Das iPad war gestern die große News des Tages. Ab einer gewissen Uhrzeit war in vermutlich allen Facebooks-Feeds die „iPadMania“ ausgebrochen. Selbst die ‚Tagesthemen‘ hatten einen Beitrag – mit O-Ton von z.B. Uli Hegge.
Anyway, in Berlin (ach was, Deutschland, Europa!) ist in diesem Zusammenhang vor allem Txtr (www.txtr.com) interessant. Gründerszene hat mit Christophe Maire ein One-Question E-Mail Interview geführt.
Gründerszene: What does the iPad mean for eReading?
Christophe Maire: Since the iPad announcement has a huge media mindshare, it makes sense to pounder what it means for eReading. The iPad is a hybrid between iPod and Laptop to be used mostly at home. It addresses primarily existing iPhone owners who will find there apps there and will appreciate the larger browser.
The good news is that existing apps will be supported. This means that the txtr reader app for ePub content will work on the iPad. This gives us a lead as we are the only one supporting Adobe’s DRM for Apple (and soon Android) platforms so far.
The other good news is that Apple somehow convinced Publishers such as Hachette to bring out their books on ePub format. It is Steve’s magic I guess (or they figured it worked soo well for the music industry ;-) ) and the fact they want to get out of Amazon stronghold. This most likely we will get these ePubs as well (as a German Publisher CEO told us lately, they want to be on as many „digital stores“ as possible).
The bad news is that Apple is bringing the iBooks apps, a nicely designed bookstore. It is one of the many functions of the devices and it is attractive to people who don’t mind reading books on a bright screen such as laptops’s. Had Apple brought out a screen with the reading qualities of eInk this would have been a different matter.
More importantly, the iPad does not answer the need of txtr partners (1) Retailers, (2) Mobile operators, and, (3) Publishers for a complete eReading infrastructure:
- If you are Borders, this announcement only increases the urgency to offer and sell a Borders’ eReading device. Borders CEO believes 50 percent of his business will be digital. He has no interest in seeing that business go to Apple.
- Mobile operators – outside of AT&T – will not benefit from this either. They should have a eReading service infrastructure allowing to serve multiple devices and get a share in the process. This is a major opportunity for mobile operator in particular when considering digital news subscriptions.
- Publishers finally need to think twice before surrendering to Apple’s sirens. The smart media houses will invest in their own infrastructure to establish a digital relationship to end-users (powered by specialist txtr ;-). This is where new business models will emerge and otherwise only Apple / Amazon will benefit.
The iPad will contribute to accelerate the migration of written media to digital. It will be one of a number of devices people use to access books, news and magazine – next to eReaders (for quality), netbooks (for price), smartphones (for ubiquity), laptops (for installed base).
Apple’s move increases the pressure for industry to move and launch their own multi access infrastructure and enter the arena for good.