Back in 2004 when Sony pioneered the impending gigantic, yet partial, shift from physical books to electronic ones by adopting, for the first time, e-ink technology in its LIBRIé reader, the premise was simple: this was a device that you could take anywhere, read anywhere just like a normal book, yet consolidate your entire collection onto a microchip. It’s much the same principle as the iPod or any other portable media player.
Whilst Sony was the first to adopt the electronic paper tech, it was Amazon who certainly made great strides with eBooks in its Kindle e-reader device and service, and since then the market has never looked back and eBooks are now outselling their physical counterparts on Amazon.
For the past few years, this notion has been kept relatively straightforward. The core technology behind the devices has always been the same, despite a few aesthetic changes or enhancements here and there, not really having a dramatic impact on day to day usage of eBook readers. Now, though, the industry is changing phenomenally quickly, and more and more manufacturers are attempting to converge eReaders with tablets. And it’s wrong.