Apple “less enthusiastic” about e-Books

October 31, 2009

I have at recent conferences been talking about e-Book Readers and the possible new products from Apple and Microsoft.

In a recent article from MacRumors, an analyst having spoken to various Apple executives published a research note. One of the interesting tidbits was on the online book market.

Apple was “less enthusiastic about the online book/newspaper market, given unattractive industry structure.

If there is any truth in this, then how would this impact on the rumoured Apple tablet? No idea to be honest.

However Apple has managed to change the music industry, they could change the publishing industry.

e-Book Readers, are they the future?

October 27, 2009

On Ollie Bray’s blog a comment was made on Ollie’s post about e-Books.

Neil commenting on the blog said:

I don’t think e-book readers will cut it. They will please a few – gadgeteers and the followers of Oprah (or would that be Jonathan Ross over here?) – but I think they will only be a niche product. After all, you can already read e-books on many phones, netbooks and PCs, so why would you want a specialist device?

Which would you rather spend on – a class set of Kindles (at £175 each) or a set of iPods touches (@£149)? No-brainer really. ANd you are never going to get a head to spend that kind of money twice.

I do agree that in terms of functionality that the iPod touch (currently) is superior to the Kindle, but you do need to ask what functionality are you looking for when purchasing a device.

I am going to disagree with  Neil about the e-Book, personally I think they are going to be one of the next big technologies.

Many negative things were said about early mp3 players and notably the iPod. If you go back to 2001 the following comments were made which are not exactly positive about Apple’s music player.

The iPod does cost considerably more than the nearest competitor with a portable hard drive…

…analyst Tim Deal dinged the $399 price as “a little high.”

“I question the company’s ability to sell into a tight consumer market right now at the iPod’s current price.”

“Apple lacks the richness of Sony’s product offering. And introducing new consumer products right now is risky, especially if they cannot be priced attractively,”

Stephen Baker said that the iPod will likely stand out for its large storage capacity but predicted that the device may have trouble digging out a niche in the market.

The iPod has “good features, but this is a pretty competitive category,” Baker said. “The question is whether people want that robust of a feature set with that high of a price.”

Look where the iPod is now!

Let’s take Niel’s comment:

After all, you can already read e-books on many phones, netbooks and PCs, so why would you want a specialist device?

If you rewrite this as

After all, you can already listen to mp3s on many phones, netbooks and PCs, so why would you want a specialist device?

That’s what many people said about the iPod and the early mp3 players.

e-Book readers are supplementary to netbooks, iPhones, iPods and PCs, not replacements.

They also have one big advantage over those devices for e-Books and that is battery life.

I have to charge my iPhone on a daily basis, I charge my e-Book reader once a week.

For me the Kindle and Sony Reader are generation one devices, and as the technology matures and changes I expect to see better and smarter products.

The rumours are that Apple and Microsoft will both release an e-Book Reader type product in the next twelve months. These devices will certainly raise the profile of e-Books and the market for devices to read them.

Mobile e-Learning Stuff

October 26, 2009

WordPress have upgraded their CSS so that when this blog is viewed on a mobile device, it renders in a format which is much more readable.


This is an excellent move and makes reading blogs (well this one) whilst mobile so much easier.

So what are the red numbers?


The number of comments on each post.

There is of course a WordPress App for the iPhone which means that mobile blogging is much easier and faster.

From a learning perspective what this does mean is that reflective blogs are much easier to access, you can read and blog when and where you have the time and the motivation and not just when you are on a computer.

At last…

October 24, 2009

One day this may all change…


Photo source.

According to a report on the BBC News, there will be on day a standard charger for mobile phones.

A new mobile phone charger that will work with any handset has been approved by the International Telecommunication Union (ITU), a United Nations body.

What this will mean is that if you do run out of charge you should be able to borrow someone’s charger without worrying if it will fit your phone.

Of course one of the advantages of this is that if educational institutions want to provide charging points they don’t need to worry about trying to provide the multitude of chargers currently available.

So when is this going to happen… not for some time. It will be 2010 when the standard will appear on new phones, and after that it could take a few years as people replace their phones.

In the meantime educational institutions may want to consider secure charging points such as this.



Well with the way in which the phones of today can be used for learning from over the web to video and audio, the batteries just don’t last long enough.

I am now looking forward to the day when I can carry one charger for everything, not just my phones!

The Future of Learning is Mobile Presentation

October 22, 2009

My presentation slides from the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology where I gave a presentation entitled, The future of learning is mobile.

There is an audio recording of the presentation.

The future of learning is mobile

October 20, 2009

At the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology I gave a presentation entitled, The future of learning is mobile.

This is an audio recording of the presentation.

I am hoping to put up the slides when I have more bandwidth.

Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology

October 20, 2009

It’s a busy week this week, though in the main because I am getting asked to do lots of things.

Today I was giving a keynote (and running an exhibition stand) at the joint Becta and LSIS Conference on Learning Innovation, Embracing Technology. My presentation was on mobile learning, though (as you might guess) I covered a fair bit more than just “what is mobile learning”.

I was on just before lunch, prior to my bit we had had LSIS and Becta give their views on embracing technology and a workshop.


Alas (or luckily) I only had ten minutes to do my presentation and using the digital clock on my iPhone I did keep to time.

I would loved to have more time and engaged the conference delegates in conversation and discussion. Well to be honest I did over lunch, where for an hour I chatted and engaged with the delegates on my stand.

As well as showing off a lot of mobile kit (from my bag of crap) I also had bundles of LSN publications about MoLeNET which were taken in their droves.

Went very well, so much so, I never got a chance to eat my lunch!

After lunch I went to Becky Barrington’s workshop on tools that she uses with her staff. Though I know practitioners love to create content, and the tools Becky showed demonstrate how much easier that it is to now, I do question the sustainability of a that model across the FE sector. How can we share all that wonderful content that is being created in various colleges across the country? How can we ensure that the shared content is being utilised effectively and for the benefit of learnings.

We can’t be the only institution who once more will create a series of slides or quizzes on customer service?

I enjoyed Stuart Edwards’ presentation and nice use of this video to prove how social media is having a huge impact on the way we communicate. Glad I didn’t show my video in my presentation as we used the same audio track!

Overall it was a very interesting conference.