The launch of the iPad heralded the end of the netbook, the Kindle and the nook. None of these things will come to pass due to the iPad, however. The netbook will survive because people like a keyboard and people like their windows applications. The Kindle and the nook may survive as well, they will be single purposes devices like the calculator that still sits on so many office desks. No, the iPad won’t kill these devices, nor will it destroy the physical book. But it might make a wide array of books unavailable in print form. The iPad can’t be blamed for this alone, but consider it the last horseman of the books apocalypse. The Kindle, the nook and even the Web itself were all whispering about the death of print media long before thoughts of the iPad were dancing in the minds of Apple fan boys.
Let’s not forget the stepping stones to bring book buying online. Certainly Amazon and everyone Amazon crushed will have their place in the history “books”. Their online marketplaces showed everyone how to sell books on the web with reviews, technical details and even book previews that whet the appetites of rabid readers. And while Amazon sits in an interesting position having its own e-reader and a well established store, it couldn’t quite commit, or get the market to commit, to an entire catalog of all-digital books with no paper copies shipping. The Kindle, while great for novels, wasn’t a device for all types of books and without that versatility it can’t eliminate the need to publish books on paper and send them through the market to the consumer. Read more