I finally realized what I think is the proper metaphor for all the new ebook readers coming out (approximately one every nanosecond, not that I’m complaining) whose PR focuses not on the big issues, like format, functionality, etc., but rather on the fact that the readers will be available with seventy bajillion different color covers or cases.
Last year for Christmas, my mother was adamant that the gift she most desperately desired was an iPod shuffle — and not just any iPod shuffle, but specifically an “apple green” one. Being the good daughter that I am, I went out and bought her an apple green shuffle, and also got her the case and better headphones, and set it up for her and showed her how to use and recharge it. Now, coming up on a year later, want to know how much use my mom gets out of her apple green iPod shuffle? SHE’S NEVER USED IT. Not once. I’m sure the apple green color is still beautiful, however, not being marred by anyone’s dirty finger smudges at all.
If the biggest thing you care about in choosing an e-reader is what color the device is, do other considerations matter?
And makers of the e-readers: isn’t it pretty easy to change the color of the skin of these devices? Is that all you’ve got to give us?