Tuesday, August 11, 2009
Consumers Not Convinced They Need E-Reader
by Mark Walsh, Online Media Daily, Friday, August 7, 2009,
With the success of Amazon's Kindle reigniting competition in the e-reader market, the question of when the devices might join cell phones and digital cameras as mainstream consumer gadgets is once again raised. Findings from a new NPD Group report suggest it won't be overnight.
The study found that 40% of those surveyed were only "somewhat interested" or "not interested at all" in buying an e-reader. How come? Of those who don't want one, 70% said it was because they prefer the feel of an actual book.
Among the 37% who were either "very" or "somewhat" interested in obtaining an e-reader, one of the main factors was the ability to buy and store multiple books, magazines, and newspapers. More than half of consumers were interested in features already offered in current devices like the Kindle's wireless capability and the Sony's Reader's touchscreen.
"Today's e-reader offerings are delivering capabilities that are in demand by consumers," said Ross Rubin, director of industry analysis at NPD, in a statement. "However, some features that could enhance the appeal of more popular content, such as color, remain on the drawing board."
Sales of the Kindle have been difficult to pin down since Amazon has not provided figures, but Citi analyst Mark Mahaney has projected that the second-generation of the device could sell up to 1 million units in 2009. That would be more than double the estimated 400,000 the original sold. Last month, Amazon cut the price of the Kindle 2 from $359 to $299 in a bid to accelerate adoption.
Upping the ante, Sony on Tuesday introduced two new versions of its Reader: a $199 pocket edition and a larger $299 model with an improved touchscreen. It also dropped the price of new releases and bestsellers from $11.99 to $9.99, matching Amazon's e-book pricing.
The full piece here.