I agree with this prediction. Tablets and e-readers have very different form factors are dwelver different experiences for reading. We’re in a hybrid environment for the foreseeable future for the mass of patrons we serve.
E-Readers Will Shrink in Popularity But Not Disappear, New Report Says
While tablet growth surges and annual e-reader shipments decrease, there will be a place for the latter device in the foreseeable future, according to a new report.
“There still remains an audience for a dedicated device that replicates the print reading experience,” said Jeff Orr, senior practice director for global devices at Oyster Bay, NY-based ABI Research, the mobile device research firm that produced the report.
See Also: Dedicated eReaders to Survive the Media Tablet Onslaught as a Niche Play (Press Release from ABI Research)
eReaders maintain advantages over media tablets for reading purposes. Electronic paper (ePaper) displays are able to better replicate the print reading experience and are usable in direct sunlight conditions unlike LCD technologies. The eReader battery life of weeks between charging is significantly greater than the media tablet. And of course, eReaders are priced significantly less than entry-level tablets.
Amazon Claims It Has 22 Percent Of The U.S. Tablet Market, But What Does That Mean?
The company also has an event scheduled next week where it is expected to introduce the next generation of the Kindle Fire.
In the press release, it revealed:
“Today, Amazon announced that Kindle Fire is sold out, and that in just nine months, Kindle Fire has captured 22% of tablet sales in the U.S.”
This may be the closest thing to a Kindle sales figure we’ll ever see, given how notoriously tight-lipped Amazon is. But how many did it actually sell?
Luckily, the Apple-Samsung patent trial forced both companies to throw open their books and release U.S. sales figures, which we can use to approximate U.S. Kindle Fire sales. Other than Amazon, Samsung is the largest manufacturer of Android tablets, which are still tiny relative to iPads.
From the fourth quarter of 2011 through the second quarter of 2012, Apple and Samsung together sold 16.7 million tablets in the U.S. The vast majority of those are iPads.
As a baseline scenario, let’s assume that Apple and Samsung took the 78 percent of the market not held by Amazon. That’s highly unlikely, but for sake of argument, that yields 21.4 million tablets sold in the U.S. during this period. Amazon would have sold 4.7 million Kindle Fires in that scenario.
More likely, Apple and Samsung accounted for around 70 percent of the market. In this case, 23.8 million tablets were sold and Amazon sold 5.2 million Kindle Fires in the U.S..
At the high end, if Apple and Samsung only accounted for 65 percent of the market—which was approximately Apple’s global tablet market share last quarter—then 25.7 million tablets were sold in the U.S. and Amazon sold 5.6 million Kindle Fires.”