I just got a mini stat-attack in from my bud Ron at e-reader-info.com:
DisplaySearch say that shipments of e-paper increased to 5 million units in 2009, up 417% on year from 950,000 units in 2008, mainly due to the popularity of e-book readers.
The Amazon Kindle has 66% of the total e-paper market according to DisplaySearch, which means that they sold 3.3 million units.
Why is this relevant? One word: iPad. Yep, the pancaked-iPhone is bulldozing sales figures, creation of non-Flash content, and aspersions about it’s size along quite nicely indeed, and of course one big piece of functionality is the e-book feature. Of course, whilst one big name does not a market make, the iPad is only going to accelerate things along very nicely – so these stats that we see, well, we can expect them to increase almost exponentially again next year.
e-book readers (at least the dedicated ones) are a bit of a mystery to me, I have to admit – I don’t understand why you’d insist on a digital copy when you have the tactile response, and in fact nice break from using a piece of CE (consumer electronics), that a paper book providers. On top of that, because of the nature of the displays, they are pretty much only good for displaying basic text (though that is changing with the advent of higher-performing colour displays). At the least the iPad improves upon that to a good extent by adding a ton more functionality – but even that has it’s issues (or not, if you’re a fanboi!).
Anyway, the arguments are all moot – clearly enough people are finding the Kindle interesting to make the sales figures quite reasonable, and if Amazon do boost the capability of the nex-gen device they release, I’d suggest they’ll continue those solid figures. But what say you, IntoMobile collective? Do you believe in the power of e-books, wrapped in a single-function device? Or do you gotta be rocking a slate device with an Apple logo? 🙂
You can find out more on the Kindle here.