Earlier this summer, I endorsed the prediction that we'd see sub $100 eReaders from the likes of Amazon, etc. by the end of the year. Maybe. Welll, you can now forget that "maybe" as far as I'm concerned. Amazon announced this week that it's Kindle line will now be starting at $139, by next month. There's a no-name eReader brand (Copia) that will soon be out for $99 (here we are!).
eReader prices are sinking like a stone. I believe they are destined to be just software apps on other all-in-one devices like the iPad, other near-future tablets coming out, and smartphones. There's no need for them to have their own hardware. It's happening faster that I even expected.
eReaders are not alone. With the advent of powerful smartphones and now touch tablets coming into play, the trend is clear: all-in-one devices are in and multiple devices are just stupid.
Here's my top five list of gadgets destined to go the way of the 8 Track player.
1. eReaders (as mentioned)
2. DVD Players (including Blu-Ray): This will take a little longer because so many have so much invested in their collections. But the younger generation coming up has less of an issue with that.
3. Point and Shoot Cameras (including video): Who wants to carry around a mobile device AND a digital camera? Meanwhile, the quality of cameras on smartphones just get better and better.
4. GPS Devices: again, this is a piece of software that can house just as easily on a smartphone. Why do I need mutliple devices for this?
5. iPods/MP3 Players: see above.
Other gadgets I would also say are suspect for the same reasons; portable gaming devices and even lower end video cameras (like the Flip Camera).
The only caveat I would add to portable gaming devices is that for younger kids who wouldn't likely have their own smartphone, it makes sense to still have a stand-alone gaming device.
Last updated: Jul 30, 2010
RENEE ORICCHIO is a technology writer and former supervising news producer for CNN Financial News. She has been covering the computer industry since 1987. @oricchio