I think cell phones are going to be the e-book readers of the future. It’s not just that they are getting ever more tablet-like; I have two friends who just got new ‘big’ phones, and both claim to love them. And it’s not only the pricing game, either. Yes, I can get a new iPad Mini for less than $50 more than the fanciest Kindle in Canada. But no. The real reason cell phones will win the e-book war is that almost everybody owns one.
Yahoo News had a fun little post on the still-hot adult coloring trend which highlighted, for me, why this is going to be the clincher. The article looked at the mechanics of actually implementing a hot new trend. Imagine that you are here in this world of adult coloring books—but you are a pencil maker. How do you schedule your factory shifts to deal with this new demand? If you purchase new equipment to deal with the increased need and then the trend fizzles out, what do you do with it all? That is the clincher—with each new trend comes stuff, and the stuff has to be made somehow.
Now, consider the e-books in this light. How many brands have fizzled out already because they couldn’t manage the ‘stuff’ aspect? Kobo killed their tablet brand. So did Barnes & Noble. But e-books are still going strong. Is it because people don’t need tablets anymore? Is it that they don’t need tablets because they have phones? Maybe.