Awhile back I read through Kevin Maney’s Trade-Off: Why Some Things Catch On, and Others Don’t, an interesting discussion of the conflicting forces that either spell success or failure of a new product or service. It all comes down to the battle between fidelity (the quality of a consumer’s experience) and convenience (ease of use and price point). With Kobo’s launch of their new Kobo eReader Touch, they look to be attempting both an eReader that surpasses the Amazon Kindle in fidelity,or “coolness factor,” while retaining a convenient price point. Engadget has a nice little review here.
So, advantage Kobo, right?
Well, hang on a second. You wouldn’t assume the people at Amazon are snoozing at the wheel, would you? Rumours persist that Amazon is poised to launch their own nifty new touch screen device in the form of a Tablet later this year. Technology Review has some neat talking points about what the screen might be like and Daemon’s Books has a brief post on how they might market it.
Getting back to the fidelity vs. convenience argument, the question remains, will Amazon try to trump Kobo (and hey, maybe take a run at the Blackberry Playbook and Apple iPad?) or create a touch screen just slightly cooler than Kobo’s at a similar price with maybe an App or two thrown in?