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.
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