Posted By C.Lucia 3/07/12
With the scheduled launch of the new iPad3 this week and speculative release dates this summer for a new high-end tablet, the Kindle Fire 2, the tablet market is in a frenzy. Analysts have predicted the sale of 55 million iPads this year due to a significant upgrade in the new model. 4G connectivity and LTE (long-term evolution) technology will differentiate the iPad3 from its predecessors. Analyst Shaw Wu of Sterne Agee stated “We continue to believe this significant refresh will likely help drive higher iPad sales and help further differentiate from Amazon’s Kindle Fire and the myriad of Google Android offerings out there.” So, there is definitely a tablet movement here and a battle over the top spot continues even as Apple seamlessly prevails. There is one question left unaddressed, overshadowed by the battle of the newest, most creatively designed, feature-rich mobile device: What if you just want to read a good book without all the hype or noise? E-readers seem to be left in the dust, never taken out and cleaned up a little. They aren’t in the media coverage so what is happening to the market demand for them?
Amazon’s non-tablet Kindle came out five years ago at a price of $399 a pop. Today you get it for $79 and most e-book readers are in a similar price range. Believe it or not, the Kindle is still outselling the Kindle Fire, a trend estimated to continue this year. Just because there’s not a lot of marketing behind it the demand is still there as long as traditional books continue to be published in black and white (and that’s not going to change anytime soon).
People enjoy curling up in bed and reading a good book, an activity that has persisted since books were first put into print. There’s something about it that’s just relaxing and enjoyable. No noise or commotion, just you, your bed and hopefully a good plot to get lost in. Tablets nonetheless are fully prepared to offer you the same reading pleasure plus a whole bunch of extra goodies to boot! Some readers have made the switch finding it somewhat difficult to stay within the realm of their reading world without taking a trip to see what’s going on with the latest news, or checking their email. This has the potential to bring about a change in the whole reading experience. As more and more users fold and get their feature packed tablets, the world of reading as we know it and how we experience it could change.
Many single purpose devices have faded out over the years in favor of those that can “do it all”. Will e-book readers become a thing of the past as technology continues to evolve at a blinding rate? Will the diehards give in to the tablet world and hang up their black and white Kindles? Time will tell, but for now e-readers are priced to sell and sell they do. Although their future is unclear they are still a big part of the present and their existence clings to a timeless era of man and book.