I have mentioned several times here on this blog how much I like using my B&N nook, including how nothing I saw at CES could knock it out of my hands. However, I have been thinking quite a bit about this upcoming Apple Tablet device to be announced in a few hours and honestly think it could take the place of the nook as an ebook reader. The revelation last night from McGraw-Hill's CEO that the Tablet runs the iPhone OS actually has me more excited about the device than if it ran the OS X, from an ebook reader perspective.
The iPhone lets me read books from Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Kobo, Fictionwise, and just about every other content source on a single device. I also found that the iPhone offers the best applications for reading and studying the Bible, compared to any other smartphone platform (you can see my reviews of Mantis, OliveTree Bible Reader, and Laridian PocketBible). While all of this excellent content is accessible on the iPhone, the display is quite small and does not offer the best ebook experience while the nook with its larger eInk display is perfect. The upcoming Apple Tablet device will have a larger display than the iPhone and since it runs the iPhone OS it will support all of these applications and content.
I already have a MacBook Pro and do not need another OS X device without a keyboard. Applications are more plentiful and varied on the iPhone OS and the ability to run all these applications mentioned above helps me justify the cost a bit more by offsetting it with elimination of the nook from my collection. I will have to wait and see what is actually revealed today, but the chances are higher that I will be buying one if it runs the iPhone OS rather than OS X.
Granted the new Apple Tablet won't have an eInk display that models the paper experience, but the larger display and ability to have it backlit for use as a reader in bed or on the bus in low lighting may outweigh the eInk clarity. Honestly, I only read for an hour or two at a time and never had issues reading text on my PDAs and smartphones.
UPDATE: OK, I guess I was sucked into the Apple RDF a bit with all the hype. The iPad (what a dumb name) is double the weight of the nook (1.5 pounds versus 12 ounces) and is really just a big iPod touch. I was hoping for something shocking and revolutionary, but am just not seeing it. I am sure it is better in your hands than what we are seeing in photos and it will be an awesome device, but it won't replace my nook. I also find a compelling part of the iPhone and iPod touch to be their pocketable form factor and am not yet seeing the market for a device of this size without a keyboard like a netbook.