Could Apple's iPad Kill the Kindle?

I’ve heard an interesting rumor about Apples’ “tablet” device — which could be released as soon as next week. One analyst described the possibility of “a bigger iPhone, big enough to read with.” It’ll still have a backlit screen, presumably, so the Kindle still offers a superior reading experience. But Apple’s tablet will further legitimize the Kindle — since more people will now be carrying a Kindle-sized device!

I think this firmly establishes the tablet “category” of devices – and now they’re just getting more sophisticated. The Nook gave digital readers some color on their menus, and Apple’s tablet just brings the color to the entire screen. There’s already a Kindle app for the iPhone, but now Apple’s making it available on a tablet-sized device. The devices are becoming more and more similar — but personally, I’d like to see the evolution go in the opposite direction. Maybe someday we’ll see an iPhone with a Kindle-like screen — one that isn’t backlit, and that uses natural light!

But that’s just the beginning, according to an article in Sunday’s business section. We’ll ultimately be surfing the web on our TVs, and watching TV on our cell phones. It’s all just digital content, and in the next few years every boundary will fall away. I’m looking forward to the day when I can read books on an enormous flat-screen TV
— broadcasting literature into my living room. And it’s pretty mind-boggling if you think about it, since the progression of media
hadn’t changed much over the previous two thousand years.

I mean, it started with pictures that cavemen drew on the walls. Eventually humanity developed text (and of course, text accompanied by pictures). But it took until the 20th century before we’d developed moving pictures. (And within a few decades, that was upgraded into moving pictures with sound.) Now we’ve finally reached the next milestone: live moving pictures with sound — which means we can just look at our friends and loved ones, and even enjoy a real-time conversation.

But out of all these developments, I’m still most excited about the books.

I still want to see literature in my living room…

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