Wednesday, August 31, 2011

Ebook Tablet Revolution

Remember back to the year 1990, when the gallon of gas cost $1.34? That was nearly 2 decades ago when John Galuskza, the founder of Serendipity Systems created the very first eBook display program called the PC-Book. His software pioneered the ebook development and distribution. Much has changed and grown over the 20 years, including the gas prices and the eBooks sales. In 2010 a staggering 13 billion ebooks were sold, based on figures provided by the AAP Publishers. The numbers are projected to grow in the subsequent years as book manufacturers begin to capture the magnitude of consumer demand for ebooks. With that being said, users switching to etext will want to own device that not only allows etext reading but enhances its overall experience. Tablet is the device to have when it comes to textbooks not only because of its portability but functionality and physical characteristics. According to the study ‘Connected Devices and Mobile Advertising’ conducted by Nielsen Company that interviewed over 5000 people, the majority of tablet users are males, under the age of 35. The study further found that the primary usage for a tablet is education and entertainment. It includes activities such as reading books, news, watching movies, and video clips. Considering that we can full-heartedly infer that e-textbook sales will be affected by the growing tablet market in the near future. CourseSmart, one of the largest eTextbook retailers, reported a 400% increase in 2009 etextbook sales. The astounding quadruple growth opens the eyes wide of other textbook publishers and distributors to realize just how fast the trend is storming up. Barnes and Noble is staying afloat with the eBooks wave and offers a large number of textbooks in a digital format. Kno is another etext distributor, with a large selection and very user-friendly interface, fast page flipping, and so far cheapest one out of the three. It has one major disadvantage, however, compatibility with Anroid tablets. With the emergence of newest Android tablets from various manufacturers consumers are choosing Android for its great functionality and price. Compatibility of a program with Android can make or break the deal in deciding to purchase it. Currently, Kno is compatible with PC or an iPad. Reading a book on PC can be frustrating since the book is in a portrait format while the screen of a PC laptop is in a landscape format. Users would have to constantly scroll down the page to continue reading. That can get tiring after a couple of hours. Tablet or an iPad is the most ideal device for reading etextbooks. It is crucial for etextbook providers to realize just how huge the Android market is growing and to satisfy that demand by creating an interface that is compatible not only with PC but also Apple and Android. 


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