Is a phone an e-reading device?

There was a post on Digital Book World today that caught my attention. The headline read: “Apple Pumps Another 60 Million E-Reading Devices Into Market.”

Whoa. Sixty million. Pretty impressive. The problem is, Apple doesn’t actually make a dedicated e-reading device. And, sure enough, buried in the middle of the short piece are the words:

… publishers should be more interested in the 16 million iPads and nearly 44 million iPhones the company sold last quarter. Each one is a potential ebook reading device.

Yes, note those words. “A potential ebook reading device.” While you can arguably read on a tablet sized device, thinking of a cell phone as an reader is a totally different story.

Personally, as someone who defines an e-book reading device as a device designed or purchased primarily for reading e-books, I find the article’s title rather misleading. Few of us actually purchase our phones for reading. I will certainly argue that there is a huge difference between reading on your phone while standing in line at the grocery store and using your phone for your primary e-reader, particularly if you are a heavy reader of e-books. And I say this as someone who owns a large-screen Galaxy Note II that has almost every e-reading app you can think of installed on her phone! While you certainly can read on your cell phone, using it as your primary e-reader for any length of time is a less than satisfying experience.

I would be interested in seeing current statistics on this as the reading landscape is changing.

So, how about you? Do you use your phone as a primary e-reader?

 

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5 thoughts on “Is a phone an e-reading device?

  1. I read on my iPhone when I’m on a car/plane trip or waiting at the dentist or similar, but it’s not my first choice for reading.

  2. I don’t read on my phone, I wouldn’t want to on a screen that small. However, I have noticed, just lately, that a surprising number of book reviews mention that the reader read the e-book on their phone!

    • That is interesting! I guess when your readers are telling you that’s where they read your books, maybe it is worth paying attention to. But I am with you, I don’t want to read on a screen that small. 🙂

  3. Pingback: How do we define an e-reader? | The eBook Evangelist

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