on limited budgets, those who have difficulty manipulating or holding things, that prefer low tech (I'm thinking of older folks with these last few)....I can see them going low enough to appeal to corporations and conventions for putting all their materials on and using them as handouts instead of packets or bulky notebooks....alot use DVDs for this now, just to save on paper and distribution costs. For these needs, tablet functionality isnt needed and low price would be motivating.
Of course everyone's budget is different.

My point was more that the price has dropped from around $400 to just over $100 in just 3 years or so, so prices are really falling rapidly. I'd be surprised if there wasn't a Kindle option under $100 by this holiday season. So your idea of $50 or so e-readers probably isn't more than a year or two off.
 

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kindlegrl81 said:
I'm probably in the minority but as much as I love my iPad, if I had give up either my iPad or my Kindle, the iPad would be out the door. I refuse to read on an lcd screen and I read at least 3 hours per day.

Thank goodness I don't have to choose ;D
Agree with being happy I don't have to choose! It would be a tough decision. If I had to get rid of one I'd probably ditch the Kindle I guess. I don't read nearly as much as you on the Kindle--usually just 30-60 minutes a night before going to sleep.

The iPad gets more usage than that since I'm reading newspapers, playing games like Words with Friends, checking e-mail, reading PDFs for work etc. on it.

But I love having both, as while I don't mind reading on the iPad that much (and have read some library e-books on it), I do prefer reading novels on the Kindle.
 

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9MMare said:
Unless it's at a very cheap pricepoint, there really will be little demand for standalone e-readers, probably just in the next yr or 2. Has nothing to do with personal prejudices against devices.
Possibly the survey of iPad owners was in error when they asked them if they owned a Kindle or planned to buy one. 40% already owned one and 23% said they were going to buy one. Go figure...

Truth is, if you get a tablet too small it ceases to be useful as a tablet. When it's "just right" it's too big to carry around (most iPad owners don't carry them with them according to that same survey). And just as some were saying that the iPad was going to be the death of laptops (it hasn't been by any stretch of imagination), the eReader concept isn't threatened by tablets either. The debate about this, however, will live on forever.

Cheers --- Larry
 

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Yeah, the only thing tablets have largely killed off are netbooks.

People who have to work on the road still need a laptop, and home users mostly need either a laptop/desktop for their computing needs as well. 

Netbooks tablets can mostly replace since those were things people bought to supplement their existing laptop/desktop.  I can't see much need to have a laptop/desktop, a tablet and a netbook.

Thus even the main netbook companies like Asus are scaling back on that front and focusing on tablets now.
 

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Larry Marshall said:
Possibly the survey of iPad owners was in error when they asked them if they owned a Kindle or planned to buy one. 40% already owned one and 23% said they were going to buy one. Go figure...

Truth is, if you get a tablet too small it ceases to be useful as a tablet. When it's "just right" it's too big to carry around (most iPad owners don't carry them with them according to that same survey). And just as some were saying that the iPad was going to be the death of laptops (it hasn't been by any stretch of imagination), the eReader concept isn't threatened by tablets either. The debate about this, however, will live on forever.

Cheers --- Larry
If you read the rest of my post, it was about the same or better e-Reader technology being offered at same pricing in a wider variety of tablets....big, small, light, heavy, it will all come down to current or lower e-Reader prices and the advantages of just a standalone e-Reader will have diminished considerably. In other words, I'll get everything I want in the next year most likely! LOL
 

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As an aside, the HTC Flyer I saw last week is...for me...the perfect size already. 7"x5", about same size as K, only slightly heavier, and more sturdy (which I think the K needs to be to be more mobile to really fit into my life).

I even liked the e-Reader, backlit tho it was...really cool, 'page turning' image with a finger swipe.

And the Android virtual keyboard, with and without Swype, is completely adequate size-wise for easy typing for all but my intense work needs.

With improvements to memory and a few other things, I'll be ready for something like this...and it for me...sometime next yr most likely.
 
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