However, electronic readers have their shortcomings. Today's technology provides sharp black and white text and pictures that can be read in daylight, but color is not yet available and there's no video, all of which may make the devices unattractive to people used to the Web experience on a PC.
In addition, devices such as the Apple iPhone have software available to read content from newspapers and magazines. While such devices have small screens and lack the crisp text of e-readers, which use technology from the company E Ink, the gadgets may be good enough for many people. Amazon has released a free application called "Kindle for iPhone" that enables people to view e-books they've bought from the retailer.
E-readers also will face competition from other devices. For example, Apple is reportedly planning to release this year a tablet computer with a 10-inch touch screen.
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