Wednesday, November 18, 2009

It's cool and even greener to read books on a mobile phone, but can a 3.5 inch screen beat the Kindle?

There's an interesting article today on the New York Times about the growing popularity of the usage of cellphones as e-readers. It looks like more people are willing to read books on a 3.5 inch mobile screen and some wonder if mobile phones are indeed the ultimate Kindle Killers.

It might be a new round of a struggle between a device that is basically limited (almost) to just one main function to a multi-functional device that also has the capability to provide this function. If we look at the example of GPS, where the mobile competition plays an important role in the sales decline of GPS devices, then the Kindle, Sony Reader, the Nook and others are going to deal with a fierce competitor that has the potential to take a nice bite of their market share.

Another fact which was not mentioned in the article ("Novels, 3.5 Inches At a Time") is that it's much more environmental-friendly to use a multi-functional device because then you just need to manufacture one device and that's it. And the same goes to ending the life of the device - it's almost always greener to deal with one device than two or three devices.

But, and this is a big but, can we really read books on cellphones? I find it very not comfortable and I believe that many other readers feel the same. And this is I think the biggest obstacle of cellphones in their "fight" against the Kindle and other e-readers - no matter how cool and relatively green they are and how more features they have, it is still no fun to downsize your reading experience to a 3.5 inch screen.

What do you think about it? I'll be happy to hear your thoughts and what's your prefarable way to read books - mobile? e-reader? paper?

Raz @ Eco-Libris

Eco-Libris: promoting sustainable reading!