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February 24, 2010

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John Dickinson

Robert,

The iPad is an interesting proposition. It definitely feels like technology is trying to fill the gap between the dual monitor desktop computer and the cordless telephone. I can see the usefulness and the value of an iPad for a student and anyone who wants to save space (e.g. anyone who wants to read on a sailboat doesn't have the room for many shelves of books!).

One interesting drawback to technology is initial and maintained costs. If someone buys an iPad, then they will also have to purchase the books too. If they want the 3G service, then they will have to pay AT&T $15 or $30 per month for service.

This is a lot of additional cost where people will need to decide if the benefit they get is worth it. For example, someone might not switch to using an iPhone because the monthly costs associated with the service are 3 times of what they are paying with their current service. This is unfortunate when hardware manufactures limit their exposure to a select group of people.

As for Barnes and Noble, they could become a hybrid type of store where someone can preview the entire book (similar to previewing the entire book on the shelf) online or via their ereader and give customers multiple options on how to purchase or deliver/pickup the book. Or when they buy the hardcopy version of the book, they can buy the digital edition at a discount $2-$5.

One market segment that digital readers might not be able to penetrate is children's books. Unless the iPad, or Kindle, or Nook are child proof and child resistant, a kids board book may be the only thing able to handle a toss across the room...

Robert Dickie

Tom, great hearing from you! I agree with your points here. One reason I did not buy the Kindle right out of the gate was I was not impressed with some of the functions. For example, most of the books I read are business related and I highlight and take notes in them and use them for reference material on a daily basis like you do. Since I could not easily do that with the Kindle I passed.

However, the iPad will have more features and apps which will allow to organize and store your content. In many respects this will allow me to have access to all my work whenever I travel and to be able to look it up quicker. I love that fact.

I also agree that the music downloads of one or two songs off a CD is different and we are not going to see people downloading a chapter or two from books. Great thoughts. Thanks for your perspective and insight.

Pass my best on to the family. All the best, Bob

Thomas Maguire

Bob

Another great post. Agree with a lot of your comments with a couple of variations on your comparison b/w record and book store...

1. Have always enjoyed sitting in a room with my books around me...grabbing favorites and rereading. Never felt the need to hold a CD when listening to it...so my ipod works fine as a replacement but my kindle doesn't. This only applies to favorites we write in...not a basic fiction book.

2. Book stores have tried to become a "3rd place"...love flipping through and "previewing" books at Barnes and Nobles put even when music stores had listening stations it was not every CD and you were usually standing up with 4-5 other people standing right beside you listening too.

3. One reason for the rise of downloading music was we can now download 1 or 2 hits from a CD and don't have to buy all the fillers...you don't have this with a book.

Enjoying the posts...and look forward to your and BC's next update on 7 Summits Challenge.

Tom in SC

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