Monday, May 19, 2008

Mobipocket for the iPhone/iTouch

Earlier this morning Kevin Tofel wrote a blog post about how there will be a Mobipocket app for the iPhone later this year. He then went on to question what sort of impact this will have on the Kindle. A couple of readers commented that a) the reading experience on a Kindle is much better than an iPhone/iTouch and b) Amazon owns Mobipocket, so they're not likely to kill their own device.

True and true, but now that I've been using Mobipocket on my Blackberry for a bit I have to admit there are many other factors that come into play. The first one is price. If you just spent several hundred dollars on an iPhone/iTouch, are you likely to spend another $399 on a Kindle? Sure, some people are gadget freaks and don't mind spending this much, but I don't think that's true for the majority of us.

Secondly, there are the "good enough" and convenience factors. Do I want to read from a computer screen or other non-eInk display for hours at a time? No way, but what I'm finding with Mobi on the Blackberry is that I'm reading more at unusual times simply because my Blackberry is handy. I wouldn't think of taking a book or a Kindle to the grocery store, but I've read a good chunk of The Last Lecture on my Blackberry there. Ditto for my daughter's dance recital last night...what else are you supposed to do when your child is in one 2-minute segment of a 2-hour show?!

The Mobi experience on my Blackberry is plenty "good enough" for me and I suspect that will be the case for quite a few iPhone/iTouch owners. Plus, just like the Kindle, as long as I have a cellular signal I'm only a couple of clicks away from quickly downloading my next Mobi book.


Anonymous said...

What is this fascination with price points? Here you are writing a blog which is probably largely read by early adopters and you actually think that another $399 means a hell of a lot. It doesn't and, even when I didn't have any money, I always found enough for my toys. Sure you can read something off your Blackberry or iPhone. I have a Worldphone 8830 and a new 16gig iPhone and if you want to work hard enough you can use them both to amuse yourself during all kinds of boring situations. But serious reading is the Kindle's forte and I just don't understand the disdain which many people hold it in. It was never designed for the masses. It was designed for people who actually read which is a fairly small but affluent subset of society. You can read a bathroom wall, but that doesn't make it a great experience. I doubt the Kindle will ever be ubiquitous. But is should be commercially successful.

Joe Wikert said...

Hi Fred. I wonder if Jeff Bezos would agree with your point that the Kindle was never designed for the masses. Clearly the initial pricing level makes your statement true, but I tend to believe that price will come down considerably in the future, just like any other gadget.

Btw, I don't hold any disdain for the Kindle. I think it's an extremely cool product. I just feel there are others that are "good enough" for certain reading needs and way more convenient to boot, particularly since a Blackberry is the only gadget I carry everywhere throughout the day.

apolicastro said...

The Kindle is the start of the e-reader revolution. Each device whether an iPhone, Blackberry or Kindle has its purpose just like the variations in books. Text books are designed to be read on a desk, hardcover books in an easy chair and paperbacks on a plane or while traveling. It's the same with electronic reading devices.