E-reader sales expected to hit wall in 2014
iPad tablet, other devices with e-book content will cap e-reader sales
Computerworld - E-readers like the Kindle and Nook are surging in popularity, but their sales will hit a wall in 2014 in the face of competition from a wide range of consumer electronics devices, including the iPad, according to a London-based analyst firm.
Sales of dedicated e-reader devices are expected to soar to 12.2 million in 2010, up from nearly 5 million in 2009, Informa Telecoms & Media said today. Sales will continue to grow to a high of 14 million in 2013, but they will drop off 7% to 13 million the following year, Informa said.
"Overall, Informa is skeptical about the sales growth for mobile broadband e-readers," said Informa analyst Gavin Byrne.
Today's e-readers, with mostly black-and-white e-ink displays, offer a good reading experience, are highly portable and have solid battery life, but they face stiff competition. They are "under threat from the availability of electronic book content on multifunctional devices such as mobile phones, tablet computers, netbooks and other portable consumer electronic devices," said Byrne.
The iPad, which becomes available in the U.K. this week, will be "perhaps the highest-profile competition for dedicated e-readers," Byrne said.
As the e-reader market matures, Byrne predicts the devices will evolve into two groups: One will be made up of lower-price devices with few features and no wireless connectivity, and the other will include more expensive devices with advanced features.
The low-cost e-readers of the future could be used with a PC or USB dongle to access content, he said. Possible examples of such devices include future iterations of the low-cost Kobo e-reader, which is currently available for $149.
At the higher end, devices that today are dedicated e-readers could evolve into tablets like the iPad, making them more like smartbooks than e-readers. Byrne said an example of an early step in that direction is Barnes & Noble's recent upgrade of its Nook software. Nook Version 1.3, which the bookseller transmitted to users wirelessly, includes games and a beta of a basic Web browser.
The Nook's software upgrade, according to a description in a Nook blog, includes a feature that allows users to read selected books inside a Barnes & Noble store for up to an hour a day at no cost. Other improvements include a faster page-turn speed and enhanced touchscreen navigation on the color panels at the bottom of the device.
Matt Hamblen covers mobile and wireless, smartphones and other handhelds, and wireless networking for Computerworld. Follow Matt on Twitter at @matthamblen, or subscribe to Matt's RSS feed. His e-mail address is email@example.com.
Eye on e-books
- E-reader decline prompts user debate over e-reader vs. tablet
- Last chapter for e-readers?
- Nook Simple Touch with GlowLight: An e-reader for night readers
- Bluefire launches Android-ready e-reader software for independent booksellers
- More Americans own e-readers than tablets, survey finds
- First look: The Kobo eReader Touch Edition
- Amazon: E-books now outsell print books
- Creating an e-book: Tips on formatting and converting your document
- Kindle for the Web demos at Chrome event
- Update: Amazon to demo Kindle for the Web on Tuesday
Read more about Mobile/Wireless in Computerworld's Mobile/Wireless Topic Center.
- Best iPhone, iPad Business Apps for 2014
- 14 Tech Conventions You Should Attend in 2014
- 10 Desktop Apps to Power Your Windows PC
- How to Add New Job Skills Without Going Back to School
- Slideshow: 7 security mistakes people make with their mobile device
- iOS vs. Android: Which is more secure?
- 11 sure signs you've been hacked
- OpenStack Hype vs. Reality: CIO Quick Pulse Open-source architecture can enable IT departments to build infrastructure-as-a-service (IaaS) clouds running on standard hardware.
- The Critical Role of Support in Your Enterprise Mobility Management Strategy Most business leaders underestimate the importance of tech support when they choose an EMM solution. Here's what to put on your checklist.
- Separating Work and Personal at the Platform Level: How BlackBerry Balance Works BlackBerry® Balance™ separates work from personal on the same mobile device, right at a platform level. Find out how it can work for...
- Protection for Every Enterprise: How BlackBerry Security Works Get an IT-level review of BlackBerry® Security, addressing data leakage protection, certified encryption, containerization and much more.
- Live Webcast On-demand webinar: "Mobility Mayhem: Balancing BYOD with Enterprise Security" Check out this on-demand webinar to hear Sophos senior security expert John Shier deep dive into how BYOD impacts your enterprise security strategy...
- Live Webcast Unmasking the Differences between Consumer and Enterprise File Sync & Share The consumerization of IT combined with the rapid pace of the modern mobile workplace is forcing enterprise IT teams to evaluate file sync...
- Live Webcast Workforce Mobilization for Improved Productivity A mobility research director from Aberdeen discusses reasons for extending legacy applications to mobile devices, and an integration strategist from Attachmate shows how...
- Getting Ready for BlackBerry Enterprise Service 10.2 Find out how BlackBerry® Enterprise Service 10 helps organizations address the full spectrum of EMM challenges, while balancing the needs of both the...
- Containerization Options: How to Choose the Best DLP Solution for Your Organization This webcast outlines a framework for making the right choice when it comes to containerization approaches, along with the pros and cons of... All Mobile/Wireless White Papers | Webcasts
As emerging technologies evolve they often find an initial niche in highly specialized scenarios, or in specific industry verticals, before expanding to wider areas of applicability. Within these initial niches, the early adopters can be anything from digital enthusiasts to fashionistas, or they can be folks simply using the technology because it serves a specific need extremely well. (free registration required) more