The Tablet Comes Closer to Reality – Approaching Publishers for Content

Last week I set forth the opinion that the coming of the as-yet alleged Apple Tablet would wreak havoc with the world of e-readers that is still in its infancy (see This Year’s E-Reader Could Be Next Year’s Betamax).  This week, according to an Oppenheimer analyst (via Digital Daily) manufacturing for the device is “creaking into action” and should be at market sometime in the spring.  The new device will have a “10.1 inch multitouch LCD display and a price of $1,000.” More to the point, Apple has been approaching book publishers with a deal for content distribution, wherein they would split revenues 30/70 for all, as opposed to Amazon, whose split is 50/50 unless the Kindle has an exclusive, in  which case the split is 30/70.  We have noted here many times that the Kindle has many drawbacks – first,  its lack of graphics and color make it unworkable for the textbook market, Also, there is no ability to “scribble marginalia”, again a detriment to the textbook suing universe, and last, its DRM protection makes sharing of books impossible.  While the Barnes & Noble Nook has corrected, at least partly, the DRM protection issue, this week’s reviews of the device were pretty awful, on the whole.

Meanwhile, as we also mentioned last week , several media companies are joining together in a venture to create electronic content.  This week they announced that their joint venture is developing ways to make that content available on their own technology that will “emphasize visuals, retaining the distinctive look of each publication. It also aims to incorporate videos, games and social networking along with a classic magazine layout that can be flipped through with the touch of a finger.

The new standards the publishers are jointly developing would let consumers read the digital publications on some tablet computers, portable electronic readers and smart phones that render color images.” (Huffington Post)

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