One of the recurring themes that will undoubtedly come out of CES2010 is eBook Readers, or maybe we should start calling them eContent readers. The Skiff eBook Reader is certainly a reason to raise that question. Yes, it will read eBooks, yes, it has always on connectivity (Sprint at launch) but it is also a larger form factor than we’ve seen previously and is really aiming for magazines and large print content. (Read newspapers.) It also has a Touchscreen.
Make no mistake about it, this is a play by Hearst Publishing to try and move their newsprint business to digital and that touchscreen? Well, it’s a convenient way for you to click on ads. Word is that this device will not only have Sprint connectivity, but also WiFi, and that Sprint will probably be rolling these out in stores.
The Skiff (and other eReaders for that matter) beg the big question that we may or may not see answered this year. Will devices like this move customers in large numbers to digital reading? Based on purely unscientific results from talking to folks on my trip to Chicago, many consumers aren’t paying attention just yet. That doesn’t mean they won’t be six months from now. So, we’ll have to see.Â As for me, I can’t see the large form factor (11.5 inches) working as a stand alone platform for this kind of content delivery. But I’ve been wrong before.