2012 February

Archive for February, 2012

The Sony Tablet P is one of the most innovative tablet concepts to come our way with its twin clamshell form that includes two 5.5 inch sized displays. AT&T will be offering the 4G capable tablet for $399.99 starting March 4. The offer is inclusive of a 2 year data plan wherein users will have to shell out $35 every month for 3 GB of data usage. Of course, one can also go for the device without a data plan involved, in which case damage inflicted on the wallet will turn out to be $549. If that is your choice, there are cheaper data plans on offer, like $15 for 250 MB of data usage per month.

If the playstation certified tablet appeals to you, March 4th will be your day.

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Online availability of Lenovo netbooks is slowly being withdrawn. Those who wish to purchase Lenovo netbooks would not find them on the official online store in the near future. As it is, the present stock is quite low.

Lenovo is doing this since tablets became the latest craze of the time rather than netbooks. Lenova introduced the IdeaPad K1 and IdeaPad A1 and it appears to be making good sales with them. Netbooks have been found to be fast ceding ground to the new age tablet devices, which have certain inherent advantages. Tablet devices generally have better battery back-up times than netbooks. The tablet PCs are also more conveniently portable devices. Further, netbook processors tend to be quite slow. The tablets, with their ever advancing features, are naturally the choice of the people today.

Before this, Dell, Acer and HP were the big time netbook makers who have been trying to shift focus away from netbooks, though none have been able to make any significant mark with their individual tablet offerings.

via electronista

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It seems RIM will continue selling the PlayBook tablet for $199, the special discounted price that had made the tablet popular with consumers. It’s no secret the PlayBook fared miserably in the market after its launch, though sales picked up when price was brought down to $199. Also, RIM had offered the PlayBook tablet for $199 a number of times, though it had always reverted back to its original price of $499. However, good sense seems to have prevailed with the RIM boffins so that they are now flashing “New Low Price” along with the $199 price tag. RIM had earlier even offered the PlayBook for a flat rate of $299 regardless of the memory capacity the tablet offered.

However, the PlayBook can now be picked up for a cool $199 for the 16 GB version, while 32 and 64 GB of on-board storage will set one back by $249 and $299. Now consumers shouldn’t be complaining, though RIM is having to absorb quite a hefty financial loss with the PlayBook sales.

via liliputing

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Amazon rolled out a new system last year for people who belong to their exclusive Prime Membership. Every month you can download and read one full ebook on your Kindle Fire or via the website. The company reported today that their selection of books available for loan has topped 100,000 different selections.

“Kindle Owners’ Lending Library continues to grow rapidly – with over 100,000 titles, customers can choose to borrow a variety of breakout, best-selling titles for free, including ‘Nobody’ by Creston Mapes, ‘The Walk’ by Lee Goldberg and ‘Abducted’ by Theresa Ragan, as well as Kindle Singles from best-selling authors Andy Borowitz, Karin Slaughter and Mishka Shubaly,” said Russ Grandinetti, Vice President of Kindle Content. “It’s also become a meaningful way to grow royalties for authors like Patricia Hester, who sold less than 200 books in 2011 prior to joining KDP Select and has now earned over $36,000 from KDP Select in one month as readers have discovered her books through this service.”

Since the service initially launched in November 2011, it has grown in leaps and bounds. It is a testament to the philosophy that if it is free people will eat it up. There are no limits of how often a single book can be borrowed from Amazon and popular books like the Hunger Games remains perennial favorites.

Kobo has been fervently refining their upcoming Windows 8 application to be debuted in the Windows 8 store. The company will be one of the very first ebook companies to have an official app ready for the official launch of the service when the new iteration of Windows is released later this year. This will allow you to read books either on your PC or with any Windows 8 tablet.

Kobo had been working on a Windows 8 app for the last few months, but the company was not happy with the results and has revised it. There are some new features such as; cloud storage, new library view, and new GUI.

“We believe consumers want choice and the freedom to read on any device. Building great eReading apps and working with leading manufacturers such as Microsoft is a recipe for success in this quickly growing market,” said Serbinis. “This latest collaboration is a continuation of Kobo’s ‘Read Freely’ philosophy, where we provide a world-class catalogue, complementary mobile apps and a global infrastructure suitable for any market.”

Graphic courtesy of digitalguide88.com

GoodEReader reported last week that Google had revoked the affiliate status of a large number of independent bookstores, apparently without motive or explanation other than to say they were focusing on the large volume sellers. At the time, the announcement was confusing and hurtful for small time retailers as they did not see how their smaller volume of sales could have any kind of negative impact on Google.

Now, Google has announced an equally cryptic return to affiliates status for all of those affected shops. A spokesperson for Google told Publisher’s Weekly: “We did not intend to deactivate independent booksellers from the Google eBooks affiliate program. We apologize for any inconvenience.” There’s the confusion; if Google didn’t intend to deactivate any affiliates website links to the Google bookstore, what was the point of sending out a letter to those booksellers stating that their links will be deactivated on March 15th?

The American Booksellers Association, who was previously reported to be unaffected by the revocation of affiliates status, has spoken up for the indie bookstores and advised them on how to contact ABA’s member services for assistance if their links are deactivated. ABA has an IndieCommerce program and it has been reported that bookstores who are members of that program were not affected, yet ABA has worked to support even those stores that are not signed up with the program.

The affiliates program allows the customers of indie bookselling sites and locally owned brick-and-mortar stores, to still support their local shops even when purchasing ebooks by clicking the link on the bookshops’ websites. The local stores receive a portion of the sale and retain the support of their loyal customers.

With the fast paced growth of digital publishing as a concept, it can be hard to keep up with the information and terminology of the industry, especially since there are still two distinct arms of that electronic industry. Some watchers may be well versed in what digital publishing brings to self-published and indie authors, tools like ebook formatting and distribution, small press hard copy printing, and even print-on-demand services. What many are not as familiar with is how digital publishing works for the traditional publishing industry as well.

Open  Road Integrated Media is a digital publishing company that specializes in multi-platform formatting; in other words, not just ebooks, but film, television, and more. Ever since the company was founded, they have taken a select number of ebooks from their E-riginals catalog and offered them in small quantities strictly as a print-on-demand offering.

Now, Open Road is teaming up with two of Ingram’s divisions in order to make a small number of their E-riginals titles available in retail stores. Ingram, parent company over Lightning Source, will produce the hard copy editions of these titles beginning in March.

“We are excited to work with Open Road and its authors,” said David “Skip” Prichard, President and CEO of Ingram Content Group, on their blog.  “Using our integrated physical book sales, print, and distribution services, Open Road can now  provide  consumers with the flexibility to experience their E-riginals and many beloved out of print books that they are bringing back to life, in multiple formats.”

Open Road will begin with a set list of both popular and out of print titles. While the blog post did not specify where the books will be available, but Chief Operating Officer Christopher Davis was also mentioned in the post, in which he stated that Open Road would be producing these titles with Ingram in order to make them more widely available to customers. “We find it is now time to broaden our reach into the retail space.”

The Galaxy Note 10.1 appeared under the Barcelona sun (at the MCW event to be precise) just days ago, but has already made its appearance at the FCC in between. Referred to as GT-N8000 as per FCC  parlance, the tablet could be mistaken for the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1 except for the front facing 2 megapixel camera that adorns the front top bezel on the Galaxy Note 10.1 in place of a VGA unit on the Galaxy Tab 2 10.1.

The Galaxy Note 10.1 is among the more interesting tablet launches in recent times, primarily because it’s the only tablet in the 10.1 inch category to offer stylus support. Samsung has yet to reveal what the tablet will cost or when it will be reaching markets. However, now that the tablet has made it to the FCC, a Stateside launch shouldn’t be too far off.

Stay tuned…

via wirelessgoodness

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It was just a few days ago that BSNL first announced plans to launch a troika of tablets in the Indian market. The three tablets range in price from an Aakash challenger to one that can take on the likes of the Reliance 3G Tab. However, while the Aakash is still languishing along without hitting headlines with such high pre-order sales figures, BSNL has made quite the media splash just a few days since being announced.

As Virendra Singh, managing director of Pantel Technologies stated, “We have received more than one lakh pre booking orders over phone and online for the three tablets which we have launched in association with BSNL.”

Virendra Singh has further good news to share. “Apart from the consumers’ interest, we have also got an order for two lakh tablets from Sahara India,” he said.

Those are the kind of figures that can make any one to sit up and take notice of the BSNL tablets. Datawind has notched up a million plus pre-orders for its Aakash tablet, though the device seems mired in controversy right now. In contrast, the BSNL base level version is a few hundred rupees more, but also comes with more features than the Aakash. Further, BSNL is a state owned entity and already a formidable player as a communication service provider. As such, it shouldn’t be too surprising if its tablet PCs backed get a stupendous response.

The cheapest of the lot is the Penta IS701R, which is priced at INR. 3,499. Next in line is the T-Pad WS704C that sports a price tag of INR. 10,999, while the most expensive of the lot is the T-Pad WS802C that will set you back by INR. 13,500.

The Noida based Pantel Technologies is manufacturing the tablet devices with deliveries slated from March 5th. The tablets will also reach BSNL outlets March 1st. Meanwhile, those interested in placing their orders for the tablet can do so here.

via tech2

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The Blackberry Playbook received the much anticipated OS2 update around a week ago, and with it came a slew of new features. The biggest enhancement was the Android 2.3.3 emulator that allows you to install Android Apps. The Playbook uses BAR files as its proprietary format and we have been fiendishly converting existing Android Apps to the Blackberry format. We are pleased to announce today that our App Store now has over 100 Games and Apps available to download.

The Good e-Reader App Store was a project of ours that launched in the 2nd week of January and focuses on high quality apps and games for Android and Blackberry. If you have ever used the official Android Market or App World, there is a serious inundation of low quality programs that make finding the good ones an exercise in patience.

The new Blackberry Playbook section offers the latest newspaper, magazine, news, and essential applications you want to get on your device that are NOT available on App World. We have popular programs like Kindle, Moon+, Google Maps, Dropbox, Pandora, eBay, Google Voice, Skype, Words with Friends, Hanging with Friends, and many more! Downloading and installing apps is very easy and we have made custom video tutorials available HERE to help guide you.

All of our Playbook apps are tested, signed, and verified by our staff before we upload them to our site. This ensures a high level of quality and control, so anything you download will work properly. Check out our Playbook selection of Apps HERE and our Games HERE.

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Marvel has officially started to launch a series of graphic novels to the iOS platform. These are normally a series of comic books compiled in one format to save you money and span the epic scale of a particular saga. The company is launching its new initiative with over 60 different editions and intends on launching new ones every week. Normally, Marvel titles are contained within their official app, but now they are launching them in the Apple iBookstore.

Marvel is on Apple’s iOS platform and has been launching single issue comics for the last few years. In the last few months, they started a new program to launch the digital editions on the same day as the printed one, which has improved sales for the company. They also sell graphic novels within their app to make it easier for people to follow a particular series in its entirety. Instead of purchasing seven different single issues, you can pay $12.99 or more for the whole series. The graphic novels tend to also include new art work and interviews with the writers. Normally, graphic novels are printed a few months after the single issue series wraps up.

The company has over 60 contained within their Marvel app right now, including Civil War, Dark Avengers, Siege, and many more! I think it’s a savvy move for the company to branch out into the iBookstore selling its graphic novels. This way you can hopefully rope in the casual audience that may just be browsing through it, the same way Marvel comics are sold in many book stores in Canada and the USA.

Photo courtesy of news.frbiz.com

In the UK last year, more digital books were published than hardback editions, according to an article by Phillip Jones for The Bookseller. The explanation comes down to nothing more than publishers trying to keep up in a difficult market, while costs and ease of ebook production became manageable. These comparison numbers were provided by Nielsen BookScan, an industry mainstay for tracking book data.

The rise in ebook production does not even include the uploading of a large number of titles by independent authors to platforms such as Amazon’s Kindle Direct Publishing; only books that have an ISBN number—as opposed to the ASIN number associated with Amazon’s platform, for example—were factored into this comparison.

From The Bookseller:

“In 2011, 35,000 e-books were registered for the first time with an ISBN, compared with 28,963 [in 2010], an increase of 20%. By contrast both hardback and paperback production fell: hardbacks fell from 30,175 in 2010 to 28,000 in 2011; paperback output decreased from 79,087 to 71,000.”

While ebook sales continue to gain ground in terms of the percentage of books sold with projections for ebooks sales predicted by some in the industry to eventually reach 50% of the total market in the near future, this report supports that projection. If more ebooks are being published than other formats, it stands to reason that digital editions will continue to play catch up with their paper brethren.

Interestingly, a larger number of publishers (nearly 300 more than in 2010) applied for an ISBN prefix. This hopefully demonstrates that the publishers are embracing ebooks, but also that the publishing industry as a whole is adapting well to the technology of e-reading.


Micromax to Launch Android Tablet

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The Indian mobile handset vendor Micromax clearly does not wish to remain confined to one speciality, and is eager to have a presence in the booming tablet segment. We have already these rumors before, but this time we should see the Micromax tablet by the 15th of March.

According to tech journalist Karan Bajaj, the tablet will be in the 7 inch capacitive display category and will run Android 4.0 ICS. It will be powered by a dual core processor and will feature a HDMI out port, a microSD card slot, and is even touted to sport a 3D display. Further, the tablet will be Wi-Fi enabled and is likely to be priced around 15K for the Indian market.

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