The E-Reader Market
of the Future
he buzz about the e-reader market can make it easy to forget advertisements. In April, News Corp. announced it would be
t that these “new” devices have been in the works for decades.
When the guy from Omaha sitting next to you on the plane
investing in a large-screen mobile device for reading newspapers.
CEO Rupert Murdoch indicated it would help publishers establish
raves about his Kindle, it’s clear the e-reader movement is upon ways to profit from the digital delivery of content.
us. Consumers seem to be embracing e-readers, and publishers John Horrigan, Ph.D., associate director for research at the
are churning out content for them, so what does the future of Pew Internet & American Life Project, describes the potential
these devices look like? market for e-readers as the roughly 8% of the general public
The Kindle is probably the best-known device on the market, but who are “digital collaborators” and tend to be early adopters.
it’s not the only game in town. Its competition currently includes, or “These are folks who are willing to put the Kindle in their bag
is soon to include, Sony Reader Digital Books, STAReBOOK, along with the iPhone, or iPod and cell phone, and maybe
Bookeen Cybook Gen3, Fujitsu FLEPia, Readius, and Onyx another device. They are passionate enough about it to be
Boox, among others. By January 2010, Plastic Logic, Ltd. will be willing to add another electronic device to their growing pile of
introducing its version of an e-reader to the market. At 8.5''x11'', it devices.” The typical digital collaborator is highly educated, in
is designed to replicate the magazine and newspaper reading his or her 30s, and has a comfortable income, Horrigan says.
experience. Amazon announced the release of the Kindle DX, a He adds that although the market is moving in the direction
larger—and more expensive—version of its e-reader, on May 6. of an all-in-one digital device, it will take a while for that to be
“The Sonys and Amazons are showing us that there is a a reality. “It depends on the confluence of a number of things—
market,” says Daren Benzi, vice president of business you need available high speed wireless networks, so you need
development for Plastic Logic. “They are both good devices. But a lot of coverage in addition to devices that have the ability to
they started with a leisure book reader, and we’re starting from store a lot of content and display it in a friendly manner.”
the opposite side and focusing on the business professional first.” Applications such as Stanza, a free reader app for the
The Plastic Logic device will support a variety of document iPhone, may be getting close to making the all-in-one device a
formats, including Microsoft Word, Excel, and PowerPoint, as reality. Certainly the big players were taking notice; it was
well as Adobe PDFs. Althoug