2 iphone or not?

The iphone debate hots up. Given that there’s millions of the things out there, an app store with a fictionwise (ereader) client and a perfectly readable screen, many are either (1) declaring the death of kindle or (2) bemoaning the lack of publisher interest in what appears to be the hottest portable computer device around. Not that we’re there yet. I had a quick look at the ereader client on an ipod touch and it’s a good start but needs more development. Better integration for buying titles and a press to turn (rather than a swipe to turn) interface would help.

I’m assuming that better ebook apps will come though (whether from fictionwise or somewhere else) – and critical mass of users might attract the publishers (look at Pandora’s iphone stats for some insight into what’s happening). In the meantime, it’s funny to read the iphone naysayers who try to defend telco walled gardens or suggest that it’s just a phone. Like it or not, the bloody thing represents thinking 1.0 in a paradigm shift that points the way to our future portable computing usage. It’s the next step in personal computing, and whether or not the iphone itself is the future is really moot. What matters is what it represents. Simply put, it’s the first truly portable convergence device that ordinary folk are happy to use. A convergence device that is with us 24/7 – where we’re doing our music listening, video watching, web surfing, phone calling, game playing – and book reading. 

In the meantime, Teleread has a terrific summary of the “iphone or not” discourse. Go read.

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