Amazon.com's Kindle and other e-readers are now owned by nearly one in 10 Americans, according to new survey data from Harris Interactive. Amazon's new ad campaign targets the iPad.
Eight percent of Americans use an e-reader, according to new data from
Harris Interactive. On top of that, the research firm's survey found that 12
percent of respondents who do not currently own an e-reader are likely to
purchase one within the next six months.
The Harris Poll questioned 2,775 adults online between Aug. 9 and 16. The
survey also found that 53 percent of people with e-readers read more books in
the previous six months-a substantial jump from the 18 percent of people
"With eReader sales expected to continue to climb and as more devices
now become available, it is inevitable that reading habits of Americans will
also change," reads
a note accompanying the results
. "This early evidence is pointing to
something good-people seem to be reading more if they have an eReader, which is
something the publishing industry, which has been in decline over recent years,
is sure to celebrate."
That survey comes as e-reader manufacturers are stepping up their marketing
ahead of the holiday shopping season. Amazon.com, whose Kindle e-reader
dominates the segment's mindshare (if not its market share), recently
kicked off a new ad campaign showing off the device's versatility and price point
The Kindle will also appear in Best Buy stores starting this fall, where it
will compete against Barnes & Noble's Nook and the Apple iPad.
The WiFi-only version of the Kindle retails for $139, while the
next-generation version with 3G connectivity retails for $189. Amazon's recent
tweaks to the device include a higher-contrast e-ink screen, longer battery
life, Wikipedia access, support for password-protected PDFs and a lightweight
body capable of being held in one hand.
Although Amazon, Barnes & Noble and smaller e-reader manufacturers have
engaged in something of a summer price war, the iPad is seen as the looming
threat to all. Analysts have previously suggested that the iPad's customer base
now exceeds that of the Kindle, which in turn places more marketplace pressure
on Amazon. Hence, Amazon's targeting the iPad in its latest ad, which features
a bikini-clad woman extolling the virtues of the Kindle to a man who has
trouble reading his tablet PC's screen in sunlight.
Despite that, analytics firm In-Stat predicts that e-reader shipments will
grow from around 12 million units in 2010 to 35 million in 2014.
"Tablet PC shipments are taking off, fueled in particular by the Apple
iPad introduction. Yet, there will still be a revenue opportunity for e-reader
suppliers and OEMs, since tablet PCs and e-readers target different customers,"
Stephanie Ethier, an analyst with In-Stat, wrote in a Sept. 14 research note. "Standalone
e-readers will address the needs of avid readers, to whom the reading
experience is central. Tablets are better suited for consumers who prefer a
stronger multimedia experience, and only light reading."