Tuesday, September 1, 2009

The eBook Bubble Coming To CES 2010

Oh is that eBook Bubble inflating, inflating, inflating!

eBooks TechZone Sells out for the 2010 International CES; Additional Space Added to Meet Customer Demand
"The eBook category is experiencing astounding growth, with more than one million units expected to sell in the United States this year," said Karen Chupka, senior vice president, events and conferences at CEA. "We have received overwhelming response from companies interested in exhibiting in the eBooks TechZone for the 2010 CES. In fact, the original space allocated for the TechZone has already sold out and we are adding additional floor space to accommodate our customers. This exciting new TechZone is sure to draw plenty of attention at the 2010 CES." Consumer demand for eBooks continues to increase significantly, as eBook sales are expected to reach $317 million in 2009, with $647 million in sales projected for 2010. Additionally, shipments of eBooks are expected to increase by more than 100 percent in 2009, with 1.19 million units expected to sell.

Emphasis added by me.

Future exhbitors that make me wonder:

Onyx International, which has now set up an actual site for the Boox reader first seen at a recent tradeshow. A video at that site shows impressive PDF handling that's clearly superior to what Sony has done. Also, the built-in web browser is based on WebKit. And although ePub compatibility is not mentioned, I'm certain if someone wanted this to be the platform for their branded device, such an arrangement with Adobe could be made.

Entourage Systems, which has a sparse and very vague website that touts it's aiming at the educational market.

LiquaVista, which claims to have a revolutionary color eInk superior to the junk we've seen in the Fujitsu Flepia device. This screen has several display modes, which makes me wonder how it'd do against the Pixel Qi screen we've seen.

Hanwang, whose hardware has been the basis for the ECTACO jetBook reader (ECTACO will also exhibit). They keep putting out new models -- more than any other hardware manufacturer, it seems. Will all eBook hardware eventually be cheap and from China?

Click = big

Freescale, whose chips power the Sony Reader. Hackers might be interested in this PDF datasheet for the Freescale MC9328MXL, which powers the Sony Reader PRS-300.

Ominously, Aiptek is also listed as having an eBook device. Aiptek does very low-end hardware. A $150.00 -- or even $99.00 -- eBook reader in 2010? Good luck putting the squeeze on Adobe, Aiptek, to get that Adobe DRM compatibility!

Finally, a company called Cydle is also listed under eBooks. Their product page is mainly GPS and HD radio hardware. Some of which is running Windows CE 5.x. What do they have in the wings?

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