I continue to be surprised by the number of people I meet who obsess over eReader and tablet features. To be sure, screen resolution, I/O ports, processor speed, weight, buttons/no buttons, etc. are indeed important features to consider. But I don’t believe you can evaluate eReader hardware the way you evaluate other consumer electronics like cameras or laptops.
You need to evaluate the services that the eReader is designed to use. Like it or not, today’s hardware purchase essentially locks us into that company’s ability to keep our hardware relevant and useful.
And if we have learned anything from the past 10 years it’s that the average consumer wants simplicity. Or as fans like to say about Apple products: “It just works”.
That’s why I think this week’s big news about a color Kindle is so significant. By continuing to focus on the eReading experience and the simplicity of their “eco-brand” Amazon distinguishes themselves from the Android tablet manufactures that do not have their own ecosystem.
The fact that the color Kindle is Android-based will be a secondary selling point. More, I think, to assuage consumers concerned about app selection.
Hardware is becoming a means to an end.