If CE and wireless are parents, the Amazon Kindle is a child prodigy. E-Readers have been around for sometime, but it was Kindle’s 3G wireless connectivity and innovative content pricing plan that unlocked untapped consumer demand. The Kindle has brought economic value throughout the value chain: from selling the device, to delivery of the data, to increasing publishing royalties all the way to consumers downloading most bestsellers at deep discounted prices.
With the Kindle, it is no surprise that Barnes & Noble, Sony, Plastic Logic and IREX are commercializing their 3G enabled e-Readers. The market opportunity for connected e-Readers is expanding. According to market research firms, analysts are forecasting an CAGR of 100% from 2008 to 2013.
The new generation of e-Readers will also utilize innovations in software, display, and mobile communication. Embedded 3G connectivity is a required feature. Current designs use E-ink displays, some with a second color display and touch capability. Linux and its mobile variant Android are becoming relevant OSs. Where will these trends lead us and what else can we expect to see in next generation E-readers? We will find answers to some of these questions at CES 2010.