Posts Tagged ‘eBook reader’

Why Sony is embracing the 'open' ePub eBook standard (Hint: Amazon)

I’ve argued before that with regards to eBooks and the Kindle, Amazon doesn’t view itself as a hardware company. Unlike the iTunes ecosystem designed to shift more iPods and iPhones, for Amazon it’s actually about selling digital content — the eBooks themselves — as demonstrated by the release of the iPhone ‘Kindle’ eBook reader and the company’s work-around to keep Apple away from any iPhone-generated eBook revenue.

The Kindle hardware exists to kick start and accelerate the uptake of eBooks, and as well as creating Kindle reader software for other mobile platforms, similar to what the company has already done on the iPhone, I wouldn’t be surprised to see Amazon one day license its Kindle platform to competing hardware eBook readers. As I said, it’s clearly about shifting content, and to achieve this, owning the eBook ‘standard’ and therefore default store.

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The Gadget Show Live: BeBook eBook reader [video]

bebookWith Amazon’s Kindle winning the most mind share (thanks to Oprah) and Sony publishing healthy numbers for sales of its Sony Reader, it’s easy to forget that the eBook market isn’t purely a two horse race. Enter the BeBook from Dutch company Endless Ideas who were touting the device at last week’s The Gadget Show Live.

What sets the BeBook apart from competing eBook readers, the company claims, is support for a wider range of file formats, which on the surface appears to be true. However, after a bit of digging I’ve discovered at least one caveat. While the BeBook supports non-DRM formats galore, such as txt, pdf, doc, html, rtf, ppt, bmp, jpg, png, gif, tif, and even mp3s, which pretty much has you covered for out of copyright books and other non-commercial content, the only eBook format with DRM that’s supported is Mobipocket. That’s probably fine for most potential buyers but does mean, for example, that copyprotected PDFs can’t be viewed on the device.

Video of the BeBook at The Gadget Show Live after the jump…

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