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A tablet from Motorola and Verizon: Good for TV, but how about books?

Motorolamystery
The Financial Times reported Tuesday that a tablet device is on the way from Motorola and Verizon. Although not confirmed by either company, the report has some very specific details -- or predictions -- about the iPad-like device.

According to the report, the tablet will have a 10-inch screen, operate on Google's Android software, and be closely tied to Verizon's FiOS digital pay-television service. The Financial Times points out that the TV connection may be its most important feature: "The Motorola tablet’s integration with TV is a key competitive advantage against rival developers."

Other details: It is expected to have front and back cameras, use wireless and be able to run Flash, which the iPad does not. 

What about books?

Sadly, there is not any mention of books in the report, leaving only questions.

Will Motorola and Verizon introduce their own e-reader app, like iBooks? Would they have to negotiate their own deals with publishers, as Apple did? Could the new device choose to simply run the Kindle app, allowing all its e-book reading and sales to go through Amazon? What other choices do they have?

Or will they focus on TV and leave books to the other guys?

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Image, left: Motorola logo. Credit: AFP/Getty Images

 
Comments () | Archives (4)

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There is already a Kindle and Nook app out for Android.

Unless Motorola or Verizon create their own e-bookstore or e-reader app, they may find it hard to take a cut of any book sales through Amazon (other than possibly via affiliate income).

When telemarketers call someone on a Verizon mobile phone, goods and services are being sold through the company's technology though Verizon doesn't receive any remuneration. (Likely because it is impossible to track such activity). While it is far easier to track electronic sales, the same principal would hold true if Verizon's customers were purchasing an e-book through the Kindle store.

Again, this does not preclude Verizon from entering into affiliate deals or trying out a business model similar to how Video-On-Demand is structured; paying a VOD aggregator and the studio for content after taking their cut.

As you mention, going it alone with their own store and technology would require a lot of effort and could force Verizon to strike their own deals with publishers. Given Verizon's history with such subscription services as V-Cast, I wouldn't put it past them to try their hand at e-book sales.

I don't think I've ever witnessed a company whose product offerings have produced more copycats than Apple.....unbelievable

Other than it's shape--and Apple didn't invent the rectangle--this product has little in common with the iPad. And tablets have been on the market since long before the iPad came along. People, especially the media, need to stop drinking the Apple Kool-Aid. The tech world is much bigger than Apple. I have my doubts about whether Motorola and Verizon can come up with hardware that lasts with good customer support for it, but if they don't others will.


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