Friday, March 5, 2010


I just came across this article a few days ago. It highlights the results of a survey done just after the Apple iPad announcement. The article (and the link I found it through) make a big deal about how sales of the Apple iPad are going to impact sales of other eBook readers.
...the survey shows Amazon and its e-Reader competitors are poised to take a big hit early on from the iPad's entry into their market.
In fact this emphasis is illustrated in the title of the article - "New Survey Shows Huge Wave of Apple iPad Demand Striking Amazon". As as writer I often shake my head at the preposterous headlines that I come across and this is one of them. The article makes it sounds like the iPad will be a tsunami that will wipe Amazon off the map.

Maybe not. In fact, almost probably not. While the Amazon Kindle does have its flaws - crude design, high pricing, and (perhaps worst of all) a proprietary format, - it also has a lot going for it - Amazon's Whispernet, the automatic link to Amazon, and long battery life, just to mention a few. As the cost goes down (and it will - see my posting on $150 eReaders) and the Kindle and other eReaders improve, these eReaders will be posed as a competitive alternative to the iPad.

In an ideal world, I can see the Kindle and other eReaders supplementing the iPad, extending the reading experience by allowing readers to read books on more than one device. As fantastic as the iPad is expected to be, there will be times when one doesn't want to haul around a $500 piece of electronics. A $150 or, even better, a $99 eReader would allow the reader more options and would encourage reading (and hence book sales).

And that brings me to the final point in all of this.
...the iPad launch is likely to strengthen overall e-Reader demand...
The same survey shows that the third highest use of the iPad (37%) will be reading eBooks.

The larger the market grows, the more opportunities there are for everyone - from readers and writers to publishers, bookstores, and eReader companies. And that is definitely a good thing. So bring on the tsunami - personally I can't wait.


Posted by David Boultbee