Tablets may have more glamour -- but e-readers are proving more popular so far this year, according to a new survey by the Pew Research Center's Internet & American Life Project. The number of U.S. adults owning an e-reader has doubled from 6% to 12% between November 2010 and May 2011, while tablet penetration during that period has increased only from 5% to 8%.
And despite the release of scores of new tablet models in 2011, tablet ownership since January has only inched up from 7% to 8%.
"We were a little surprised that tablets didn't keep pace with e-readers, but our guess is that some people are waiting on the tablet market to settle out a bit to see what their options are before making a purchase," said Kristen Purcell, associate director for research at the Internet & American Life Project and author of the study. She added that the lower cost of e-readers generally requires less of a financial commitment, making them popular holiday gifts.
Author: Mark Walsh
I believe that the e-readers are popular with READERS and the glitzier devices are popular with the crowd that likes techie-toys. However, all of the reading devices are popular. As an author, I can report that all five of my digital books are selling better than my paperbacks.
My sales reports do not reflect what machine my readers are using, but my emails from readers almost always mention Kindle. Not only is Kindle more affordable but the size seems to please my readers. It also has two other advantages: the screen is more glare-resistant when used out of doors and the support for Kindle is unbelievably responsive.
There is room for print and digital books on the market. Arguments that suggest we have to pick one or the other are misinformed. I will continue to publish my paperbacks for my readers who prefer them.
Janelle Meraz Hooper, author