Home » Ebooks » Many Thought the Tablet Would Kill the Ereader. Why It Didn’t Happen.

Many Thought the Tablet Would Kill the Ereader. Why It Didn’t Happen.

29 February 2016

From eMarketer:

When Apple introduced the iPad in 2010, many thought it would make dedicated ebook readers obsolete. But six years later, it turns out that didn’t happen. In fact, both categories are still growing.

In its latest forecast on ereader and tablet usage, eMarketer predicts the number of ereader users will grow this year by 3.5%, to 86.3 million people. While eMarketer has lowered the growth rate for ereaders since its last forecast, there is still room for growth in US usage.

Ereader usage continues to grow, as some consumers prefer them to tablets and phones for reading books. Ereaders often have a longer battery life, glare-free screens that make them easier to read, and lower price points.

“There is a subset of consumers, particularly those 65 and older, who are looking for an affordable portable device that provides an enjoyable reading experience,” said eMarketer senior analyst Cathy Boyle. “Ereaders’ lower price point and single-focus functionality are attractive to those consumers.”

Link to the rest at eMarketer and thanks to Nirmala for the tip.

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23 Comments to “Many Thought the Tablet Would Kill the Ereader. Why It Didn’t Happen.”

  1. And then there’s some of us (regardless of age) who have both devices and use them for different things at different times.

    • Yep.

      And laptops and desktops, too.

    • Yup. I have an E-ink reader, but generally only use it outdoors. My tablet gets a lot more use.

      BTW, since when does the e-reader have a lower price point? Low-end tablets have generally been cheaper for years. I paid less for mine, but only because I bought a refurbished one after the model was discontinued.

      • Low-end tablets tend not to have very good screens.

        And my iPad cost 5x as much as my e-ink Kindle. Actually, the Kindle was damaged in a fire last year, and I haven’t got around to replacing it as I mostly read on my phone these days. I should keep an eye out for cheap Kindle deals on Amazon.

        • Amazon’s $50 Fire tablet has 171 pixels per inch. Their cheapest E-ink reader is $79.99 and has 167 ppi and a smaller screen.

          An iPad isn’t really comparable when it comes to price. Apple doesn’t do budget products.

        • Edward, Contact Amazon Customer Service about replacing your Kindle. When I had problems with mine, they offered me a refurbished replacement cheap, cheap, cheap. They do not advertise these.

  2. Ereaders often have a longer battery life, glare-free screens that make them easier to read, and lower price points.

    I like the fact that my Kindle Touch is NOT back-lit. I do hope e-readers without backlighting don’t go extinct.

    • Not meaning to be a techo weenie, but Kindles and Nooks are not “back-lit”. The light is channeled through the screen from the edges, and bounces down and reflects out. Just like the light shining on an older Kindle screen, or the page of a book. It’s no harsher on the eyes than an older Kindle, or book page. I have multiple Kindles of varying generations, and I love the lit one best. P.S. You can always just turn the light off and it acts like an older Kindle, with all the updated features.

  3. Most of my reading (and writing) is done on the screen I’m using right now. A good sized screen and wireless keyboard/mouse plugged into a laptop. Doctor’s appointment? Unplug toys from laptop and away we go. But one major downside to the laptop is its screen, mirror smooth, so any lights behind you are reflected into your eyes. If I’m in a writing mood I’ll get a creak in my neck and sore hands/arms trying to angle it so I don’t see the back/overhead lights — or I give up on writing and just pull out the kindle and read …

  4. I have read on computer screens, tablets, and cell phones. All have their place and function. In my personal opinion a stand alone e-reader gives the best book like experience. On the other devices it is so easy to just check your email, or your favorite website, Facebook, etc. But that quick check soon balloons into lost book reading time, plus they are harder on my eyes for long form reading. Just my two cents. Which ain’t worth much.

  5. I’m still shocked that e-ink readers haven’t hit the “free” price point yet. From the moment they came out, it seemed to me like the greatest utility would be as a loss leader to increase book sales.

    • Especially when the cheapest Kindle color tablet is now $50 (and sometimes on sale for even less), it is surprising that a basic Kindle ereader is not cheaper or free.

    • I thought the same. Give it another Kindle Generation or so, and I bet you get a basic Kindle free with Prime. That will cover a lot of people who might never actually push the “buy button” for one themselves. It might even eventually drive more sales of higher end Kindles.

      • The $50 Kindle Fire is a nice bit of hardware, at least for the price. I wouldn’t be surprised if this was already being sold for some amount of loss.

        • I’m sure it is at least break even. I really look for them to offer it, or an e-ink Kindle with Prime in the next few years.

  6. I took advantage of the Kindle trade-in offer Amazon’s been offering. Today I got an email saying they’re giving me $33.60 for the old Generation 5 model. It’s applied to my account via a gift card. In addition to that, I can get $20 off a new Kindle if I buy it by midnight tonight (hard sell, eh?). Not bad: %53.60 knocked off the price, and I’ll get triple points on my Amazon credit card for the purchase. Now I’m trying to rationalize why I need a second Kindle Voyage.

    • Now I’m trying to rationalize why I need a second Kindle Voyage.

      You know those women who keep shoes and accessories in their desk drawers? You need a second Kindle in your drawer at work in case you forget to put the first one in your purse that morning.

      Or, depending on the level of adventure in your life, perhaps another Kindle for a go-bag, in case you have to flee assassins at a moment’s notice. I always like to imagine characters ensuring they have reading material whenever such scenarios come up in books or movies. Fake passports, check. Nifty weapon, check. Wads of cash, check. Kindle, check 🙂

      Always have a book handy. That’s my motto, and it’s served me well 🙂

      • I don’t work, but the assassin rationalization is excellent. Maybe I need to hit that buy button…

  7. The thing that puzzles me is their claim that e-readers are experiencing growth. But if you look at other statistics, like these from Statista, you’ll see e-reader sales peaked in 2011 and have been going considerably downhill ever since.

    How does one reconcile these things?

  8. I really love reading on my Paperwhite. No eyestrain. Lightweight. Charge holds for a long time. I read exclusively on it.

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