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Amazon, B&N, and the silver lining

Amazon and B&N got into a scuffle in the past few days over battery life. The fight seems to have ended, with B&N the victor, so I thought I’d point out one of the side effects I expect to see. (Actually, it’s not over yet. Amazon will likely take some subtle swipe at the Nook touch in their next advert.)

Reactions to this bickering varied from amusement (me) to frustration. Several people I know on twitter were disappointed in Amazon and B&N; they expected better of the companies. But no one seems to have thought about what comes next.

This was a very public fight, and they were fighting over battery life (a measurable statistic). I’m betting that there was enough publicity that Consumer Reports have noticed the events of the past few days. Now, CR have never really studied battery life of ereaders, but they could.

And now I think they will. We’re finally going to have real, impartial battery statistics. That’s the silver lining.

We’re no longer going to have torely on the claims of the marketing departments. (To be fair, a lot of figures were accurate.) Companies won’t be able to pull a trick like Amazon’s and fiddle with a chart.

You might not like the squabbling, but you have to agree that the outcome is a good thing.

image by MrDevlar

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Mike Cane May 27, 2011 um 12:24 pm

I’d rather have CR go into the issue of bad book formatting, editing, proofing!

Nate Hoffelder May 27, 2011 um 12:29 pm

That would be a little harder to do. It would be a subjective, not objective test.

Lorraine May 27, 2011 um 3:00 pm

I think it’s a silly argument. Once you get battery life over a week or two, it’s far better than any other device. It all depends on how often you download purchases, how many purchases, how often you read, etc. anyway.

Things like features, reading experience, and company viability are far more important to me.

Nate Hoffelder May 27, 2011 um 3:06 pm

I wouldn’t use the word silly, but I agree that it’s largely pointless. Once battery life gets up over a couple weeks it no longer affects how you use the device. All the e-reader battery life stats could quite accurately be bundled under "I charge it less often than my cell phone".

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