They’ve only been around for a few years, but digital book readers may already be going the way of the Walkman. In increasing numbers, tech savvy bookworms are downloading their favorite titles onto smartphones like the iPhone for a fraction of the cost, BusinessWeek reports. For travelers, “bringing an extra piece of equipment loses some of its value,” said an iPhone convert.
Amazon’s Kindle has been sold out since November, but sales of book-ready smartphones in one quarter (36.5 million) trounce the total number of e-readers ever sold (nearly 1 million). Many royalty-free classics go for $.99 or less, and developers are planning ebooks for BlackBerry. “Our job is to help our authors reach the widest audience possible,” one publisher said.