back to article Tablet fever cools as e-readers heat up

The American passion for tablets is declining just as e-reader growth is accelerating. Between January and May of this year, tablet ownership in the US grew from 7 to 8 per cent of the population, according to a new report by the Pew Internet & American Life Project. Previously Pew reports, tablet sales had been climbing …


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  2. Jeremy Bresley


    E-Reader prices have continued to drop. What was a $250-300 device 2-3 years ago is now rapidly approaching the $100 price point. Once they break that 3 digit price tag, I think you'll see E-Readers REALLY start to take off. What's the least expensive tablet available from a brand you've heard of? $350-400? That's still in the "do I get this or do I eat for the next two months" category for a lot of people. $99 is a lot smaller piece of the budget for most people.

    Of course, I'd love to see a lot more $0.99-2.99 ebooks be available for these platforms. There's no reason an existing book that has been out for a few years should require it to be sold for $5-10 for an Ebook. The publishing costs are already covered by the paper version, just ship an inexpensive ebook version and people will snap it up. This goes double for technical books that by the time they're more than 2-3 years old are next to worthless. Give me Pratchett's back catalog in Ebook form for $2-3 each, and I'll grab every one of them. If I have to spend the same amount as buying a paperback, I'll just get the paperback that I can hand off to a friend or sell on Ebay. Digital costs the producers significantly less, but they are still under the impression that it's worth as much or more than the dead tree version.

  3. Steve Todd

    Pointing out the obvious

    The iPad 2 was firstly being anticipated and then in short supply during that period and hard to obtain. Other pads have not been tempting people away in volume so there is bound to have been a flattening of the graph. Let's wait for Apples next quarter end report and see what sales are looking like now.

    1. N13L5

      here's a simple thing to understand...

      If you look at the latest statistics on venues that generate the most advertising views, Tablets are disproportionately high, in comparison to their total market share.

      So, tablets are really great for advertisers and anyone else with a need to spread propaganda, as well as carriers who love to drain your account with mobile data-plans, so you can look at -- you guessed it -- propaganda and advertising, always and everywhere.

      For consumers, tablets are a fashion item with limited use but to serve their online addiction.

      Always connected is the new crack and tablets are the new crack pipes

      I think there is no better thing Consumers could do, than to pause buying these for a bit.

      Cause all the people needing to spread their spin and advertising will be finding ways to subsidize them soon, just to make sure everybody can have one.

      So, they will be getting cheaper, and you'll be better off waiting till tablets are technically more advanced and dropped to a double digit price by virtue of subsidy.

      If you have to count your money, better to spend it on gear with more productivity potential like e-readers or laptops.

      Yes, I know, there are exceptions, if you're a painter or a musician, you can work on a tablet instead of a net-book, cause the lack of a keyboard is not as significant. But for most people, the lack of a keyboard and the low resolution makes a tablet a pure media consumption device.

  4. Synonymous Howard

    +/- 2 percentage points - margin of error

    So that would be 10% growth for both then.

  5. sisk

    So then...

    Tablets aren't going to take over the world after all. Who saw that coming?

  6. Anonymous Coward

    Summer anyone?

    Maybe it is a summer event: such as book sales increase and blip as people prepare for sitting out and reading?

    If so, it might be interesting to see if historic pulp based books took a bit of a dip compared relatively speaking.

  7. xperroni

    I'm curious

    What would the figure for netbooks be over the same period?

  8. Efros
    Thumb Up

    Nook Color

    7" android table masquerading as an e-reader, has been rooted and demonstrated to run Android 3.0, coming in at $250. 'er in doors has one, and it has about persuaded me to get one too.

    1. Paul RND*1000

      I've been pointed at that one too

      I was wondering how many Nooks-sold-as-e-readers are in that 12% when they were bought with the sole intent of being rooted for use as a full-blown Android tablet and not merely an e-reader. I'm seriously considering going that route myself to replace my ancient laptop which, with 30-60 seconds of battery life and a non-working trackpad, is long past the point of being "portable". $250 I can stretch to for something which actually works, unlike most other tablets in that price range.

      In fact it looks like B&N have noticed this too, as I just found out they have a Nook App Store and developer site up.

      1. Anonymous Coward

        You don't have to root anymore...

        Of course... if you do root it you have more flexibility.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward


      Exactly! $250 Nook Color + $10 microSD w/ CM7 installed on it == DAMN nice Tablet!

  9. Ian K

    "Even DVRs are owned by six and a half times as many Americans as are tablets"

    "*Even* DVRs"? What the hell kind of lame shoehorned dissing of tablets is that?

    DVRs have been around for many times longer than any significantly marketed tablets, are available for 20% of the price and have a function that's far more applicable to non-techy households.

    TBH I'm surprised it's only a factor of 6.5 they're ahead by.

  10. SteveBalmer

    2 x Sony Readers, 1x Asus Transformer in our house

    And they are all awesome, and I wouldn't change any of them. They are also much better than their more common counterparts.

  11. SteveBalmer


    at all the people that the nook and 7in TFT tablets are e-readers.

    Clearly never read a book on one for more than 10 minutes, and has never seen a proper e-ink reader.

    1. Efros
      Thumb Up

      Oh yes

      Used a Kindle, the original huge one, also a DX version, I've also used an Ectaco Jetbook (LCD screen), a Sony PRS350, an Archos 7HT with aldiko and A B&N nook color, all for significantly more than 10 minutes. In fact on the nook color I've racked up 9 novels in the last 3 weeks, only problem I've had with it is the easy distraction of angry birds. So not FAIL.

  12. Gert Selkobi
    Thumb Up

    Tablets are the way forward.

    Asus Eee Transformer here. Great piece of kit and getting better as I get more familiar with it. The struggle is keeping it away from 'er indoors.

  13. Rick Brasche

    there's a sinificant difference between e ink readers and tft screened ones.

    for me, it's the 2 week plus battery life on the second hand Kindle I received. still a bit niche-y but I do find some use out of it.

    A tablet or anything capable of being rooted is a bit more sophisticated and not as battery efficient if one really just needs a reader. If one wants more, then an e-reader isn't the right device either.

  14. Al Jones

    Most americans don't OWN DVRs

    They rent them from their cable companies.

    That's a big difference, because a DVR "only" adds $10-$15 onto your monthly cable/broadband/phone bill of $130-$150 (yes, Americans really do pay that much).

    That just indicates that price is still an issue with tablets.

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