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The electronic device that will replace the newspaper is becoming clear and may soon be here 11/19/07

Posted by Steve Boriss in e-Newspapers.

When newspapers as we know them disappear, what portable electronic device might replace them? Recent product launches provide clues. iPhones are smaller and more portable than newspapers have ever been, plus they offer video and connectivity to the web. But, their screens and touchpads are too small for reading or entering much text. Amazon’s new Kindle is the size of a paperback, has a larger screen and touchpad, and excellent viewing resolution. But while it also has wireless access, it connects to a private, fee-based service for downloading books and newspapers, not to the world wide web where news outlets are converging toward a free, advertiser-supported business model.

rexsmalljpg.jpgThe solution according to Rex Hammock is a larger, Kindle-sized iPhone or iPod Touch (see his mock-up to the right). That sounds about right. News consumption will ultimately call for both the active, keyboard/mouse-in-hand, “lean forward” technologies of PC’s and the passive, butt-on-sofa, “lean back” technologies of TV’s. Consumers will be part Web 1.0 spectators and part Web 2.0 contributors. So, the ultimate news machine should be a “Web 1.5” device that uses “sit-up” technologies. Since companies seem to have these technologies on-hand, these devices may soon be in-hand.


1. frankwolftown - 11/19/07

The Kindle, may you rest in peace along with the eight track and the laser disc and the Atari Jaguar.

2. Craig McGill - 1/2/08

It’s possible that at some point print editions will go away – after one paper experiments with it – but I don’t think the tool has been found yet that is completely durable and also able to compete with the free disposable papers that are handed out at major cities (at least in the UK and Europe) every morning.

Having said that, I love having a long trip with a chunk of the morning papers downloaded to my mobile phone – but I wouldn’t pay for it.

3. Steve Boriss - 1/2/08

Craig, I agree that these devices are not there yet. And, I think that in the end you will not have to pay for it — ads will cover the cost.

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