discussion Digest, Vol 4, Issue 31

Ron K. Jeffries rjeffries at gmail.com
Wed May 26 15:22:29 EDT 2010

The comment about WikiReader's black and white screen is,
IMO, off base. If your target is very extended battery life, you go
with a low power display such as on Amazon Kindle

As to whether virtual keyboards can be usable, the answer is yes they
can. Wikireader may have a poor implementation, (I have not held one
in my hands). But a LOT of mobile devices use on-screen keyboards
successfully. That is a different issue than whether a given person
much prefers a physical keyboard. Many (including me, most of the
time) like a "real" keyboard.

But as we learned from Wolfgang's trip to Nanonote keyboard factory, a
physical keyboard has a significant cost impact on a small, cheap
device. Assuming the cost to build a Nanonote is about $35, the
keyboard is ten percent of the total. Put another way, the keyboard
costs the same as the SOC.

This is a VERY hard business. I wish Wikireader well. but have a hunch
that the market niche they are chasing is too small and undefined to
support enough sales to recover development costs, never mind future

It's way too early to say the same about Nanonote, which has the
advantage of being a general purpose (if un-connected) computer.

Ron K. Jeffries

On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 02:18, Michael Stevens <mstevens at etla.org> wrote:
> On Wed, May 26, 2010 at 08:40:00AM +0200, Christoph Pulster wrote:
>> > On the other hand, the OpenMoko guys designed
>> > a purpose built WikiReader with killer battery life.
>> > Not sure that has been a success
>> Speaking as the major Openmoko distributor, I sold 20 Wikireader so far,
>> which means a complete fail. The display is B/W, the virtual keyboard is
>> pain, no pictures with the Wiki.
> http://thewikireader.com/ pushes amazon as the way to buy (and that's
> how I got mine), I didn't even know it was sold other places.
> Michael
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