Saturday 7 February 2009

Battle for ebooks on mobiles heating up

It seems that the new mantra for this month maybe 'ebooks on mobiles'. First the mobile operator '3' launched its ebook service. To be honest they have audio books as well as e-books. The only problem IMHO is the pricing which is between £5 and £10 for the complete book. There is also a possibility to download extracts for £1. Generally people in UK who want to read extracts, read them at the newsagents or bookshops for free during their Lunch time so I will be amazed if this service proves popular.

Amazon has said that books that Inc. sells for its Kindle electronic reading device will also be available on cell phones, too. Amazon spokesman Drew Herdener said Friday that the Seattle-based online retailer is working on making Kindle books available "on a range of mobile phones." The company is not yet saying when the books will be available, or on which phones.

Another e-book provider, Mobipocket, which is owned by Amazon, already sells titles that can be read on numerous smart phones.

Google has launched its Book Search service for mobile phones, featuring novels by Charles Dickens and Arthur Conan Doyle, as a challenger to Amazon's Kindle device. The internet giant has made the original text of 1.5m books available to be accessed for free via iPhone or Android phones. A spokesman for Google's book search mobile team said, "We believe we've taken an important step towards more universal access to books."

Experts said they expected an online battle for the market. Stuart Miles, of gadget website Pocket Lint, said: "Google has obviously seen how Amazon dominated the online selling of real books, and wants to stop that happening again. By offering free, out-of-copyright books they can instantly offer this huge library.

"Google's approach is also very clever because it is costing them very little, as they don't have to develop their own hardware."

Of course you can always download books on your windows devices and they can be read via PDF readers ;)

Indigo Books & Music Inc. believes strongly that the market for e-books is hitting critical mass, and, most important, that consumers will want to read e-books anytime, anywhere. Which is why the multi-channel retailer next month will launch Shortcovers, a mobile and conventional web destination for free and paid electronic content ranging from books and magazines to newspapers and blogs.

Shortcovers, Indigo Books & Music tells Internet Retailer, is a new division of the company with its own e-commerce infrastructure. Shortcovers in February will launch its web site and a mobile application for the iPhone. IPhone users can download the free program in Apple’s App Store. They create an account and profile through the mobile app or at that will enable them to search, browse and download e-books in numerous file formats, most significantly the publishing industry’s ePub standard. Indigo will introduce mobile applications for smartphones using the BlackBerry, Android and Symbian mobile operating systems, in that order, but did not specify a timeline.

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