Interesting. I'm glad to hear this, since it indicates strong diversity.
Funny how the market developed. Sony had the first viable e-reader launched on the world market, but they priced it too high and didn't have a strong bookstore to back it up. Amazon was close behind, and they addressed those problems. Since then Amazon has aggressively cut prices and matched any design improvements to stay ahead of competitors, so they definitely deserve to retain that #1 ranking. But Sony is still in there and pitching as the sole representative of the general consumer electronics industry.
The main weakness of Amazon was their slow entry to the international market, held back by international copyright issues with the bookstore. Kobo saw the opportunity and jumped in with a less expensive e-reader and strong international support by signing up leading bookstore chains in each country as partners. Looks like that strategy paid off, although they remain weak in the U.S., partly due to the failure of #2 bookstore chain Borders and the fact that #1 Barnes & Noble has their own e-reader.
I was doubtful that the Nook would succeed for a while there, mainly because of the limitation to U.S. market only, and the conflict of interest for Barnes & Noble with their bricks & mortar bookstore chain. But they seem to keep putting a lot of effort into it, so now all it needs is an international market to play in the same league as the others.
What would make the diversity even better is if they would quit copying each other and break out in different directions with more innovative devices! The last couple of generations you can hardly tell one brand from the other because they are so similar.
Last edited by FJames; 12-04-2012 at 10:34 AM.