Imagine an iPhone Netbook 2x the size - adios Kindle and Sony Reader. Publishers: get ready!
Thinking about the current Netbook craze I have a strong hunch that Apple may well jump in and roll out a new iPhone-inspired Netbook - let's call it the Apple iNet - that could be roughly 2-2.5 as large as an iPhone. A TOUCH-SCREEN device like this could easily become a major challenge to digital reading devices such as the Kindle (which I can't try here in Europe) and the Sony Reader (which I have but don't like a lot). I have found myself wanting an iPhone / iPod like device like this 100s of times already, especially while traveling.
If Apple does this - and I would certainly like that , let's just imagine:
- We could finally, really read offline web-pages, PDFs, slideshows, white-papers, non-fiction books etc on a nice, full-color touch screen, using next-gen versions of existing apps such as Instapaper ****, Soonr, Stanza, Bookshelf, EReader (in fact, this may be why the new Kindle app for the iPhone is crucial for Amazon!)
- We could review our RSS feeds much easier, including images and videos, using apps like Byline (my favorite) and Newsstand, or the Google Reader offline app (once they offer it)
- We could cache i.e. record video and audio streams and play them on our 'Apple iNet' device - and actually have a really nice viewing experience
- We could use the iNet device to do some simple image and video editing - but most likely this would be done 'in the cloud' not using local software
Image via Wikipedia
A smart, Apple-style device like this (which may have similar elements to OLPC's XO2 but would not compete in the low price markets, naturally) would give a huge boost to the mobile content ecosystem - and it would also usher in an era of rampant and wide-spread electronic book sharing that would make music file sharing look like child's play.
Publishers: you may want to get ready for this sometime soon. My 2 cents: radically lower the prices for ebooks, start looking at bundles, subscriptions and flat rates, figure out how to monetize sharing with new advertising-supported models, gear up to provide added values all the time (value is around the content!!), start planning for those New Generatives - you've got another 12 months if you're lucky. Go!!