Are Cell Phones More Important than eReaders?

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Edward Nawotka of Publishing Perspectives asks this questions in a post today. Or, more accurately, he answers it with his opinion: yes, cell phones–smartphones, really–are more important to the future of eReading on a global scale than dedicated eReaders.

The main factor, he says, is price. “In highly populated growth markets, such as China, India, Indonesia, Brazil, and much of Africa, a dedicated e-reader will remain a very pricey luxury for the foreseeable future; in the meantime, the cheap cell phone and the low-cost, high-speed internet access that comes with it will become nearly universal. If a publisher want to reach readers–especially a new generation of readers–they will have to start there.”

He goes on to call the smartphones a “gateway device” that tomorrow’s readers will use before they even care about building libraries of favorite books. Then he wonders if the global future of reading might take its cues from things like Japan’s cell-phone novels. Aye. What do you think?