iRex, Amazon and the entire e-reading category have an even more significant problem: savvy consumers may hold off on buying devices to see whether Apple enters the market with a more general-purpose tablet computer.
Allan Weiner, Gartner analyst
When media historians look back at the early twenty-first century and begin documenting the period when digital print overtook paper print, they will dutifully note there once existed single-purpose devices for the display of digital print. The historians will record that early manufacturers not only abstracted the codex book form with the shape of these devices—thin tablets roughly the dimensions of a trade book—but that they also reproduced the limited function of the codex book, restricting these devices to acquiring and presenting digital print. The historians will note that digital print began its eclipse of paper print only after readers had access to a general-purpose device for the collection and manipulation of digital print, a device with a familiar form factor, intuitive controls, and multiple uses.
Amazon, Verizon, Best Buy, and iRex are all bumping elbows for space in an historical footnote.