E-readers are dead meat in the face of the iPad and Samsung Tab

Next Story

Open Angel Forum coming to London

Sales of the ‘smartbooks’ category (i.e. like the iPad) are expected to grow from 3.65 million in 2010 to nearly 50 million in 2014, or over 50% of all embedded device sales, according to the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts.

The losers will be dedicated e-readers, the winners: multifunctional portable devices like the iPad and Android-driven Samsung Galaxy Tab.

Their reasoning with this conclusion is that e-book content is now available on most multifunctional devices like mobiles and tablets, and work “well enough” as book readers, while having other functions.

The list of smaller e-reader players experiencing problems is growing longer, like Skiff, iRex and Plastic Logic.

Informa expects mobile broadband e-reader sales will peak at 14 million units in 2013, before falling by 7% in 2014 as the segment faces increased competition from a wide range of consumer electronic devices including cheaper non-connected models, like the Kobo and new Kindle WiFi.

  • Dustin Sherrill

    I don’t think so. I just bought a Kindle. I hate reading on a monitor for any length of time due to eye strain. I like the not having to charge the device every day. I can go to remote places with my kindle without having to worry about battery drain. If I want multi function I use a laptop/netbook.

    • http://Tweetmasher.com Eco_bach

      I don’t read anything longer than a blog post on my iPad. And I plan on getting a kindle at some point in the future. Dedicated ereaders are here to stay!

  • http://www.tweetlighter.com Andrew Stanley

    I love my iPad for the reason that it is multifunctional but with this argument books should be dead too because they only do one thing.

    Reading on the kindle vs my iPad is a much better experience for me and I couldn’t give you any scientific reason why, except for me it just is. Until someone proves otherwise, I still think that there is room for both.

    • Simon

      I totally agree with you. The trouble is that sort of view isn’t sensational enough for interweb nerds to argue over! Curse rationality!!! :)

  • Phil L

    Why does it have to be one or the other? Zero power consumption black & white eInk devices and color display pad computers are entirely different markets.

  • beachmom

    Until a few things happen, I doubt it:

    1. The iPad is too expensive, while the e-Readers inch toward $99. I do not foresee the iPad getting all that much cheaper, especially when you look at iPod prices which are still rather high.

    2. The LCD screen on the iPad makes them less conducive to long form reading. Magazines and newspapers? I’m sure it is nice, but delving into a book for hours on an LCD screen gives many people eyestrain. It is why the Kindle went with e-ink in the first place.

    If the above two problems are fixed, you might have a point, but I doubt we’ll see much progress on either score for quite some time.

  • snark12

    Exactly what category of products is this research report focusing on? To say products “like the iPad” will grow from 3.65 million this year to 50 million by 2014 makes no sense. The iPad itself sold 3 million by June and is widely forecast to sell at least 10 million this year and maybe up to 40 million next year. And that doesn’t even include Android tablets and other devices.

    And they expect the total to drop 7% in 2014? They have some amazing forecasting abilities!

    I call BS on this report or else TC’s interpretation of it.

  • http://www.deutschlern.net Joachim

    and the iPad will be dead meat when Android tablets go mainstream=more affordable

    • Simon

      Not at the reported €759 it won’t!

  • Chris

    Not while I still want to read outdoors on a sunny day.

  • http://qwer.ly Max Niederhofer

    I just sold my iPad. Couldn’t justify lugging it around when I already bring iPhone, MacBook Pro and Kindle on every trip. The Kindle is awesome as a dedicated device.

    – As a $150 device, I can bring it to the beach, read it by the pool, …
    – Its weight makes reading for hours possible
    – Less strain on the eyes
    – No charges for 3G: means I was downloading books in Greece, Spain, Poland this year
    – Kindle software runs on everything, so it’s amazing even if you don’t own a Kindle

    The iPad has a hard time competing with those use cases. Not for heavy tech users anyway, who already have a smartphone and a portable computer. Where it excels is for mainstream users at home, for people who don’t own a computer at all, for people who don’t have app store goodness on their work phone…

    Anyway, I think this research is making these devices out to be in a single category, which they’re really not.

  • http://www.mikes.com Mike

    The only problem I have with standalone ereaders right now is the fact you buy one (either a Nook or a Kindle) and lock yourself into that ereaders bookstore. With the ipad, i can buy an ebook from any of them.

    • zippo

      I think, as Mike said, that in this moment we are living a transition of definition of the future of e-reader devices.
      Maybe in a near future we can enjoy a good mature device that will enclose the original purpose to what it was designed, the function of reading

  • http://www.bdesign.com.au craig

    Ultimately i believe people will gravitate toward a device that suits them & their lifestyle best. The ipad & it’s ilk are just another iteration in a steadily growing paradigm of portable media consumption devices, the beauty of open source OS and ‘closed’ environments like iOS is the choice is there for us to make. I am an avid reader and have been using ereader and the like since around 2002 on the Sony clie’ and actually bought an iphone solely for the book reader. i run stanza and ereader, I want an ipad but not for books… this is what I want, a robust mature environment for technology that encourages a choice of hardware devices with a range of content options. ‘content is king’ everything else is just delivery and opinions will always vary, thus there is no ‘one size fits all’ device, and would we really want to find ourselves with no options to dispute at any rate. what a boring world that would be.

  • http://www.subcorpus.net subcorpus

    After doing some research about price and PDF support, I ended up buying the Amazon Kindle DX. And it is great. It really is a good device. It doesn’t do much, but what is does, it does beautifully. Very nice.

  • Brian

    I don’t agree. If I was able to I would take my Eee PC outside to read in the sun. I can’t because, like other LCD screens, it just isn’t practical. I wouldn’t buy a tablet because I don’t need one. I would like a proper E-ink reader that I can read outside but for me they are too small for my use. They are fine for reading fiction but not so good for technical books where reference to tables and diagrams probably wouldn’t work all that well. I’d have to read in landscape and that would mean only part of a page.
    So, I am waiting for a larger e-ink screen reader (or other new technology). I’d also like colour if the price point permits.
    If Apple brought one out tomorrow would I buy one? NO I would not. I’ve never seen the need to follow trends, I make up my own mind I don’t need a prayer mat and Mr. Jobs to help me.

  • http://eu.techcrunch.com/2010/09/10/the-case-for-the-dedicated-e-reader-when-its-time-to-go-off-the-grid/ The case for the dedicated e-reader: When it’s time to go off the grid

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://www.bjdproductions.com/blog/?p=4429 The Case For The Dedicated E-Reader: When It’s Time To Go Off The Grid | BJD Productions Blog

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://brettmbell.com/2010/09/10/the-case-for-the-dedicated-e-reader-when-it%e2%80%99s-time-to-go-off-the-grid/ The Case For The Dedicated E-Reader: When It’s Time To Go Off The Grid | BrettMBell.com

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://www.startupblock.com/?p=3978 The Case For The Dedicated E-Reader: When It’s Time To Go Off The Grid : startupblock.com

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://www.ynotshare.com/19809/the-latest-from-techcrunch-32/ The Latest from TechCrunch | Y Not Share

    […] in the tech industry: the days of the dedicated e-reader are numbered. Last week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://ndinsider.com/tech/the-case-for-the-dedicated-e-reader-when-it%e2%80%99s-time-to-go-off-the-grid/ The Case For The Dedicated E-Reader: When It’s Time To Go Off The Grid | The New Delhi Insider

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

  • http://www.myce.com/5-reasons-why-tablets-wont-kill-ereaders-anytime-soon-34268/ 5 reasons why tablets won’t kill eReaders anytime soon | MyCE – My Consumer Electronics

    […] speed at which the tablet market is growing has led some to speculate that eReaders are going to be rendered undesirable and eventually die out. I […]

  • http://dvrhdmi.com/2010/09/the-case-for-the-dedicated-e-reader-when-it%e2%80%99s-time-to-go-off-the-grid/ DVRHDMI » The Case For The Dedicated E-Reader: When It’s Time To Go Off The Grid

    […] week we published the latest forecasts from Informa Telecoms & Media analysts that said as much. Sales of ‘smartbooks’ (a […]

blog comments powered by Disqus