Mobile Future

Calling Ms. Rowlings

According to Business Week and technolgy uber-sage Walter Mossberg, the word "page turner" may no longer describe a great book.  BusinessWeek reports this week that competitive pricing and the promise of easier access to new content make your mobile phone the ideal option for electronic books.

And Mossberg writes this week about his test drive of two services that turn your mobile phone into a book reader.

Why the interest?  Start with the potential consumer base: According to Business Week, while Sony and Amazon have sold fewer than a million of their e-book readers, there are nearly 300 million mobile phones capable of downloading and displaying book text:

"Phones may not have the large screens and sophisticated technology of [an Amazon] Kindle or a [Sony] Reader, but they have the advantage of being within arm’s length pretty much all the time. They also save consumers the $250 to $360 expense of an electronic reader."

Now look at the pricing, especially for copyright-free content like those classics you were supposed to read in college but never got around to it.  The complete works of William Shakespeare?  They’re free online.  Gulliver’s Travels?  It’s 99 cents on iTunes.

So if you’re stuck on the LIRR coming into Manhattan or waiting for the BART at Balboa Park, there’s no reason ever again to be bored.  You might not be able to watch Brad and Cate in Benjamin Button so read the book.