Wednesday, 20 October 2010

eReaders set to dominate

If any more proof is needed that eBooks have entered the mainstream then look no further - British retail giants Argos and Tescos are to start stocking eReaders - indeed the current Argos catalogue already features three different eReaders - Sony, Binatone and Cooler models, while Tescos will carry the excellent Sony range as well as several cheaper models. The Argos models come in a range of colours to attract the fashion conscious reader, which whilst may seem a gimmick could help in marketing the readers to children. Tesco already offer eReaders through its online store - Tesco Direct but models should start appearing in stores within the next week - it is expected that the same models available online will be offered

This is a significant development, particularly as all the readers on sale in High Street shops support the popular ePub format which could leave Amazon's Kindle in the dark, since the otherwise brilliant Kindle does not support ePub but ties readers to Amazon's own format. True the Kindler does support PDF but then  PDF files are notorious for the odd formatting when transferred to most eReaders. The result of the format initially being developed for large text files rather than the much more elaborate coding needed to ensure eBooks are reproduced faithfully, with chapter breaks, paragraph indents,  on the screen.

The Archive confidently predicts that the next generation Kindle will support the ePub format -this is inevitable in the long run. I'd like to buy a Kindle myself; they are excellent Ereaders and so easy to use through Amazon's store (love them or loathe them, Amazon's store is without doubt the best in the world)  but the lack of ePub support made me opt for the equally good Sony eReader. The Sony is excellent but the Kindle's biggest strength is the Amazon eBook store itself, which is incredibly well stocked and easy to use.

eReaders are expected to be big sellers for the coming Christmas season.

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