What does Steve-o really mean when he says, “It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore”? And: “The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t ready anymore”?
b) Based on past declarative statements made by Steve-o (remember, Apple’s not making a phone), the Cupertino company really is working on an ebook reader, only it’s not a reader but an ebook-sized tablet computer that can be used to read electronic content.
c) Who needs a dedicated ebook reader when you have the iPhone and iPod touch that third-party developers will be writing applications for when Apple’s software developer’s kit is released next month? Will a developer write an app to read books on the iPhone or touch?
I agree with Apple CEO Steve Jobs when he said, in an aside with The New York Times at this week’s Macworld, that people don’t read anymore. In general, reading is down, residing somewhere between trashy summer beach novels and whatever Oprah recommends for her book club.
Overall, though, I mostly agree with “Print is Dead” author Jeff Gomez, who argues that people are reading — maybe not as many traditional books as in the past but they are reading electronic content like blogs, Web pages, PDFs, emails, text messages. Traditional books are in the mix but are giving way to the inevitable digital infiltration, just like the music and video industries are going through now. (last100 coverage.)
To contend outright that “people don’t read anymore” seems a bit flippant. Maybe it’s misdirection? Maybe a matter of semantics? After all, who needs a dedicated ebook reader when you have a spiffy tablet computer in the development oven and third-party applications on the way?
Speaking of those third-party applications for the iPhone and iPod touch, I do agree with Jobs that Android — the open mobile software platform developed by and pushed by Google — isn’t going to be a sure-fire winner.
“Having created a phone, it’s a lot harder than it looks,” Jobs said. “We’ll see how good their software is and we’ll see how consumers like it and how quickly it’s adopted.”
Maybe Google, as Jobs notes, already did a good thing by participating in the run up to the 700 MHz spectrum auction, to be held at the end of the month by the U.S. Federal Communications Commission. By being involved, Google has already helped push the stodgy FCC and Gibraltar-like U.S. carriers towards open networks, allowing any phone and any application to run on any network.
By bidding on the spectrum — and possibly winning some — Google will spark the tearing down of an in-need-of-repair industry and its rebuilding through fresh players and innovation at the handset, network, and application levels.
“It (Android) is just going to divide them and people who want to be their partners,” Jobs said. (see also last100.)