According to a December survey of internet users conducted by J.P. Morgan, nearly a third(28%, to be exact) of these users either own a Kindle or have plans to purchase one in the next year. This would definitely seem to be held up by the record breaking sales that Amazon reported for the holiday season. Even given the impressive numbers already, and the high expectations for the year to come, it is hard to picture a third of the internet having their hands on any eReader, even the Kindle, but it’s definitely a reassuring number for fans.
In terms of cross market interaction, for lack of a better way to put it, ownership of the iPad seems to have significant crossover with that of the Kindle. The report states that 40% of current iPad owners surveyed already own a Kindle and an additional 23% are planning to pick one up in the next year. While many assumed that Apple’s full-color, multifunction device would be the death of the Kindle due to its versatility, there ended up being less of a Kindle vs iPad situation and more of interest in the unique capabilities of each. And, of course, for those who don’t have themselves a Kindle in hand yet, there’s always the Kindle for iPad app, so all is well in the eReading world I suppose.
The Nook didn’t fare quite so well among respondents. Only about 45% of those surveyed had any knowledge of the product’s existence compared to 76% for the Kindle and 84% for the iPad. While it was still a bestselling product for Barnes & Noble, and it was certainly helped along by the ability to demo the eReader in stores nationwide, as of yet there seems to be no real Kindle vs Nook competition when it comes down to market saturation. Part of the failure to take the edge over the Kindle could be attributed to the increasing availability of Amazon’s eReader in brick and mortar locations such as Target and Best Buy. Regardless, the numbers just aren’t quite there yet for what is widely considered the second-best eReader on the market today.
With eBooks taking off as they have, it’s never been more important for booksellers to be aware of the options available for future endeavors. Amazon has obviously established their place as the most prominent distributor of eBooks on the net, as well as building an excellent variety of ways to view them. Basically, after them everybody else is struggling to catch up. There are some great pieces of reading hardware coming out these days, and some interesting offerings in terms of media, like Google eBook, but the only line that really seems able to hold up both ends of things securely has been the Kindle. It isn’t the only option, of course, but it is the one that best combines convenience of use and purchasing with a great interface and reliable equipment. We’ll have to wait and see where color eReaders take us in the near future, but for now it seems like this would be a hard act to catch up to for anybody.