Using Ereaders And Ebooks In Ireland 2011 Edition – Part Two

IN part two of our series on ebooks and ereaders in Ireland we look at Apple and Easons.


Apple


Personally I’ve never rated Apple’s commitment to books as a category and not just because their recently deceased founder dismissed reading as something people didn’t do any more. More importantly for me ebooks never seemed to have Apple’s wholehearted support, iBooks was originally an optional download on new iOS devices rather than a native app/. But I’m beginning to warm to them.

Firstly they are the only ebook international retailer with a dedicated Irish ebook store. Through their iBookstore I can now see what Irish people are buying, at least what they are buying through Apple. Secondly they have a growing collection of enhanced ebooks that offers more than just reading for those easily bored, Finally they are keenly priced beating Amazon by a few cent on many of the bestselling titles.

Where iBooks falls down is its lack of support for computer reading. Unlike Kindle which facilitates both computer reading AND web reading, Apple does neither, a big let down in their ecosystem. ON the plus side, Apple does use the ePub standard with DRM and so

Device Types: The iOS range is huige and includes iPod’s, iPhones and iPads.

Device Pricing: Basic iOS devices begin at €199 for the iPod Touch and range all the way up to the iPad 2 3G 64GB at €799.

Ebook Pricing: Like Amazon Apple offers a huge selection of free ebooks, both classics and mainstream. Bestsellers trending towards 60-80% of print price especially from big six publishers. Some specialist titles have either parity or more expensive ebook editions. Irish publishers are leaking into the iBookstore slowly but surely.

IPN Rating: 4/5 (Loses 1.5 for lack of computer and web reading, gains .5 for Euro Pricing)


Easons


Unlike both Apple and Amazon, Easons is not a platform, in fact it is only a reseller, in that way it’s offering is more like that of a traditional bookseller.

For all that they have a number of positives in their corner. For one they offer a range of devices and use epub and their supplier of epub files is Overdrive which has a massive catalogue.

Another positive for Easons is that they seem keen to expand into ebooks as rapidly as possible, devoting lots of store space to devices and even offering ebooks prominently on their website. It’s also got a trusted name in Irish homes so I;d never rule out a successful effort on Easons behalf to gain a chunk of the market.

They also facilitate download to computers and reading of ebooks on the Adobe Digital Editions application.

Device Types: Easons offers numerous devices from the cheap and cheerful Elonex to the very attractive Sony Reader

Device Pricing: IN truth Easons has the keenest pricing starting at less than €100 and ranging only up to €250.

Ebook Pricing: The range at Easons is good, but not as vast as at Apple and certainly nowhere near as huge as at Amazon. Pricing is also hampered and ebooks are close to print prices in many cases and sometimes higher though to be fair this is a common problem across ebook retailers and is the fault of the publishers not one just associated with Easons.

IPN Rating: 3.5/5 Easons loses 1 for a poor selection, 1 for poor pricing but gains .5 back for Euro pricing.

Friday will see the final part of these series, tackling, Kobo and everyone else.