Ebooks anytime, anywhere

Shortcovers, Indigo Books & Music tells Internet Retailer, is a new division of the company with its own e-commerce infrastructure. Shortcovers in February will launch its web site and a mobile application for the iPhone.

Shortcovers seems to have the right idea.  They’re looking to support the iPhone first, then expand to other smartphones – Blackberry, and phones running Google Android or Symbian.

Michael Serbinis, executive vice president and chief information officer at Indigo Books & Music, says, “Shortcovers is a service for anyone who wants instant access to content with the convenience of having that access from the device they already own.

A software approach is certainly more adaptable to changing markets.  It won’t be long before everyone has some sort of device with them all the time that could be used for reading ebooks and other digital content.  Just because readers using E-Ink are popular now doesn’t mean it will continue.  As mobile phones become more and more like full computers, with larger screens and more powerful processors, and more and more people find that a data plan is just as vital as a voice plan, those same people will realize that any reading they might have done before on paper or on a computer screen can be done on the mobile screen, as well.  The companies that are positioned to take advantage of that before it becomes mainstream will be ahead of the competition.

What isn’t so clear is what exactly they mean by “shortcovers”.  They offer previews – first chapters and things like that – with the focus on mobile devices.  But it’s difficult to see what will set them apart from simply using Amazon.com on a mobile browser.

Article: InternetRetailer.com – Daily News for Tuesday, January 20, 2009.