iPhone as Ultimate Reader? Maybe. iPhone as Ultimate Mobile Browser? Definitely.

ReadWriteWeb has a story on emerging options for reading on an iPhone, including TOC Faire exhibitor TextOnPhone titled, "Is the iPhone the Ultimate Book Reader?":

The Kindle does very few things with its black and white screen. It reads books, it checks some RSS feeds and gets the news… that’s about it. The iPhone, on the other hand, lets you do all of that, and pretty much anything else you can do on the Internet. And it’s a phone. And a portable media player.

I don’t think it’s necessarily about a Kindle vs. iPhone choice (personally, I think there’s room for both — and am excited to test that theory with my new Kindle that  finally arrived today, more than a month after ordering it).

But this is another example of the iPhone showing the potential to do something no one else has been able to with a mobile device. Consider mobile browsing: I first tried browsing the Web on a phone five years ago with a Nokia 3650. Ugh. And things really didn’t improve much through successive devices — until the iPhone. I’m now on the Web constantly with my iPhone, and clearly I’m not the only one, with Google recently reporting that 50 times as many search requests come from iPhones than any other device:

"We thought it was a mistake and made our engineers check the logs again," Vic Gundotra, head of Google’s mobile operations told the Financial Times during this week’s Mobile World Congress in Barcelona.

I haven’t kept track of course, but would not be surprised at all to learn that I browse 50x more with my iPhone than all my previous devices combined. If the iPhone can so dramatically change Web browsing habits, it’s certainly conceivable they can do the same with eBook reading.