Elgan: 7 reasons why e-book readers make lousy gifts this year
An e-reader seems like a sweet, substantive and long-lasting gift. But so is a fruitcake.
Computerworld - Two years ago, the best holiday gift was an Amazon Kindle -- if you could get your hands on one. They were hot, new and sold out hours after going on sale. Last year, the Kindle made an awesome gift as well.
This year, all the e-book readers on the market, including the new Kindles, are better devices than last year's Kindles. (Amazon announced this week that it has improved battery life by 85 percent, and has added a native PDF reader. These improvements are software-based, so most older readers will get them automatically over the wireless network.)
And there has never been more choice in e-readers. In addition to the Amazon Kindle, you could buy a Sony Reader, Barnes & Noble Nook, Hanvon N series, Bookeen Cybook Opus, Elonex eBook, Endless Ideas BeBook, Interead COOL-ER, Samsung Papyrus, Foxit Software eSlick, iRex Digital Reader, Jinke Hanlin or others.
The e-book market has never been better. But that doesn't mean you should buy one as a gift. Here's why e-book readers make lousy gifts this year:
1. We're on the brink of radical change in how people read e-books
Copycat devices will also flood the market. What that means is that any old-and-busted e-book reader you give this year will seem horribly old and hideously busted when the new smartbook-style tablets (tablets that run cell phone, rather than desktop, operating systems) hit. Everyone will have one, and they'll all be brilliant e-book readers. Buying an e-book reader now is like buying a non-cell phone PDA a few years ago. We're on the brink of leaving those gadgets behind, and integrating their functionality into a multi-purpose device.
2. E-book readers are the least discounted gadgets on the market
The Great Recession has sparked the most discounted, low-price holiday season in history. Other gadgets in nearly every other category are slashed to near or below cost. E-book readers aren't really getting swept up in the cost cutting. While some stores are actually paying you to take free BlackBerry phones, for example, e-book readers still cost hundreds of dollars. And there aren't a lot of deals to be found on them, at least anything that compares to the prices of other gadgets.
3. There are so many other new ways to read e-books
The purpose of e-book readers is to read e-books. But there are so many other ways to do that now. You can read them on mobile phones and on PCs, for example. (Even many Kindle owners these days read most of their books on their iPhones. Amazon gives away free applications for both phones and PCs.) You can borrow e-book readers now from the library. Your loved one may not have an e-book reader, but they have a world of access to e-books.
Eye on e-books
- E-reader decline prompts user debate over e-reader vs. tablet
- Last chapter for e-readers?
- Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight: An e-reader for night readers
- Bluefire launches Android-ready e-reader software for independent booksellers
- More Americans own e-readers than tablets, survey finds
- First look: The Kobo eReader Touch Edition
- Amazon: E-books now outsell print books
- Creating an e-book: Tips on formatting and converting your document
- Kindle for the Web demos at Chrome event
- Update: Amazon to demo Kindle for the Web on Tuesday
- 15 Non-Certified IT Skills Growing in Demand
- How 19 Tech Titans Target Healthcare
- Twitter Suffering From Growing Pains (and Facebook Comparisons)
- Agile Comes to Data Integration
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Future Focus: What's Coming in Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) Find out why Enterprise Mobility Management (EMM) solutions that are truly future-ready must be designed to enable Machine-to-Machine (M2M) capabilities and much more.
- Live Webcast Best Practices for the Hyperconverged Enterprise Network To the Age of Constant Connectivity and Information overload
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Endpoint Backup & Restore: Protect Everyone, Everywhere Arek Sokol from the bleeding-edge IT team at Genentech/Roche explains how he leverages cross-platform enterprise endpoint backup in the public cloud as part...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of...