May 20 2010

Russian President Uses an iPad

The iPad has some high-profile users

The Prime Minister of Norway made headlines when he was seen using an iPad while stranded in an airport due to a volcano eruption last month. Not to be outdone, Russian President Dmitry Medvedev has acquired his own iPad, which he uses for reading e-books.

Speaking to students at Kiev State University in Ukraine earlier this week, he explained how he did not like e-books previously, but has started reading them with the help of an iPad. The Russian President has a reputation for being technologically savvy: he has been seen using an iPhone and a MacBook Pro and appears to accord more importance to technology than his predecessor Putin, who allegedly does not even use email (at least according to an interview published ten years ago).

Via CNews, image via CNews.

May 5 2010

Google Plans to Sell E-Books

Apple and Amazon had better watch out. Google announced this morning that it intends to start selling e-books in late June or July of this year, which would put it in direct competition with both Apple and Amazon.

Of course, Google is not new to the idea of competing with Apple. The search engine giant has increasingly infringed on areas that typically were the domain of Apple. Apple has responded by doing the same to Google.

Google’s e-books will be available for a variety of devices and from a number of different websites. Users will have the ability to buy electronic versions of books they find through Google Books, Google’s book search service. Book retailers will be allowed to sell Google’s versions on their websites.

Apple itself is actually a relatively recent entrant to the e-book market—it entered the market on April 3, with the release of the iPad. There have also been rumors that Google is planning to release a tablet that will compete with the iPad.

Via AppleInsider, image via Google.

Mar 27 2010

iPad Will Have Access to Many eBooks

Okay, I know I was so against the iPad when Apple first announced it. I said that it was extremely disappointing and that I did not want one. But I have to admit, the iPad has been growing on me. This is one of the many reasons why: over 30,000 major books will be free for reading on the iPad.

The free books will be both from Project Gutenberg’s library and from other publishers. Project Gutenberg makes books in the public domain available online.

The iPad does not come with the iBooks application, but it is available for download for free from the App Store. According to other reports, books that are not free will be priced the same as Amazon Kindle books are. Barnes & Noble and Amazon will also be offering apps with eBooks for sale.

Via Times Newsline, image via Apple.

Feb 7 2010

iPad May Hurt e-Book Prices

The introduction of the iPad may turn out to hurt consumers; in a rather strange and ironic turn of events, e-book prices could be going up.

Amazon, the maker of the Kindle e-reader, has been fighting with publishers over e-book prices. Amazon wants to keep them at around $10 per book; the leading publishers want to raise prices to around $15 per book. Apple has entered the fray, saying it will let publishers set prices for e-books on the iPad.

There does not seem to be a valid reason for raising e-book prices. E-books are vastly different than traditional printed books: you cannot lend an e-book to a friend, or sell it to someone else, or even put it on a shelf in your home. There are no printing costs associated with e-books, either. Logically the price of e-books should remain lower than that of printed books. Amazon understands this, but publishers seem to have a more shortsighted view of the situation.

Publishers should be focusing on getting more e-book customers. Instead, they may be alienating current and potential future customers with this price increase.

Via PC World.

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