It’s got a real screen
The iPad features a 9.7” high-res screen, not an e-ink display like many other e-readers. It remains to be seen whether that large display and the accompanying 1GHz processor will make reading books on a screen more palatable to consumers. But it does open the possibility of full-color ebooks.
There’s buy-in from publishers — the big ones, at least
HarperCollins, Penguin, Simon & Schuster, Macmillan, and Hachette Book Group are among the publishers who are on board at this time, and the NY Times speculates that Random House can’t be far behind. This is a good sign that the iBook store will have robust initial content. What else would we like to see? More involvement from indie publishers, too. Sure, the iTunes store is great and all, but for the first few years especially, it leaned heavily on the major labels, spurring the growth of independent distribution sites like emusic. Can we expect the same for ebooks?
It’s 500 bucks
It looks like one of the goals of all those controlled leaks was to set expectations for a thousand-dollar device, only to reveal a base model at about $499 (with 3G). To put that in perspective, a Kindle or a Nook will cost you about $259. Could a more expensive but more full-featured device kickstart ebooks?
Got something to say about the iPad and what it could do for (or is that to?) e-books? Share it in the comments.