What are these eBook Readers that everyone is talking about? Let’s get fired up by the latest Kindle! Or is it a Nook you prefer? How about that classic PRS T1? Nope, I’ll have the Apple iPad 2 instead, thank you!
In the past half of decade, the world has been invaded by some devices that replaced the books. They are no larger than the A5 paper, no thicker than a mobile phone and weigh as much as a 500 page book. The trick is they can hold hundreds of thousands of books and through their Wi-Fi, get access to libraries with millions of exemplars. It is true that numerous people still prefer to lie back with an old fashioned hard copy book, but for the purposes of this article, let us refer to those who are keen on the new development in technology.
In the course of 2010, people were only discovering or re-discovering the eBook reader and the number of devices sold in retail was closing up to 13 million. Some sceptics announced that the book will be back and the eBook readers will soon be a thing of the past, although sales seemed to be increasing slowly, but surely. Most predictions were about the supremacy of the tablet, and that it will be the star of 2011, while eBook readers will become obsolete.
So here we are at the end of 2011 and the number of e-ink devices sold so far is of approximately 27.1 million, up by 208% from last year.
The number of tablets sold show why plenty of people prefer the e-readers for their easiness of use, flexibility and lack of software complexity. In 2011, about 12 million tablets were sold, out of which 10 million were iPads. What is the forecast for the years to come? Vinita Jakhanwal, senior manager for small and medium displays at IHS iSuppli Market Intelligence stated: “EBook readers have made great inroads among consumers following their introduction a few years ago, exemplified by the success of the Amazon Kindle and the Barnes & Noble Nook. However, eBook readers’ monochrome displays are being challenged today by the vibrant colour displays of tablet devices like the iPad. EBook readers can increase their appeal by adding colour displays and by focusing on vertical markets like education.”
A recent study realised by iSuppli prognosticates that next year the demand on eBook readers will drop to 37% based on projected shipments and 2015 will bring a strong decrease in demand for the uncomplicated devices. Seems like users prefer the colour display tablets such as the Apple iPad and this is the future of reading: an adjacent feature on a colourful, top notch software, million app device.
In the end, the destiny of our beloved e-readers lies in the educational field. It is definitely an area where tablets could be too much, and the basic eBook reader fulfils all the needed tasks, without providing distractions.
Although the tablet has become the #1 device out there, the eBook reader is alive, blooming and selling like crazy this year. So grab one and enjoy it fully, before the species become – I’m sad to say – obsolete.