New Kindle creates new challenges for publishers

A bigger-screen version of the e-book reader can offer opportunity for struggling newspaper publishers, but also more risk

Amazon.com Inc. is expected to announce a big-screen Kindle e-reader this week, and many are already wondering if newspaper and magazine publishers will benefit.

There are several reasons to think publishers will find advantages in such a device, especially during a period when newspaper and magazine readership is in decline.

One big potential advantage is that publishers would suddenly have the ability to charge for subscriptions that they have not had with the content on their Web sites.

But some publishers are also reportedly worried that the experience of reading on early-generation black and white e-readers won't be as engaging as flipping through a flashy travel magazine.

Even so, a bigger concern is how an e-reader subscription model might succeed if a competitor's news content is still offered for free, or mostly free, over the Web. For that concern, nobody seems to have any easy answers.

The truth is that a big-screen Kindle, and others to come, will be vying against a range of upcoming devices that are not e-readers at all, but are Web-connected devices using wireless. Apple Inc. may introduce a multipurpose tablet computer later in 2009, for example.

There will be many devices to access and transmit content wirelessly, as Glenn Lurie, president of emerging devices at AT&T Mobile, stated at Go Mobile 2009 today. While Lurie would not divulge any specific plans for an e-reader backed by AT&T, he said that AT&T will be announcing soon a complete range of devices, possibly from netbooks to e-readers, that can work over AT&T wireless networks. Sprint Nextel Inc. today provides the wireless network used by the Kindle.

"There will be many different types of devices and e-readers going forward, some small, some medium, some large," Lurie said in an interview. "It's important to be inclusive."

The problem facing newspaper and magazine publishers will not be a lack of wireless technologies for consumers to use. As is often the case with new technology, it will be a question of how the publishing business implements it. Will they stay with Web-based newspapers or move to Kindle-type wireless subscriptions? How long a transition will there be from the older technology to the new? And how quickly?

These publishers will have some tough choices to make.

Join the Good Gear Guide newsletter!

Error: Please check your email address.

Tags amazonat&tkindle

Our Back to Business guide highlights the best products for you to boost your productivity at home, on the road, at the office, or in the classroom.

Keep up with the latest tech news, reviews and previews by subscribing to the Good Gear Guide newsletter.

Matt Hamblen

Computerworld
Show Comments

Essentials

Microsoft L5V-00027 Sculpt Ergonomic Keyboard Desktop

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® S57 USB 3.0 flash drive

Learn more >

Mobile

Lexar® JumpDrive® S45 USB 3.0 flash drive 

Learn more >

Exec

HD Pan/Tilt Wi-Fi Camera with Night Vision NC450

Learn more >

Lexar® Professional 1800x microSDHC™/microSDXC™ UHS-II cards 

Learn more >

Audio-Technica ATH-ANC70 Noise Cancelling Headphones

Learn more >

Lexar® JumpDrive® C20c USB Type-C flash drive 

Learn more >

Budget

Back To Business Guide

Click for more ›

Most Popular Reviews

Latest News Articles

Resources

PCW Evaluation Team

Azadeh Williams

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

A smarter way to print for busy small business owners, combining speedy printing with scanning and copying, making it easier to produce high quality documents and images at a touch of a button.

Andrew Grant

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

I've had a multifunction printer in the office going on 10 years now. It was a neat bit of kit back in the day -- print, copy, scan, fax -- when printing over WiFi felt a bit like magic. It’s seen better days though and an upgrade’s well overdue. This HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 looks like it ticks all the same boxes: print, copy, scan, and fax. (Really? Does anyone fax anything any more? I guess it's good to know the facility’s there, just in case.) Printing over WiFi is more-or- less standard these days.

Ed Dawson

HP OfficeJet Pro 8730

As a freelance writer who is always on the go, I like my technology to be both efficient and effective so I can do my job well. The HP OfficeJet Pro 8730 Inkjet Printer ticks all the boxes in terms of form factor, performance and user interface.

Michael Hargreaves

Windows 10 for Business / Dell XPS 13

I’d happily recommend this touchscreen laptop and Windows 10 as a great way to get serious work done at a desk or on the road.

Aysha Strobbe

Windows 10 / HP Spectre x360

Ultimately, I think the Windows 10 environment is excellent for me as it caters for so many different uses. The inclusion of the Xbox app is also great for when you need some downtime too!

Mark Escubio

Windows 10 / Lenovo Yoga 910

For me, the Xbox Play Anywhere is a great new feature as it allows you to play your current Xbox games with higher resolutions and better graphics without forking out extra cash for another copy. Although available titles are still scarce, but I’m sure it will grow in time.

Featured Content

Latest Jobs

Don’t have an account? Sign up here

Don't have an account? Sign up now

Forgot password?