A quick straw poll on the train in the morning heading into London and in a carriage packed with 60 people there are close to ¾ of them with an electronic device, 10 reading the Metro free paper and five with a book – oh and one bloke with a paper copy of The Times. Before you ebook guys get excited, a quick walk through of what content people have on their iphones/android phones and iPads I spot a dozen people playing Angry Birds, a couple have newspapers but no books. There are fortunately four people with Kindles. Thank goodness for that.
The ‘casual game phenomenon’ has become prolific with Angry Birds at the top of the tree. Rovio, the company behind it, reportedly keeps turning down bids of hundreds of millions.
So to the Kindle Fire. Yes, it’s a colour Kindle, but ladies and gentlemen, lets not kid ourselves, this is no eReading device. Apart from a small mention of kids books (hinting strongly at interactive ones) the press and promotion of the Fire barely mentions books. It isn't an iPad killer either - "The iPad is dead, long live the iPad". Like kings of yore, the next iPad will be just as much a multimedia device as the last one and you can try and slay it but the Royal House of Apple will sire another market leader.
And so it should be. The iPad was never an eReader and neither is the Kindle Fire. Yes, there will be slip off sales on those devices for our ebooks but there is a reason the Kindle (which henceforth shall be know as The REAL Kindle © Steve Emecz, 2011) is such a big volume for us (83% of our MX Publishing ebook sales last month) is that it is actually an eReader. Amazon have bowed to pressure for a touch screen version which is great as I’ve never like the mini-keyboard, but the e-ink is the real star of the device.
So whilst everyone else is getting excited by the Fire, my advice is to concentrate on The REAL Kindle © as that’s where the sales are, and will be for the foreseeable future.