Since its launch on 3 April, Apple iPad sales have by far outstripped sales of Apple iPhone in the US as 1 million units were sold in the first 28 days. However, there is more good news for Apple as a consumer survey has measured a 50% increase in consumer interest in May 2010 as compared to two months before the launch, in February 2010 (ChangeWave Research).
In the May 2010 survey of 3175 people, a small cohort of 245 consumers who already owned an ebook reader was identified. When this group was questioned about the type of device that they owned it was noted that Amazon Kindle was owned by 62%. Within one month of launch, Apple iPad was owned by 16%. Following behind are the Sony Reader at 7%, a Smart Phone with ebook capability at 7% and the Barnes and Noble Nook taking 3% share. Other devices make up 7% of the remaining share.
eBookReaderGuide.com notes that the survey provides a rare snapshot of Amazon Kindle’s share of the dedicated ebook reader market. In May 2010, Kindle had 86%, Sony 10% and Nook 4% share.
So has the Kindle Killer finally arrived? To answer this question eBookReaderGuide.com took a closer look at the results of the survey.
If these findings are extrapolated they give a good indication of the iPad’s rapid impact and has proven that it’s ready and set to shake up the ebook reader market. The dominating ebook reader by a broad margin is the Amazon Kindle, a dedicated ebook reader, that has had a major stronghold on the market for 2.5 years.
The survey measured that magazine and newspaper readerships are about 3 times higher amongst iPad owners compared to other ebook reader owners. eBookReaderGuide.com believes that the iPad’s large color touchscreen display is a key factor that has made newspaper and magazine reading more attractive. Dedicated ebook readers on the other hand provide an e-ink display. Whilst perfectly suited for reading most ebooks and texts, monochrome ebook readers are disadvantaged when displaying color pages. We believe that newspaper and magazine reading could become a principal use of the iPad.
In addition, an iPad user survey measured that 33% of users have placed ebook reading as one of their top five activities on the iPad. The most common uses were measured to be surfing the internet (83%); email access (71%), Apps from the Apple Store (56%) and watching videos (48%). eBookReaderGuide.com notes that the early adopters of the iPad may not be fully representative of the ebook reading community.
It would be interesting to get further insight into how the iPad’s position as an ebook reader changes in the future as the device becomes a well established gadget of many households and users from a wider cross section of generations learn how to interact with the iPad. It is still early days, and buyers across the globe are in a frenzy about acquiring the iPad as the demand in the US alone is exceeding the supply.
The attractive color LCD touchscreen on the iPad makes it more conducive to activities other than ebook reading and it would be of value to assess if the iPad takes off as an ebook reader in the long-term. The Kindle application for the iPad will certainly allow iPad fans to enjoy the wider selection of ebooks, newspapers and magazines available at the Kindle Store compared to the Apple iStore. With the iPad there is so much potential for it to be used by children who enjoy reading illustrated books.
So, has all of the excitement about the Apple iPad amongst consumers worried those with a vested interest in Amazon Kindle? Not so it appears. At an annual meeting of Amazon shareholders on 25 May 2010, CEO Jeff Bezos responded to a shareholder who asked about the iPad by saying, “The Kindle will compete with these LCD devices like the iPad by being a very focused product. Serious readers are going to want a purpose-built device, because it’s an important activity for them.” He further added, “It’s like the difference between a camera built into a cellphone and a stand-slone camera. If an activity is important, you get dedicated devices.” Another shareholder asked Bezos when the Kindle would be available with a color screen. “A color Kindle is still a long way out”, he responded.
eBookReaderGuide.com will be reporting on further developments of iPad, Kindle and other ebook readers and what consumers think about the reading experience on these devices; will the iPad be acceptable for reading outdoors like the e-ink based devices and/or for long duration reading? If you have any views that you would like to share just let us know here at eBookReaderGuide.com.
Check out our eReader comparison tableto see how the iPad, Kindle and other ebook readers compare with each other. If you decide to commit to buying a Apple iPad as a reading device for business, home or holidays you can combine functionality and style with an iPad cover or case. eBookReaderGuide’s compilation of the Top 10 iPad Covers and Cases will inform you of the most highly recommended products to safeguard your investment.