Saturday, November 20, 2010

35% of Owners Do Not Read E-Books on Their iPads

Simba Information, in its "Book Publishing Report," estimates that 35% of iPad owners do not use the device as an e-book reader.  Why is anyone surprised?  Simple common sense would say that iPads are being purchased for multiple purposes, most of them related to on-the-run, wireless access to the internet.  That the iPad also functions as one of the better e-readers out there, is an afterthought for most customers - a nice little bonus for those who still read books regularly  (and that is likely to be less than 35% of the population, I suspect).

What this finding does do is shoot down some of those statistical reports that have counted every new iPad sold as the sale of another e-book reading device, meaning that sales of the "generic reader" have been effectively overstated in recent months - and that the Kindle, Nook, and Sony Reader probably have not lost as much market share as had been thought.  On the other hand, a case saying that every sale of an iPad makes the sale of a Kindle, or one of the other readers, less likely, is still correct.  Those two-thirds of iPad users who read e-books on them are not likely to spring for a separate, one-function device to do the same thing.  The other one-third do not seem to be book readers anyway (or they surely would use the iBooks reader to do so), so they were never in the market for an e-book reader in the first place.

In my own case, I've sampled a few dozen pages on the iBooks software and have enjoyed the experience well enough to loan my Sony Reader out to my 11-year-old daughter on a more or less permanent basis.  She's thrilled - and I am happy to see her excited about reading some of the Jane Austin books that are on the device.

And, in an unrelated side note, I was disappointed to learn this morning that my local library is canceling Sunday hours as of December 1, all because of the drastic cuts the county is making to its 2011budget.  That means that Saturdays, already overcrowded and noisy, are going to be unbearable in the future.  I just can't wait.


  1. I have thought about saving my $$$ for an iPad and I would definitely use it as a reader too. A friend has one and the book reader is phenomenal on it. I am currently babysitting my son's Kindle while he's a bootcamp and I'm loving it!!

  2. I've looked at the Kindle app on iPad but have not had an actual Kindle in hand. After seeing all the other apps now, i'm really disappointed in the Sony Reader. I'm still loving my iPad but haven't gotten into reading a book on it yet.

    Enjoy the Kindle...

  3. I've heard the iPad is a bit heavy for extended book reading. I'll be interested in what you say about that once you get around to reading on it.

  4. I've had the Kindle for about 2 years and absolutely love it; would like to get the newer version just because it's a bit lighter... maybe a Christmas present from the kids!

  5. Library Girl, it's a bit heavier than the other readers, for sure. But combined with a "cover" that transforms easily into a reading stand, it's a snap to read from an iPad. Really, though, I've held it for extended periods of time and haven't tired out. It might be different for women and their smaller frames and bone structure, though...don't know.

  6. There you go, Gaston...a word in Santa's ear never hurts.

  7. Sorry to hear about your library's cuts. I fear we'll have similar news here in Birmingham, next year.

    Congrats on the iPad though! I had trouble reading on mine until I found the right case. It has an elastic strap on the back so the iPad stays snug on my hand, regardless of my reading position and/or movement.

    Also, I know Sony is working on a Sony Reader iPad app and the OverDrive Library ebook app will be out soon...
    but if your library lends epub books (like ours does) then you need to try the free BlueFire Reader app (you still need to sign up for the free Adobe Digital Editions reader too). I'm checking out free ebooks from the library at all hours. It's getting out of hand! But so much fun.