back to article Tablets aren't killing ereaders, it's clog-popping wrinklies - analyst

Don’t blame the tablet computer for the demise of the ebook reader. Instead, look no further than aged users who are inconveniently - for Amazon, Sony, Barnes & Noble, Kobo et al - kicking the bucket. That’s the claim made by ABI Research, a market watcher which has been tracking the ereader business for more than 10 years. …

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  1. DJV Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    Bollocks

    I am getting on and have no intention of kicking the bu----

    1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge
      Angel

      Re: Bollocks

      Quite right.

      Personally I intend to live forever. So far, so good...

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Bollocks

        plus I'm too tight to pay for a replacement bucket. They just don't make em like they used to!

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Bollocks

          >Personally I intend to live forever.

          Or die trying.

          1. Steve Todd

            Re: Bollocks

            In the words of Woody Allen : "I don't want to become immortal through my work, I want to become immortal through not dying"

            1. Will Godfrey Silver badge
              Happy

              Re: Bollocks

              One foot in front of the other... keep breathing.

  2. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge
    Windows

    Next: GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

    Buttons are getting larger, fonts are getting easier to read, clicking on the wrong button no longer has annoying or catastrophic consequences, a large X widget allows one to find the mouse pointer immediately and the cognitive load stays limited....

    1. Dave 126 Silver badge

      Re: Next: GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

      >"GUI redesign driven by aging "designers" who realize their crap is for the yoof generation

      Buttons are getting larger, fonts are getting easier to read, "

      I'd associated that with some my older computer-using friends... the ones with several pairs of spectacles. Y'know, the ones who sometimes run their monitor at less than its native resolution because making the fonts 125% in Win7 breaks the dialogue-box layout in some XP programs...

      Generally, young design students are encouraged to think of the ageing demographic, and design products for people whose needs might differ to their own.

  3. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Young man! Young man!

    There's no need to swear in print, young man. In my day you'd have been slipped a winkie by the vicar for so doing.

    1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

      Re: Young man! Young man!

      Your tubes, sir!

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Young man! Young man!

      In my day you'd have been slipped a winkie by the vicar for so doing.

      And nowerdays he'd get arrested for doing so...

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Young man! Young man!

        Now then! Now then!

  4. IglooDude

    I've never felt so old... I think I'll pull down a book to my ol' Nook tonight and read for a while to cheer myself up.

    1. Silverburn
      Joke

      Remember to empty your bag, take out your teeth and find your reading glasses first, grandad...

  5. Haku

    Correlation != Causation

    If it did then this graph would fully place the blame of decreasing number of pirates (the sea kind) on global warming:

    http://upload.wikimedia.org/wikipedia/commons/d/d1/PiratesVsTemp_English.jpg

    1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge

      Re: Correlation != Causation

      Or show that global warming is caused by a reduction in pirate activity. Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

      1. Destroy All Monsters Silver badge

        Re: Correlation != Causation

        > Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

        Evidently retired

      2. Steve Knox
        Mushroom

        Re: Correlation != Causation

        Or show that global warming is caused by a reduction in pirate activity. Where's Cap'n Jack when you need him?

        It got too hot for him. Because it's not one causing the other -- it's a vicious cycle...

        1. Will Godfrey Silver badge

          Re: Correlation != Causation

          The cars are pretty mean too!

    2. EngineersAnon
      Pirate

      Re: Correlation != Causation

      Or place the blame for global warming on the decreasing number of seagoing pirates.

      1. MJF

        Re: Correlation != Causation

        Well:

        http://www.icc-ccs.org.uk/news/737-piracy-increasing-in-west-africa-latest-report-shows

        and

        http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2217286/Global-warming-stopped-16-years-ago-reveals-Met-Office-report-quietly-released--chart-prove-it.html

      2. DJ 2
        Pirate

        Re: Correlation != Causation

        but the number of sea pirates is increasing, and a good thing it is. Didn't I read on "el reg" that there is no need to panic, because the temperature rise will only be by 1.7 degrees by 2050.

        Somalia is the cure to global warming.

    3. Marvin the Martian
      Gimp

      Re: Correlation != Causation

      Well the graph is anyway wrong, as the deathrate isn't a straight(ish) line --- there's coffin dodgers that will hang on to 105, 110, even 115y --- but a saturating function, so a horizontal asymptote at the "100% dead" point. Similar for eBooks, as I guess that 50y--100y from now there will still be the odd (very odd) geek running one or more as if it's a C64.

      That will be called the 'siliconpunk' lifestyle probably.

    4. VeganVegan
      Happy

      Re: Correlation != Causation

      Obligatory xkcd

      http://xkcd.com/552/

  6. dkjd

    Or...

    Maybe the reason is that e-readers are basically the same product as they always have been. I can updgrade my phone or tablet to something better, but if I buy a new e-reader it will just be exactly the same as the one I already have.

    So I buy new phones every now and then, and have bought a tablet in the last year, but I still use the same kindle, and will continue to do so.

    Maybe if they could get a real colour e-reader, or one with a bigger screen then I MIGHT be tempted, but why the hell should I shell out 100+ beer tokens to get a device that will just do and look exactly like the one I already have!

    1. John Robson Silver badge

      Re: Or...

      This - I have an e-ink device.

      What would I like to improve on it?

      Battery life - no - 3 months is fine

      Screen size - no - dead tree publishers settled on a good size, this is the same

      Colour - no - if I want colour I have other devices, this is for text (and e-boarding passes)

      Maybe I'd like to fiddle the buttons a bit, they're too easy to hit accidentally on the side you're holding...

      So - will I buy a new one?

      NO

      Will I buy a new tablet as better devices emerge, well - not for a while, but yes I will.

    2. teebie

      Re: Or...

      That certainly makes a lot more sense. Market saturation, rather than market termination.

      1. Rampant Spaniel

        Re: Or...

        So ereaders are suffering the same fate as the English lawnmower industry. Building goods that won't need replacing is basically a fatal move in that kind of industry (sadly).

    3. Alex.Red
      Facepalm

      Re: Or... (you might be up to something...)

      My wife and I got our Sony PRS-505 in 2007 (each one got their own)

      The devices are still kicking and we saw no problems with them.

      However, said that, the time is coming to replace butteries - readers do not longer keep charge for a month :-(

      1. Charles Manning

        One trick pony -> market saturation

        Smartphones and tablets can keep selling because new generations have new features/functions which the readers find desirable.

        A Kindle, OTOH, does one thing pretty well: it renders text as a book replacement. It has a long battery life. Once you have one, you're very unlikely to buy a replacement. What for?

        If you wanted new functions (games, moveis etc) you're more likely to go for a tablet - you will however miss the battery life if you toss out the Kindle.

        Pretty much the same holds for candybar phones. Why would you upgrade to the latest candybar phone?

        That pretty much leads to market saturation for these products. Once everyone that wants one has one, there is no further demand.

    4. Pat 2

      Re: Or...

      I believe this and market saturation are part of it. There have been improvements in e-readers, but they've been incremental.

      For me personally, the biggest inhibitor of getting a new e-reader (or getting the first) is the business model, which has more than a couple of ramifications.

      1. You pay a significant fraction of the price for a physical book, and you're only licensing the ebook. Amazon or whoever can smite you and your library whenever they deem necessary and leave you with nothing for your money (if you play by their rules).

      2. Competing formats + drm (again, playing by the rules) prevent or impede usage of any e-reader as a universal text reading device.

      3. Ebook offering unavailable: new releases - for various reasons - may not have an ebook version offered until some later time.

      I would be significantly more interested in buying more ebooks/readers if a physical book + ebook bundle were readily available (at near hardbook price).

      From a technology standpoint, I have a 3rd gen Kindle and like it as a tool and really love e-ink and its power efficiency, but I think people would be encouraged to upgrade if these improvements were achieved:

      1. near 8.5"x11" size (affordably), for reading textbooks and magazines/papers

      2. *some* color - doesn't have to look like Oz, but something please, for reading textbooks and magazines/papers.

      3. stylus writing functionality - kind of wishful thinking into the future here, but a feature allowing you to scribble notes into your ebook, or create blank pages to take notes or write out homework.

  7. Oblox

    Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

    I dont think i could stand reading for too long on a tablet, my good old Kindle however i can sit for hours and read (and do). Am i nearly dead? At 31 I hope not.

    1. Silverburn
      Headmaster

      Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      If they've had a modern progressive education, it's more likely they can't than won't.

      1. RonWheeler
        Stop

        No they're...

        dyslexic, or have ADD. Or Asperger's syndrome and from a disadvantaged background.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      Don't know about reading, but you could of worked out for yourself that younger folk lost the spelling/grammar plot a good while ago.

      nb for the avoidance of doubt: could have => could've. Not freaking could of, or should of, etc.

      1. Tom Wood
        Headmaster

        Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

        "Don't know about reading, but you could of worked out for yourself that younger folk lost the spelling/grammar plot a good while ago.

        nb for the avoidance of doubt: could have => could've. Not freaking could of, or should of, etc"

        Was that a deliberate mistake to illustrate your point or an ironic accidental one?

    3. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      I confess I haven't had my Kindle on since the end of summer. The Kindle Android application is very nice, particularly set to sepia paper. But when we get some light back in the country, I suspect the Kindle will be retrieved from wherever I left it. Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

      1. I ain't Spartacus Gold badge
        Happy

        Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

        I suspect the Kindle will be retrieved from wherever I left it. Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

        So what you're saying is that you're now so old and past it that even if you don't die on the spot, you'll forget you've got the eReader, forget where you put your glasses, and so aren't much more use as a customer than if you were dead anyway. Hmmm. Oh dear.

        I was going to suggest that Amazon put all their money into anti-ageing technology, and then they could sell DVDs and eReaders to the same group as they get older ad infinitum. As these are the people most likely to be on index-linked final salary pensions, it could be a good bet for a business model. However, they're all likely to forget their passwords, or lose their credit cards - so maybe another strategy is better.

        On this topic, what are Werthers Original going to do for customers in a few years time?

        1. Dave 126 Silver badge

          Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

          Whoever coined the phrase ' the three 'R's' must have had a sense of humour.

          >On this topic, what are Werthers Original going to do for customers in a few years time?

          They skip a generation, as OAPs 'push' them on toddlers.

        2. Northumbrian
          Megaphone

          Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

          Werther's have more problems than Amazon as their customers have a disproportionately high chance of getting diabetes with all its life-limiting possibilities.

      2. Robert Helpmann??
        Childcatcher

        Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

        Presently I can't actually remember where that was...

        You know, memory is the second thing to go...

    4. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      dont rite

    5. Greg J Preece

      Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      I dont think i could stand reading for too long on a tablet, my good old Kindle however i can sit for hours and read (and do). Am i nearly dead? At 31 I hope not.

      I'm five years younger still (shocker for some of the old grumps on this thread) and I use my e-reader daily. My tablet? Oh, that's right, I don't own one.

      But then I had one of these modern progressive educations, so I'm reading silly stuff like Verne and Wells, rather than the proper classics, like 50 Shades of Grey.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        @ Greg

        Kudos, but unfortunately you're in a diminishing minority!

    6. Tom 13

      Re: Do they honestly think younger people dont read?

      Given a fair number of posts I see on blogs...

      In a word, No.

  8. Frumious Bandersnatch

    There are those who believe

    That "crisis" is just another word for "opportunity". If the problem is really that bad, I'm sure the book vendors will start a new "100 books to read before you die" campaign.

    /HHOS

    1. teebie

      Re: There are those who believe

      Here the terms are "pseudo-crisis" and "opportunity to seek attention"

  9. A Known Coward
    WTF?

    If eInk readers were truly a dying breed then by the time the 'younger generation' are old they'll be legally blind.

    In all seriousness, can anyone spend long periods reading from a tablet without suffering eye strain and associated headaches? Can many people even hold a proper tablet in their hands for extended periods without cramping?

    1. gribbler

      @ A Known Coward

      There's no evidence at all that an LCD screen causes any more eye strain than an e-ink screen. Any studies on the matter have shown that the cause is always something else (not blinking enough, too small fonts etc.) and not at all related to the screen type.

      1. lglethal Silver badge
        Go

        Re: @ Gribbler

        Who financed those particular studies?

        Based on a quick whip around the office - 5 people completely agreed that reading on a tablet is crap for any length of time and that e-ink is much better, 1 person didnt care either way, the new school age work experience student asked what a book was (i think he was joking, but if so remind me not to play poker with him!), and my boss told me to stop messing around and get back to work.

        So there you go 5/6 people in my office preferred e-ink and 2 people gave inappropriate responses (well inapporpriate for the study)...

        Where's my grant money?

        1. Pat 2

          Re: @ Gribbler

          I also prefer e-ink to the illuminated lcd. But, I suspect the comfort is due to the brightness/contrast in each reading situation. With e-ink, it's much like paper; only reflecting back ambient light from your surroundings. Too dark to read? Turn on the nightstand lamp and still, contrast is not high because e-ink is no brighter than the environment illuminated by the lamp.

          With lcd, it's pumping out bright light right into your face. Even on lowest brightness settings, most devices are still way brighter than a dark room. That contrast is fatiguing. Reading from an lcd in a day lit living room doesn't bother me that much. Screen refresh/flicker might also get people, but as the lighting technology is not CRT, I wouldn't put much weight here.

        2. Snake Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: Sold Apple

          "reading on a tablet is crap..."

          In general LCD reading terms (phone or LCD tablet/e-reader), put the device / app into "Night mode". You will find LCD reading is much easier with white-on-black text than the reverse!

      2. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: @ A Known Coward

        >There's no evidence at all that an LCD screen causes any more eye strain than an e-ink screen.

        Other than the fact the e-ink screen is going to be in sympathy with ambient lighting, i.e readable in the sun, and not blinding in a darkened room.

        1. JEDIDIAH
          Linux

          Re: @ A Known Coward

          We recently acquired an e-ink device around here. The main draw was battery life.

          ...as far as the survey goes, I think it's a big pile of nonsense.

          Book readers are getting better. More people are getting exposed to tablets. Book readers are dirt cheap. Small tablets aren't that much more expensive. So it's very conceivable that people could have a dedicated reader along with all their other devices. Although book readers aren't subject to quite as much churn.

          Don't see us getting another e-ink device until this one DIES.

          Can't say the same for other tablets. "Tablets" are still in the 80s PC phase.

    2. Sam 15

      "In all seriousness, can anyone spend long periods reading from a tablet without suffering eye strain and associated headaches? Can many people even hold a proper tablet in their hands for extended periods without cramping?"

      Yes. I do so every day with no problems.

      HTH

      HAND

  10. S4qFBxkFFg

    I don't want two devices where one will work.

    I'd like an ereader, but what I'd like more is a tablet with pixels incorporating both backlit and reflective display technology, so that when reading text it could be switched into a low-power reader mode - is this going to be possible some day or is there some fundamental reason why it can't be done?

    1. Tom 7 Silver badge

      Re: I don't want two devices where one will work.

      You could probably mass produce a roll-up e-reader screen that would connect to your tablet/phone/doc with bluetooth for less than a £10. Leave your device in your pocket/bedside table and read away. Simples.

      The fundamental reason this will not be done is for economic reasons - they don't want you to save money.

      1. Anonymous Custard Silver badge

        Re: I don't want two devices where one will work.

        It's called the Txtr Beagle. Designed to link to a smartphone, but I guess there's no fundamental reason why it couldn't link up to a tablet.

    2. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: I don't want two devices where one will work.

      "pixels incorporating both backlit and reflective display technology"

      You mean like http://www.mobiletechreview.com/compaq3900.htm

      That was ten years ago.

      Times change.

    3. Oblox

      Re: I don't want two devices where one will work.

      Im hoping Amazon will try this at some point, combine their kindle ereaders and Fires in one device and get revenue from both segments of the market? Id certainly be front of the queue (just make sure the ereader part has a paperwhite style light too!)

      1. Dave 126 Silver badge

        Re: I don't want two devices where one will work.

        That Txtr Beagle... from their website:

        "Memory 4 GB. Number of books cached: Up to 5" Whaaa?

        Hmm, I wouldn't mind one if it could seamlessly take text from any webpage I'm reading on my laptop, or documents for prooferading.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: backlight

          The new Kindle "paperwhite" models are e-ink with a backlight and they still claim impressive battery life even when the light is constantly in use.

          http://www.amazon.co.uk/gp/product/B007OZO03M/ref=famstripe_cl

  11. Jon Green
    Coffee/keyboard

    Unlikely

    So e-reader sales are down? No big: after all, they're sold at near-zero profit margins anyway, just like "cheap" Epson inkjets. In both cases, the profit's in the consumables: books and ink, respectively, and people who don't buy e-readers will use Kindle on their tablet, Mac or PC instead.

    The thing is this: the number of readers (as in, people) isn't going down and the sales volume of readable media isn't going down either; quite the opposite, in fact. You won't see the CEOs of Amazon or Barnes & Noble, etc. sobbing into their soup!

  12. Tikimon
    Unhappy

    Books aren't the Window to the World anymore

    Younger folks don't read much. They didn't grow up being entertained by books.

    When I was a teen, we had three TV channels and no internet. Reading was a great escape and adventure source for me. Jump back to Now, and there's the Internet, cable TV, thousands of offerings pouring out at you.

    Never again (in the West) will kids grow up with books being their window to the world. Reading is the also-ran these days, merely one function on the multi-use widget young folks want.

    To older folks who love reading an e-reader is best, since it does that one thing perfectly. To younger folks whose primary interest is shiny video and Faceborg, tablets meet their wants better.

    1. Kubla Cant Silver badge

      Re: Books aren't the Window to the World anymore

      "When I was a teen, we had three TV channels and no internet."

      <insert obligatory reference to Yorkshiremen sketch here/>

    2. graeme leggett

      Re: Books aren't the Window to the World anymore

      I'll agree that some of what you say is true. I remember three channels, the broadcast Shutdown overnight and such and the era before VCRs made it possible to watch films and programmes when they weren't scheduled.

      I think there is a lost generation to books, I know (relative) youngsters in their early-late 20s who don't read. They didn't have the need to read as you say.

      On the other hand, schools in the UK are trying to improve literacy in all its forms through encouraging reading.

      My son's school base target is for every child to read to their parents for 15mins a day.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: Books aren't the Window to the World anymore

        In my office there are 8 people around 25 y.o. and at least three of them readily admit that they have never read a book other than directed by teachers during their education.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: Books aren't the Window to the World anymore

          I forgot to mention, they all have bachelor's degrees with honours!

  13. AJames

    Did they actually talk to any users?

    E-readers have improved every year in recent memory. I've bought a new one every year for the last 4 years in a row, most recently for the new glow screen. When I look around on the train, there's far more people with e-readers than with tablets, because they all understand that it's hard to hold a heavy tablet and read on the train where the ambient light level is too high. Tablets are e-readers are different devices for different market. E-readers naturally have a more adult demographic because the first thing a kid wants is a nice colourful tablet like all their friends. Only later in life can they afford to by more specialized gadgets for different purposes.

  14. Aldous
    Thumb Down

    Rubbish

    i've had a kindle 3 since they were released here and i'm in the 18-35 bracket. Of course mine has been re-batteried so thats one sale they might normally have gotten but the new kindles look like crap (and have touchscreens)

    1. Oor Nonny-Muss
      Holmes

      Re: Rubbish

      Indeed - similarly after a late night screen smash incident with my Kindle 3. I've replaced the screen on the old one (£22 from China, 30 mins taking my time to make the replacement). I'm not in the 18-35 bracket but I'm hoping I have a few more decades left in me before I shuffle off.

      Not intending to buy another one until this one is inoperable/irreparable.

      1. Uncle Slacky

        Re: Rubbish

        Where'd you get the screen from, if you don't mind me asking?

        1. Richard 12 Silver badge
          Boffin

          Re: Rubbish

          Ditto! Wants one of those screens I does.

  15. Steve 13
    WTF?

    I represent the effect the study ruled out

    (I'm 35 by the way).

    I bought an eReader first (kindle, 2 or 3 years ago).

    I bought a nexus 6 months ago.

    I hardly ever use the kindle now, I'm perfectly happy to read for several hours at a time on the tablet, the only downside is battery life, I'd take the kindle if I was going somewhere without power, or the journey was long (long-haul long I suppose).

    1. Steve 13

      Re: I represent the effect the study ruled out

      Thumbs down for what? I posted the reality of my situation, I guess you don't like that reality whoever voted it down. Sucks to be you.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: I represent the effect the study ruled out

        Maybe it was that your sentence was fragmented (consider revising)?

  16. Richard Gadsden
    Thumb Up

    My lovely Sony PRS-300 is just fine thanks

    Bought lots of e-books, but not any new e-readers in ages. I might, eventually, get one of the side-lit screens, if anyone made one that I can read with my gloves on.

    Really, designers - I want a light on my reader so I can read on the way home when it's dark. If it's dark when I'm going home, it's also probably winter. And cold. Which means I don't want to have to take my gloves off to turn the page!

    1. Dick Emery

      Re: My lovely Sony PRS-300 is just fine thanks

      You can buy touchscreen gloves you know. £1.49 for my pair but I am sure you can buy nicer gloves that do similar.

    2. Svantevid

      Re: My lovely Sony PRS-300 is just fine thanks

      " I want a light on my reader "

      That would be Kindle Paperwhite, eh?

      I'm getting one soon, as I've broken my Kindle 3... iPad is fine, but its battery life is crap and for some reason it's harder on eyes than Kindle.

  17. RonWheeler
    Meh

    Outdoors

    I mostly read outdoors on the patio. Tablets / phones / laptops are all rubbish out there. Kobo wins.. I'd consider an e-ink tablet if they could improve refresh rates, but wouldn't consider a tablet as an e-book reader. Only exception being for manuals - laptop wins every time (refresh rate and scrolling).

    .

    1. Toxteth O'Gravy
      Pint

      Re: Outdoors

      Location, location, location.

      I mostly read in my local, which is not known for its bright lighting (thank god), so a backlit screen is essential. Nexus 7s and pints of ale all round.

      PS. Bought Nexus before Amazon Paperwhite came out. No desire to swap.

    2. Steve 13

      Re: Outdoors

      How does reading on the patio somehow make a tablet rubbish for reading?

      Unless you mean because you're reading in the sun, in which case I agree.

  18. Ketlan
    WTF?

    Dead boomers already?

    Boomers in the US are dying off already? That's a bit early, isn't it? I'm a UK boomer and I've no intention of dying for at least another twenty years.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Dead boomers already?

      Depends which "boomers" we're referring to. Like all shorthand it doesn't have a common and exact defintion. In the context of "dying off" and the US, it largely refers to the 1945-1955 post WW2 births, but I've seen it used for UK births during the 1960s, meaning that depending on who or what is being implied, a "boomer" could have been born anytime between 1945 and 1970.

      1. David Harper 1

        Re: Dead boomers already?

        IIRC, "baby boomer" is anyone born between 1946 and 1964, so some of us haven't even reached 50 yet.

        1. Jan 0
          Angel

          Re: Dead boomers already?

          Kudos because the author correctly said, 'baby boomers' is a US term. In the UK, we had the 'Bulge' in the late '40s and early '50s. I'm getting pretty fed up with youngsters* in UK media who don't know or care. I not a numb^H^H^H^Hbaby boomer I'm a Bulge Baby and proud of it!

          Where's the Bulge Baby icon? Ah, that one's close enough.

          *I think the rot set in when Trivial Pursuit introduced its mysteriously named "Baby Boomer Edition" to the UK.

        2. IvyKing

          Re: Dead boomers already?

          The peak year for births in the US was 1957, so the baby boom in the US lasted well past the early 1950's. With life expectancies in the high 70's, it will a while before the boomers start dying off in large numbers. WW2 vets on the other hand are starting to get scarce, with the youngest at 85 - and a large number of baby boomers are children of WW2 vets.

  19. h3

    I am moderately young (30) and still prefer a kindle with physical page turn buttons (And no touchscreen) to any tablet. (And I have both).

    I won't be replacing my kindle unless I absolutely have to (And even then I will get the cheapest unless they give me physical buttons and no touchscreen and a glow light).

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      @h3 Well as a boomer in his late 50s with a son in his early teens can say we both agree with you on horses for courses, we also use both. As does my very close female friend in her 20s. Jeez all this stereotyping and the 'when I was a lad' talking down young people.

  20. Britt Johnston
    Unhappy

    screen size

    Thanks to John Robson for the good analysis. Disagree about screen size, though - I can only get a fraction of a page on the machine at big enough to read so I'd really like a larger screen. This may push my standard reader from my laptop +monitor to a tablet in time.

  21. Pat 4

    I'm not a baby boomer.

    I've been reading e-books since 2001 (on a Palm-pilot back then)

    And it never occurred to me to use anything other than a tablet of smart-phone to read ebooks.

    Buying a single purpose device is such a waste...

    1. Martin Silver badge

      "Buying a single purpose device is such a waste..."

      I dunno - a spork works, but I'd still rather have a separate knife, fork and spoon.

      And as someone once pointed out - if you're reading on an ebook reader, you're not tempted to answer the email or twitter or facebook post that just came in...you stick to the book.

      1. Steve 13

        A spork is less useful than separate 'devices' because you use them simultaneously, or near simultaneously.

        You don't do that with book reading and anything else the tablet would do, so having a single multi function device is more efficient.

        1. Phil O'Sophical Silver badge
          Thumb Down

          > having a single multi function device is more efficient.

          Until it breaks, then you lose everything in one go. In my experience that;s when you find that no-one makes an equivalent new single-function device that does exactly what the old one did.

    2. Epobirs

      Because doing one thing really well is such a waste.

      Versatility is only a virtue when you don't have any exceptional abilities. If I can afford it, I am going to acquire the best gear for the desired application. I could buy one enduro type motorcycle that is both street legal and can do alright off-road but two motorcycles with stronger qualities in each use is going to be far more enjoyable.

      Dedicated e-readers are a trivial cost for any gainfully employed adult who spends any significant time reading. Having one in addition to a tablet is so minor a cost compared to the cost in eye strain from trying to do it all on one device.

  22. Dr. Ellen
    Pint

    More Money for Amazon

    I've read numerous posts where it's claimed Amazon just breaks even on selling e-readers. They make their money by selling e-BOOKS. While it's true the Kindle ties you to Amazon, and the iPad ties you to Apple, you'll probably keep on buying your books in the same old place even if you're using a tablet.

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: More Money for Amazon

      There are definitely easy ways to get free books and books from other sources available on your Kindle. Similarly for other tablet and reader-like devices. You do not have to pay the Amazon (or Apple) tax.

      IANAL but I would say that if you already own a physical copy of a book you should be entitled to read an electronic version as well. This may fall under 'fair use' allowances in Europe.

      In any event it's very unlikely that under current regulations and procedures, a copyright owner would be able to find out about or pursue you in regard to files on your e-reader that may not have come from verifiable sources. There is some risk that this could change with revisions to the DMCA or similar that have come up for discussion recently.

  23. Alan Firminger

    Bollocks, Rubbish and Nonsense

    The boomers are no more populous than 10 % above the norm compared to younger and older cohorts. That doesn't kill a product.

  24. stuartnz
    WTF?

    Ave Kindle, te morituri salutant

    As a creaking, senescent 45-year old, I was horrified to learn that my preference for reading on my Kindle is just one more proof that Blinky's rider will soon be speaking to me in ALLCAPS. Either that, or a marketing division need another excuse to justify their existence. I read a lot on my Nexus 7,but only when my Kindle is charging or, more frequently, if the book is an epub that requires using Aldiko rather than Kindle. As others have pointed out, it is far more likely that the sales stagnation of e-readers is a reflection of the "if it ain't broke don't waste money upgrading it" axiom than of time scything the market.

    1. Dahak

      Re: Ave Kindle, te morituri salutant

      "I read a lot on my Nexus 7,but only when my Kindle is charging or, more frequently, if the book is an epub that requires using Aldiko rather than Kindle. "

      Mostly I use Calibre to solve that problem, and organise the collections on my Kindle. [ http://calibre-ebook.com/ ]

      It is .pdf that requires the Transformer to read comfortably.

      1. stuartnz

        Re: Ave Kindle, te morituri salutant

        I use Calibre A LOT, but at times its epub to mobi or azw can be patchy, so some epubs I read as such using Aldkio on my Nexus 7.

  25. Thorfkin

    E-Ink Screen

    It's my opinion that the average buyer doesn't understand the difference between an E-ink screen and a tablet screen. When i walk into a tech store like Best Buy I see the e-book readers and tablets displayed next to each other in the same place in the store but I never see any displays or placards that explain the benefits of the E-ink screen. So naturally potential buyers see the tablets with their beautiful color screen and wonder why anyone would buy an e-book reader. I think retailers need to do a better job of making sure customers understand the benefit of only having to charge their e-reader up every few months no matter how much they use it.

    1. Lallabalalla

      Re: E-Ink Screen

      Unless they have a KOBO, which seems to have appalling battery life straight out of the box. Can get maybe 5 days (i.e. about 15 hours) out of mine. Or is that good?

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