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Steve Jobs, o negócio e a sociologia da leitura

25.02.08

Steve Jobs, em entrevista, disse recentemente que não lhe interessava enveredar pelo caminho dos leitores portáteis; no fundo, que não pretendia operar na indústria editorial uma revolução semelhante à que foi responsável na indústria da música. Segundo Jobs, "the fact is that people don’t read anymore. Forty percent of the people in the U.S. read one book or less last year". Isto é, os níveis de leitura são baixos, o mercado é pouco interessante, nós não estamos interessados.

Pegando nestas afirmações, que surgiram no contexto de um comentário que foi pedido a Jobs sobre o Kindle, Timothy Egan apresenta no N.Y. Times um artigo de enquadramento e comentários às afirmações do CEO da Apple, que pode ser lido aqui.

«Yes, the act of reading takes some effort, unlike the passive act of using the products Jobs has created, which involves little more than directing eyeballs to a flat patch or putting a plug into the ear. True, reading is down, somewhat, from 1992, especially reading of literature. So what? People are eating fewer vegetables than they used to – or should – but that doesn’t mean carrots have no future.

(...)

Most companies would kill for a market like that – more than one-fourth of the world’s biggest consumer market buying 15 or more of its items a year. And half the population bought nearly 6 books a year. If only Apple were so lucky. The latest Harry Potter book sold 9 million copies in its first 24 hours – in English. “The DaVinci Code,” a story of ideas even with its wooden characters and absurd plotting, has sold more than 60 million copies.

By contrast, Apple reported selling a piddling 3.7 million of the much-hyped iPhones through 2007. Is the iPhone dead? Of course not. But what should be dead are foolish statements about how human nature itself has changed because of some new diversion for our thumbs.»

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