Tuesday, December 28, 2010

BPN 1561 Looking back at 2010

The year has almost come to an end. It has been a crazy year. In the beginning of the year I had a knee replacement surgery and became a bionic man. Rehabilitation took a while, but I had great exercises as I travelled to Kuwait and Saudi Arabia. And in the second half of the year I was in New York, Finland, Sao Paolo (Brasilia),Austria and Abu Dhabi.

For the content world it was also a great year on two fronts: e-books and mobile content.

E-Readers became popular and cheaper. I saw them on the beach and in airports. They are no longer the private resort of Amazon with the Kindle, but you see them now in Germany and Austria and at very reasonable prices; in fact the price is still going down. Of course the acquisition of these reading devices stimulate the sale of e-books.
However there is a dark side to this success. Where e-readers used to be reading devices provided with displays based on the e-ink technology, and e-reader can now also be an i-Phone, i-Pad, a Samsung Galaxy or any digital pane manufactured in China. In the Netherlands Bol.com even gave away such a device (including a firmware mistake), when a buyer bought 10 e-books.
I think that only the e-reader devices with e-Ink technology should be allowed to be called e-readers and not every digital pane with a tft screen or other display. The fonts are not as sharp as the fonts on an e-Ink display, besides the other screens have an interference, while the e-Ink screen is stable. The e-Ink screens should be marketed for excellence with a pay-off slogan: e-Ink screen for YOUR eyes only.

As mobile telephones are getting smarter, the need for mobile content comes up. Mobile telephones are reaching over 100 percent coverage in some western countries, while in countries like India there are more mobile telephones than PCs (in 2009: 17 million mobile telephone over against 4 million internet subscriptions). As mobile telephones become smarter and the operating system war becomes more heavier (Apple IOS vs Google Android, leaving Nokia Symbian in limbo), mobile content is required for demonstration and use.
So it was great to be at the mobile content conference in Abu Dhabi in December 2010 and to see mainly new publishers exploring the possibilities of the fourth screen. Of course hardly any representatives of hard wire devices were present there as they still suppose that people will come to them. I wonder what the situation will look like in two years time when the next mobile content conference will be held: will the representatives of hard wire devices be there and how will mobile content/apps have developed.

BPN 1561

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