Over the past few years, I have spent the better part of a King’s Ransom on tech devices. When Compaq’s very first Aero Pocket PC came out, I got it. With a 56Kbps compact flash modem. It cost me more than a PC, but I got it. I even had visions of using it in my PC’s stead. I’m still waiting for that to happen. When the new Sony Clie NZ90 came out, I rushed and grabbed me one… complete with Wifi card. I’ve bought more Windows Mobile and Pocket PC devices then you can shake a stick at. I was also one of the few people who ever bought the Palm VII and subscribed to the unlimited wireless service plan. Cybikos? Half a dozen. Netbooks? Three. Handsprings? Yes. Vtec Helio (What the hell is a Vtec helio, right?!) Yes! I’m sick that way, and yeah, a Kings Ransom is about right.
But, TechLahore, you might ask, why then have you not bought a Kindle Reader yet? Simple. Because I refuse to be transported back to 1983. I will not buy a reader which cannot show me my favourite magazines in colour! What is Robb Report, or Wired or Architectural Digest in monochrome? It is a travesty, is what it is! Yes, the resolution’s nice. Yes, the battery life and the always-on wireless access and the unlimited plan are all good. But the lack of colour? Sorry. I know the DX at almost $500 is hardly a steal… but I assure you I would be the first in the voluntary, please-rip-us-off line were the DX available in colour. But it is not. And therefore, I don’t own one.
Now, Chairman Bezos insists that colour versions are “multiple years” away, but Forrester research disagrees. They think a colour version will be out before the end of 2010. If Amazon doesn’t do it, someone else will. Here’s Forrester’s very interesting chart on the expected evolution of e-book readers:
They’re expecting video and animations to show up in e-readers too… and of course, the much anticipated $99 unit price. Now that’s starting to get really interesting. What they don’t talk about here is touch and ink enablement on these devices to make them the replacement not just for a book, but a notebook. And then ofcourse, there will be wireless content sharing features, collaborative wireless notepads, synchronization features and much much more. This is going to be an interesting category of device.
But as for me, the market entry point is when the first colour model comes out. From that point on I will be writing cheques for e-books, and every successive generation of e-reader that comes out. So, Mr. Bezos, get with the program and come take away my money.