Tuesday, December 1, 2009

Battles in Ebook War Likely to Take Place on College Campuses

Link to November 29 Delaware Online post, "Digital textbooks likely to energize e-book war: Sony, Amazon eager to seize opportunity in academic world". (via The Kept-Up Academic Librarian)

: As Sony Corp.'s e-book devices vie with the Kindle to win over readers, the real showdown may come later: when a shift to electronic textbooks at schools threatens to eclipse the current market for the products.

Sony and Amazon.com Inc.'s Kindle are both expanding into the academic world. Students at Blyth Academy in Toronto do all their reading on Sony devices, and five U.S. universities are testing the Kindle. The days of students lugging around heavy textbooks may be numbered, said Sony executive Steve Haber.

"The only ones upset about this are going to be chiropractors," Haber, who oversees the digital reading unit, said this week. "It makes perfect sense to move to education."

Within five years, textbooks will be the biggest market for e-book devices, dwarfing sales to casual readers, predicts Sarah Epps, an analyst at Forrester Research Inc. in Cambridge, Mass. Corning Inc., which is developing glass screens for e-readers, expects textbooks to fuel about 80 percent of demand for those components by 2019.

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