The story of the iPad’s first mover advantage in the tablet computer market is now old news. Way back on April 11, 2010 — a mere week after the release of the device — the New York Times profiled all of the other tablets expected to come. The rumors included Google, Nokia, and HP. Microsoft CEO Steve Ballmer now says his company is “hardcore” about the market. For many of the tablets, Windows 7 is going to be the OS of choice.
But what does this mean for the reading experience? Most of these tablets are not going to have the crisp and clean app experience that Apple gives with the iPad and iPhone.
But what about the Android? It’s well known that the Android’s open platform, while rich due to its open source nature, is also messy. Apps can be unreliable and the purchasing environment – something which iTunes does SO well — can be confusing.
Kindle for the PC (which you probably don’t use right now) is doubtless going to be a strong player here — and the PC is somewhere where iBooks has yet to develop to.
But it is also likely that a web-based HTML5 reader and reading experience is going to take hold in a big way. The Kindle platform, while it has some interactive and multimedia elements, is likely not going to be able to support the robust web-like experience that readers have become accustomed to online and are going to want in the products that they read.
If you’ve missed this, you’ve got to see what Sports Illustrated has been working on: