The use of these tablet like e-book reader devices is still growing, particularly among older Americans.
Since 2010, when the iPad was first introduced by Apple, the widespread belief has been that these new mobile devices would render dedicated ereaders obsolete, as tablets are able to perform the same functions as ebook reader devices, as well as a great deal more.
Predictions indicated that ebook readers would be considered redundant when tablets could do the same thing.
However, tablets have been on the mobile devices market for six years and both that category and ereaders continue to grow in popularity. So far, ebook readers are still managing to hold their own. A recent eMarketer prediction on both types of mobile gadgets has shown that the ereader is going to see a 3.5 percent growth in the United States this year. That will raise the number of owners in the country to 86.3 million people.
Though the forecast for these mobile devices has been reduced, it is still strong and the potential in the U.S. remains.
Usage of ereaders is continuing to grow as many people prefer the experience they provide for reading books when compared to tablets and smartphones. The screens are glare-free, their battery life is significant longer and they are less expensive. This makes them more affordable and easier to read, which is enough to make them worthwhile for a large segment of consumers.
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Senior analyst Cathy Boyle from eMarketer explained that “There is a subset of consumers, particularly those 65 and older, who are looking for an affordable portable device that provides an enjoyable reading experience.” For that reason, she stated that “Ereaders’ lower price point and single-focus functionality are attractive to those consumers.”
At the same time, the report showed that the tablet side of the mobile devices market is also doing well and is a notably larger one than ereaders. The firm predicts tablet growth to be 4.7 percent, this year, bringing the number of American owners to 166.7 million, which represents over half (51.4 percent) of the U.S. population. Also noteworthy was the fact that eMarketer has predicted that the market share of the iPad – the device that jump started this category – will start to slip, having been 49.2 percent last year to 47.8 percent this year.