Start Date
Place
Notes
Source
1998
US
In 1998 the first portable eBook readers were
introduced. The soft book reader and the Rocket
eBook were the pioneers in portable eBook
reading. Gemstar purchased the rights to both of
these eBook readers and even promoted their
version on Oprah. But with limited book selection,
clashing formats, and high prices even Oprah
wasn't able to usher in the dawn of the earliest
eBook readers.
http://ezinearticles.com/?EBook-Readers-
History-and-Beyond&id=2525643 December
2010
1998
US
The first eBook readers appear in the market:
The Softbook and Gemstar's Rocket eBook
Reader.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
1999
US
In 1999 Franklin introduced the eBookman which
also had a PDA function and could play and
record sounds.
http://ezinearticles.com/?EBook-Readers-
History-and-Beyond&id=2525643 December
2010
2003
International
EBooks stumble as demand remains poor and
paper books remain a steadfast favourite;
Gemstar closes its doors in July, Barnes & Noble
stops selling eBooks at its online store. Critics
say the eBooks trend will not last.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
2004
International
Sony releases the Libriť, the first eBook reader
to utilise eInk (electronic ink) technology. Gone is
the annoying glare from backlit screens in earlier
eBook readers or on PDAs that strain the eyes.
Now, words on the screen have almost the same
clarity as words printed on paper.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
2006
US
Sony introduced their first eBook reader, the
Sony Reader which featured e ink. Sony also has
it's own eBook store.
http://ezinearticles.com/?EBook-Readers-
History-and-Beyond&id=2525643 December
2010
2007
US
Amazon launched the Kindle in the US.What
made the Kindle revolutionary was that it had built
in wireless called whispernet, and was backed by
the large eBook selection of the Amazon store.
Plus, with click of a button you could purchase
and download an eBook in 60 seconds. Because
your Amazon Kindle was linked to your Amazon
account, you didn't have to mess with payments
and credit cards.
http://ezinearticles.com/?EBook-Readers-
History-and-Beyond&id=2525643 December
2010
2007
US
Online book retailer Amazon.com releases the
Kindle, made exclusively for the American
market. The first lot of Kindles sells out in five and
a half hours.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
2008
International
Books on Board (booksonboard.com) starts
selling eBooks for iPhones, the first online eBook
store to do so.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
Oct 2009
International
Amazon.com releases Kindle 2, and ships it to
more than 100 countries (no, Malaysia is not
among them). In this month also, Barnes & Noble
releases its own eBook reader, Nook.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
Dec 2009
International
Five major publishers, Conde Nast, Hearst,
Meredith, News Corp and Time Inc, announce
that they will join forces to develop a format and
an online store to beat Amazon.com' s
stranglehold on the eBook market. And on
Christmas day, eBooks outsell physical books on
Amazon.com for the first time ever.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
Jan 2010
US
At the Consumers electronic show, many new e-
readers from Asus, Sony, Plastic Logic,
Samsung and more, drive a frenzy of attention to
e-readers and eBooks.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
Apr 2010
International
The Apple iPad debuts, and the iBookstore sells
half a million eBooks in less than a month. BENQ
and True Digital Form a partnership in Asia, and
create a new Bookstore, creating a true EBook
conglomerate arises in the east.
http://goodereader.com/blog/electronic-
readers/a-brief-history-of-ebooks/ December
2010
May 2010
International
Penguin Publishing and Amazon have a falling
out, and Penguin has pulled all EBooks from the
Amazon Book Store and has decided to setup
shop with Apple. Google Editions is slated for an
August release that offers publishers and authors
a platform to sell books directly from their
website, having Google host the Book, Checkout
process and more, seeking to change the current
EBook distribution
http://log/electronic-readers/a-brief-history-of-
ebooks/ December 2010
Digital Readers Timeline
Created with Timeline Maker Professional. Produced on 25 Feb 2012.