November 11, 2008

Steve Jobs - the end of reading, Kindle a non-event?

Original Post from January 17th 2008.

This New York Times interview with Steve Jobs after his intro of the MacBook Air reveals some of his opinions (or FUD!?) about reading and the Amazon Kindle.

“It doesn’t matter how good or bad the product is, the fact is that people don’t read anymore,” he said. “Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year. The whole conception is flawed at the top because people don’t read anymore.”

He only talks about books, and if you include in "reading" things such as news items, on-line newspaper webs, blogs and such-like I think I'd challenge the "end of reading story".
In fact the internet is taking many hours of people away from television (granted, some of it to YouTube video and the like) and it could be argued to be increasing reading.

Newspaper revenues (mainly from advertising) drop as it has now more advertising competition (Internet) but circulations are not dropping. Book sales remain high or higher, and the internet makes it easier to get the book you want.

I suspect this decision is not over....and maybe Apple's work on devices that enable "reading" either - but he has deflected attention nicely away from the Kindle, as an "irrelevant" device and service.

No comments: