If you read the news from last week, you may remember that Amazon released a new Kindle Oasis, with a bigger display and water-proof capability. It still costs a lot, it still has extra margin on 1 side (which I don’t like), and it is still a kindle (e.g. no ePub support). It has been 10 years since Amazon introduce kindle (and the concept of consumer-friendly e-reader) to the world. Why can’t we have a decent e-reader that actually get’s the job done? These are the list of things that I think a company should do to make good e-readers (yes, it’s plural):

  1. Variety (just a little bit): People tends to ready very different things, some people like dictionaries, other people like graphic novels, and there is not a single configurations that can all types of readers. Just make several models with larger and smaller screen sizes and storage capacity, like what EVERY SINGLE SMARTPHONE MANUFACTURE is doing right now.
  2. Flexibility: The internet is a huge place where many people get most of their contents from. If you only limit the source of your content to big book publishers, you are missing out on a lot of people. Maybe make a public SDK to make apps for your e-readers, or you can just make a set of API to allow your e-readers to get extra information, either way, you need to remember content is king, and people will go to where the content is. But please don’t just slap on a browser and call it done. That is just a bad idea from the bottom to the top. Oh and if you don’t mind adding a microSD card slow that would be great (Don’t use other standard everyone else is dead long live (micro)SD)!
  3. Durability/Cost (Pick one): I know we are living in the age of disposable electronics, even though I hate how it affects our environment, right now in most countries it is a perfectly fine business strategy, and I am not going to try to stop you. If you decide to make your e-readers disposable, please make it affordable. No one wants to spend like 300 euros/usd/pounds to get a new e-reader every year because it breaks down. You might do that for your smartphone because it provides so many essential functionality to your daily life, but e-reader by definition is not suppose to provide those features and functions. It is suppose to do 1 thing and 1 thing only: makes reading easy and joyful. So if it is shit, it should also be affordable, otherwise, I don’t mind you charging a little bit extra, just remember to promo it in the marketing material or something (If you want some examples check out how Apple is proud of their iPhone recycling machine and all the environmental ratings)

The following e-reader lineup is what I want to see. Feel free to use it to make your own business. If it fit’s me, I will be the first person to buy it (no I won’t be the first one but I will probably buy it at some point).

  1. Basic e-reader for novel lovers: {Insert the spec of Kindle Paperwhite 2015 here + water proofing. Add page switch buttons if you want}, costs around 150 euros/usd/pounds.
  2. e-reader for manga/graph novels/textbook reader: ~9-10" HiDPI e-ink, with fast processor to handle pdf/cbr/etc well (I’m looking at you kobo), and large (or expandable) storage, costs around 250 euros/usd/pounds.
  3. (Optional) Small and cheap e-reader for people who never try e-reader before/not reading a lot: ~5" HiDPI e-ink, can be a phone case, cast around 50 euros/usd/pounds, perfect as a holiday gift for secret santa or something.

Now you got the hardware planned out, you just have to figure out the business model (which is probably by selling content)!

I just want a e-reader that handles what I read decently. Is that too much to ask for?

If you read the news from last week, you may remember that Amazon released a new Kindle Oasis, with a bigger display and water-proof…