Reading into the device market…

The e-book market is still hazy at best, and the influx of e-book readers is not helping publishers and readers.  To get a better sense of how many e-book readers are out there, I did a Google News search. There are close to 1500 articles from the start of this year – an indicator of the flurry of activity that the device space has seen. (In all fairness, a significant proportion of them might be from Apple and the iPad). I am  amazed at how many e-book readers are already out there or are due for launch. Many gadget companies have already started looking at this space and are accordingly launching their products. I have listed a few of the e-book readers that I have come across. (Do let me know if I missed any)

Amazon Kindle, Sony Reader, Barnes and N0ble Nook, Apple iPad, Plastic Logic, InfiMedia Pi, Asus, Lenovo, Acer, Samsung, Neonode, BeBook, Spring Design Alex, Aluratek Libre, Yinlips, Teclast K3, Oppo Enjoy, Hanlin, Cube, iRiver, Interead Cool-er, Elonex, Bookeen Cybook Opus, Onyx BOOX, QuokkaPad, Hanvon, IREX, Copia

[ I have not mentioned the devices in any order - preference, price, etc. Also, as far as possible I have included the official links to these devices. In a few instances, I have not been able to find the right link.]

With atleast 28 companies manufacturing readers (and multiple variants at that), publishers face a daunting task of figuring what their readers will end up using. While most of these devices offer  multiple formats, I wonder if content published will appear the same in all devices…

Last 5 posts by Vivek

  • arvind

    What is your prognosis as an analyst? Will there be a bubble which bursts? Or will consolidation happen even before a bubble can form? By the same token, when will we see a format convergence? More hints, please.

  • Vivek

    Hi Arvind,

    Thank you for your comment.

    The format convergence is happening in terms of the increasing number of readers that support open format. While Kindle has been restrictive, it did have the early mover advantage – and that is changing fast.

    Many computer/electronics/gadget manufacturers will look to enter the space that the iPad has created – one between a smartphone and the laptop. What started as an ebook reading device will soon do more and that is where the market will head.