Apple’s iPad is Impressive, but Kindle Not Dead Yet

Mon, 02/22/2010 - 12:21am

Apple's iPad is Impressive, but Kindle Not Dead Yet

Apple's iPad announcement is big news.  It's a robust tablet form factor that is a half-inch thick and weighs 1.5 pounds, with a 9.7-inch capacitive touchscreen IPS LCD display that supports 1024x768 VGA video.

The ebook implementation is everything one would expect.  The application can be downloaded from the App Store and the content is managed by the “iTunes” platform, so it seamlessly integrates e-book with the other popular personal content.  All iBooks are stored on your Bookshelf. As you would expect, all books are displayed on a sharp, color screen with many personalization options.

However, just because iPad has launched and is an impressive device, In-Stat ( cautions individuals who are quick to write off the e-reader segment.  The market, which includes e-readers like the Amazon Kindle and the Sony E-Reader Daily Edition, has firmly established itself in the US market; there is plenty of room for growth that new features such as e-mail and Web connectivity will drive.

Overall, the e-reader market continues to heat up as Amazon aggressively markets its Kindle lineup, Sony expands its offerings, and new market entrants continue to crawl out of the woodwork.  Additional market drivers include international expansion of e-book availability, anticipated price declines, and the electronic distribution of newspapers.

In the short term, though, I don't see the iPad demolishing Kindle sales.  Today's e-reader customers are looking primarily for a seamless e-book discovery+purchase+download experience. In other words, they're buying Kindles to read.  Sure, the current generation of e-readers can support a number of other functions, like PIM and other computing functions, but fundamentally, customers are purchasing Kindles and Sony E-readers for a revolutionary reading experience.

Future generations of e-readers are expected to evolve in such a way that the line between e-readers and tablets will blur substantially.  The immediate impact the iPad has on the Kindle is that the iPad is going to ignite the tablet market.  Therefore, the blur between tablets and e-readers starts within the year, and will impact the outlook for future Kindle, and all e-reader, sales.

Recent research by In-Stat found the following:

  • Amazon is the leading brand of e-book owned.

  • Worldwide e-reader shipments are expected to reach 28.6 million units in 2013, up from 924,000 in 2008.

  • The largest percentage of e-book owners (45.5%) is spending between $9 and $20 a month on e-book content.

  • Eleven percent of total survey respondents said they planned to purchase an e-book over the next 12 months.

This Market Alert is drawn from the In-Stat research,   Electronic Book Survey: US Consumers' Attitudes and Behaviors Toward the Burgeoning E-Book Market (#IN0904571ID), which covers the US market for e-books with results from a US consumer survey. It includes:

  • Examination of consumer attitudes towards e-books.
  • Preferences of current and potential users.
  • Data on how much consumers are willing to spend on e-book devices.
  • Habits of current e-book users including monthly spending estimates.
For an interview or a free sample of the report and more information, please contact Elaine Potter at: or (480) 483-4441

To purchase it online, please visit:

The price is $1,495 (US).

This research is part of In-Stat's Portable Entertainment Devices service. It provides comprehensive analysis of the market for the hottest portable consumer electronic devices, such as portable media players, handheld gaming consoles, and personal navigation devices, and coverage of emerging devices, such as electronic books, digital radio, and electronic edutainment toys. The service also provides insight into the technologies, consumer requirements, and business models driving current and future demand.

Related In-Stat research:

Wireless Delivery of Digital Content Propels E-Book Adoption

Mobile Processor Review: The Battle for the Next Generation Consumer Devices

Worldwide PMP/MP3 Player Shipments Plateau as Market Succumbs to Competition From Emerging Connected Device Segments

Wi-Fi Represents Strongest Opportunity in Global Connected Digital Photo Frame Market

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