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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
Just saw the article about the shift from ereaders to tablets. The headline is, of course, about whether or not the ereader revolution is over.

http://online.wsj.com/article/SB10001424127887323874204578219834160573010.html

"...tastes and technology have moved on. People haven't stopped reading. They are just increasingly likely to read e-books on tablets rather than e-readers, according to a recent Pew Research Center report. The polling firm found that 23% of Americans said they had read e-books in 2012, compared with 16% in 2011."
 

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I personally don't know how people can stand reading on tablets, it hurts my eyes. I love the paper-screen that Kindles have.

But yea, as long as they're still reading I don't see a problem :p
 

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I think it's only natural that tablet sales have increased. Prices are going down. Screens are better. They're getting more and more lightweight. Plus, people use them for many things other than reading, so it's a more multi-use technology. Still, even though I love my Kindle Fire, I found that it became tedious to read on it for too long. Especially in bed at night when it started to feel very heavy :p.

I just got a Kindle Paperwhite and I love it! I don't mind having both a tablet AND and an ereader. I would guess most people who read a lot probably will just get both and use them in different ways. Those who only read occasionally will probably happily read on their tablets.

It's encouraging to see the number of people reading ebooks went up. I agree that as long as people keep reading, I'm happy no matter what device they're using.
 

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This is anecdotal rather than research based, but I think more people read on their phones than on tablets.
 

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Discussion Starter · #5 ·
I like reading on my Kindle best, too. Phone's too small and the battery dies too quickly. Don't have a tablet.

Here's another article about how people are so happy with their ereaders that they're not upgrading. I fall into this category, I'm afraid. :) The author seems to think the lack of upgrading will cause developers to pull back on making new ereaders. Somehow I don't see that happening with Amazon...

http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2013/01/08/ereader-sales-slow-are-you-upgrading/
 

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Sara Rosett said:
I like reading on my Kindle best, too. Phone's too small and the battery dies too quickly. Don't have a tablet.

Here's another article about how people are so happy with their ereaders that they're not upgrading. I fall into this category, I'm afraid. :) The author seems to think the lack of upgrading will cause developers to pull back on making new ereaders. Somehow I don't see that happening with Amazon...

http://blog.the-ebook-reader.com/2013/01/08/ereader-sales-slow-are-you-upgrading/
If ereaders don't hop onto the technological treadmill with constantly "upgraded" versions that sport more bells and whistles at the cost of usability, it's OK by me. How long has it been since the venerable #2 pencil was upgraded? Sales don't have to go up every quarter. It's OK for ereaders to find a market level and sit there.
 

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"It's OK for ereaders to find a market level and sit there."
That level would have to be high enough that content producers would continue to make compatible products, and reader manufacturers could make money.

Ereading systems are pretty primitive today. I'd expect them to take advantage of the power offered by tablets to add more functions. I acknowledge current software works fine for fiction, but it's not nearly as good for nonfiction.

As Mark says below, it doesn't much matter if eReaders add functions and become tablets, or tablets offer eReading functions. The end point is still a tablet regardless of the label.
 

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Don't forget the ereaders are quickly becoming more tablet-like as time goes on. For some, the line already is blurred.

As for anecdotal info, one of my wife's clients today bemoaned the death of her 3-year-old Kindle. When I asked if she plans to replace it, she said there was no need to since she could access all her books on her iPad.
 

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Mark Feggeler said:
Don't forget the ereaders are quickly becoming more tablet-like as time goes on.
So heavier, more expensive, shorter battery life, no buttons to change page and harder to read on because of the backlit screen?

The problem with the e-ink Kindle is that it's hard to beat until the screen or battery technology improves significantly; most of its failings are due to poor software, not poor hardware. So there's no upgrade treadmill as there is with tablets.
 

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A dedicated e-reader is an item of interest primarily to hardcore readers with more than average disposable income. I think we all have ours and we don't need to upgrade unless something changes significantly. I bought a PaperWhite to replace my Kindle 2, but that was because my lifestyle changed and instead of reading in bed with a lamp, most of my reading is now in a room without direct light.

If you read a book once every month or two, I can't imagine buying an e-ink device is really a great investment. A few years ago these folks were reading paper books. Now they've bought a tablet for some other reason and they're buying ebooks on it.

Eventually we'll probably see these two devices slowly converge on each other as e-ink becomes more powerful and tablets become lighter and easier on the eyes.
 

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"So heavier, more expensive, shorter battery life, no buttons to change page and harder to read on because of the backlit screen?"
Could be. Consumers will vote with their wallets.
 

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Katie Elle said:
A dedicated e-reader is an item of interest primarily to hardcore readers with more than average disposable income.
But my Kindle cost a third as much as my Android tablet and a fraction as much as a trendy smart phone. For a hardcore reader with less than average disposable income it's a very good deal.
 

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I have a Kindle at home but I always read on my tablet (a Kindle Fire). The reason is that I can do other things on the Fire too, so I only have to carry one device around rather than a dedicated reader for e-books and another device for other things. I can see people who have tablets using them to read and thinking they don't need to buy an e-reader too. It makes sense that as more tablets are sold, less dedicated e-readers will be sold. However, the market for e-books should grow regardless of the reading devices.
 

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Jan Strnad said:
If ereaders don't hop onto the technological treadmill with constantly "upgraded" versions that sport more bells and whistles at the cost of usability, it's OK by me. How long has it been since the venerable #2 pencil was upgraded? Sales don't have to go up every quarter. It's OK for ereaders to find a market level and sit there.
Agree. I'm going to upgrade my eReader to a paperwhite this year, but constant upgrades aren't needed and it's pretty clear that ereader customers aren't going to go for them. This looks like it will be a market with steady sales although they are still growing just not at the rate they were a year or so ago. It is the heavy readers who buy ereaders and there are a limited number of us. :)
 

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I'd like a tablet for reading news sites and keeping up with things like Kindle Boards, but someone will have to pry my Kindle from my cold, dead hands before I'll give up reading books on it. I hate reading books on a backlit screen. When ereaders first came out, I immediately dismissed them because I thought it would be like reading from a computer screen. Until tablets can also incorporate eink, I'll be sticking with my dedicated ereader for books.
 

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As more people shift to tablets as their primary non-mobile computing device, i expect this to eat into ereader usage, but Amazon (and others) have embraced the multi-platform approach. As long as people keep reading long-form stories, i don't feel concerned.

I personally really enjoy reading on my iPhone. My books are always in my pocket wherever i go. My biggest complaint is the reflectiveness of the front glass, which makes it difficult when in a room with bright overhead lights.
 

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I don't think people are shifting from e-readers to tablets. The article says that people don't feel all that inclined to upgrade their e-reader. On the other hand, it seems that tablet users are more inclined to upgrade. Kindleboards isn't representative of the population as a whole, since it represents the most enthusiastic users of e-books. But among these most enthusiastic users there is a lot of comments like "It's tempting, but I'll wait until my current e-reader breaks." This is somewhat unusual for technology. If this were an iPhone forum, I believe that there would be less reticence toward upgrading.

I also do not believe that the growth in the tablet market is being driven by e-books. With tablets, e-books are just one application among many. The article compares the price of the lowest-priced Kindle Fire to the highest-priced Kindle e-reader. A better comparison would be comparing the lowest-priced Kindle Fire to the lowest price Kindle e-reader, which is about $90. Not chump change. The article does make this comparison, but it is way down at the bottom.

Amazon's not really in the device business, they are in the book business. As long as there are people who want an e-ink reader, Amazon will supply one. If they don't, someone else will.
 

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I don't think e-readers will disappear, or at least not fast.  After all, we still have print books. 

As for e-readers vs tablets, I personally like the size and ink technology of the basic Kindle for reading long books. The Kindle is lighter in weight than my Nexus 7, and it's easier on the eyes.
 

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I will not consider a tablet as my primary reader until the battery life approaches that of my Kindle. And I don't see that happening any time soon.
 

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I resisted getting a kindle for a long time. I had the kindle app on my laptop, desktop and iphone. I shocked myself by actually reading the book I downloaded onto my iphone...I thought I'd hate it and it would be ridiculous...nope, loved it. 

Then I got an iPad and got the kindle app on that, but after three weeks realized the only thing I was actually using the iPad for was reading on the free kindle app. So, I returned the iPad for a MacAir that I love more than any laptop I've ever had...I'd gotten the iPad for work and it just isn't robust enough to do what I need it to do. But it made me want a kindle because I liked reading on iPad.

First kindle got returned because the screen was too dim, that's the original version. I'm just too used to reading on backlit screens, couldn't get used to the darkness of that. But, traded it for the Paperwhite am in mad love and reading more books than ever. I like the feel of it, it's much brighter and you can adjust the brightness. It's also much lighter than an iPad.

I can see why sales might be down as more people are reading on iPads as well and other tablets, but once you get a kindle you like there's no real reason to upgrade yet. I don't think it matters all that much to Amazon though. They are not making a ton of money on the kindles from what I understand, they just want people buying the ebooks, which is why they give out the free kindle apps. Amazon is sharp that way. :)
 
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