May 192011

Ingrid Lunden of writes a very interesting post today about the fast growing ereader and tablet market.

Of all the wireless devices that have hit the market in the past several years, tablets present the biggest commercial opportunity for media owners, in terms of what consumers are willing to pay for and consume on the devices. But for now, that opportunity is, at best, a mid-to-long-term one. Research from Nielsen—being presented for the first time today at the paidContent Mobile conference—shows that in the U.S. today, more than 95 per cent of consumers have yet to buy one.

Despite the huge amount of hype that has surrounded the iPad and the many other tablets hitting the market—they include Android-based devices, the recently-launched Playbook from RIM, and the soon-to-come TouchPad from HP — the researches note that as of Q1 2011, only 4.8 per cent of the roughly 12,000 U.S. consumers surveyed have bought one.

That puts tablets, for the last year at least, behind every other wireless device category for the moment for penetration, including smartphones (36 per cent); media players such as iPod (13 per cent); ereaders (9 per cent) and netbooks (8.2 per cent).

Wait a minute.

That puts multifunctional tablets behind dedicated ebook reading ereaders. It has been difficult to get hard figures on the number of tablets and ereader sold from manufacturers, but recent pronouncements by market watchers and other experts have been assuming that the iPad and other tablets have out sold Kindle and other ereaders by a factor of up to tenfold. For example:

  • IDC reported in December 2010, worldwide sales analysis in 2010:
    • Amazon sold 4.2 million Kindle, capturing 41.5 per cent of worldwide ereader sales, which amount to 10.8m ereaders.
    • Apple sold 15 million iPads, capturing 90 per cent of worldwide tablet sales, which amount to 17m tablets.
  • Forrester reported in January 2011, worldwide sales analysis in 2010:
    • 8 million ereader sales.
    • 8.5 million tablet sales.

We are digging Nielsen report, and will provide a update shortly.

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