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Indonesia: Will e-books replace printed books?

E-books have been around for 40 years without posing much of a threat to printed books. But with the growing popularity of dedicated e-book readers like the Amazon Kindle, and the buzz surrounding Apple’s enigmatic iPad, one wonders if the appeal of e-books could skyrocket among Blackberry-mad Indonesians, thereby heralding the death of traditional publishing.

While all kinds of e-books are freely available via the internet, official e-book content in Indonesia remains limited. That could change dramatically within the next two years, as Kompas-Gramedia, the country’s largest media conglomerate, is formulating its digital content strategy.

"We are developing Kompas Gramedia Digital. We are focusing on developing e-book content, not a gadget," says Rio Eka Putra, head of IT & Research at Gramedia, adding that the company is open to creating content for both the Kindle and iPad.