Archive for August, 2009

WSJ on eBook Format War

Geoffrey Fowler has a good piece today in the Wall Street Journal’s Digits blog: Format War Clouds E-Book Horizon . The tone is perhaps overly ominous – while I agree that “the burgeoning marketplace for e-books is riddled with inconsistent and incompatible formats”, there are definitely signs that the clouds are starting to break up. But overall it’s a thoughtful take on the current situation and trends (full disclosure: I talked with Geoffrey and was quoted in the article).

Sony Going 100% EPUB

Sony announced today plans to convert its US eBook Store to the EPUB format, using Adobe Content Server protection technology. NY Times articleTeleRead coverage..
This important announcement marks significant progress towards the goal that Brad Stone summarized well in his article: to “give e-book buyers more flexibility by rallying around a single technology standard for the books”.

Seventeen eReaders Now Compatible With Open eBook Platform

Seventeen reading devices from nine different vendors are already compatible with Adobe’s eBook platform, supporting EPUB, PDF, Adobe Content Server protection technology and our Adobe Digital Editions eBook reading software for desktop computers. This is faster take-up than even this optimist had hoped for, given our launch less than six months ago of the enabling Adobe Reader Mobile 9 SDK that’s been integrated into all of these products. This rapid adoption highlights the growing demand for an open eBook platform, based on industry standards not proprietary formats: a platform that gives consumers content portability across multiple reading devices, smartphone and PC applications, and the ability to choose among multiple online retailers and libraries..

Skyrocketing Growth in Smartphone eBook Adoption

A recent report by mobile analytics concern Flurry (covering 60M users) indicates that in the US eBooks on smartphones now have “nearly three million active users”, with “steep growth, over 300% from April to July”. Of course the bulk of this growth coming from iPhone & iPod Touch: the Flurry report notes that, per Apptism, “eBooks represents the second-largest category in the App Store, with 14% share, only behind Games, which comes in at 19%”