Are we in the midst of an eBook format war?

Discussion in 'Apple, Inc and Tech Industry' started by Michael CM1, Oct 21, 2009.

  1. Michael CM1 macrumors 603

    Feb 4, 2008
    I downloaded the Kindle app and like reading books on my iPhone. I like it better than actual books, especially since I can change text size and color -- plus background color (go sepia!).

    But with Sony's popular reader and the introduction of the Nook, I'm really getting worried. I want to get a Kindle because I have about 5 books I have already bought from Amazon, but the Nook does look quite intriguing. Then you have the Sony reader, which I have actually seen two inches in front of me and which is a little bit cheaper.

    Amazon has its own eBook format. The Nook I'm pretty sure has its own. Sony? Duh, it's Sony. So we have probably have three popular readers with big backers (Sony, Amazon, B&N) and three proprietary formats. This sounds like as big of a win for consumers as adding a third format to HD DVD vs. Blu-ray would've been. I understand the need for DRM, but why does everything with DRM require closed formats? How long will we wait for these chuckleheads to battle this out?

    Oh yeah, what's Apple going to do? Is Apple going to back one of those three formats or come up with its own through the iTunes store?
  2. Chaszmyr macrumors 601


    Aug 9, 2002
    I'm really unhappy with the current state of eReaders. I'm not a big fan of the Kindle. I'm on board with the idea, but I think the hardware sucks. If Apple had attempted to make an eReader, I would have expected it to be about 5x better than the Kindle.

    However, Amazon was the first one to strike it rich in this market, and despite crappy hardware, a lot of people have eBooks that are DRM locked to Kindle. Now today, the Nook comes out... The Nook doesn't look perfect, but it looks way better than the Kindle imho. However, most people I know who might be in the market for an eReader in the near future already have dozens of books they've purchased on Kindle, so they aren't inclined to switch.

    As far as what Apple is going to do... who knows? I think they'd like to strike out on their own, so to speak. They will definitely sell eBooks from the iTunes Store if they enter that market (as the rumors suggest) with their tablet. However, I wouldn't be too surprised to see them make a deal with Amazon to make Kindle format books available on the "iTablet" (in addition to more media rich books that I expect Apple to have that the Kindle can't support).

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