Originally Posted by DrNefario
There was a piece in my paper a few days ago about how pbook sales have risen and had their best month in ages. There was a lot of talk about a paper fightback, but it seems to me that maybe ebooks have increased the overall popularity of reading, but don't make good gifts.
The Telegraph piece in question is mostly spin:
...and it led to a lively discussion over at the Passive Voice:
Basically, the pbook "increase" they touted was lower than the rate of inflation so the increase was actually a minimal decline. Against a *solid* increase in ebook sales.
A recent PEW poll in the US found a slight decrease in the number of readers that was within the margin of error and thus statistically insignificant, so there is no evidence that ebooks are bringing in new readers to the industry.
Realistically, the ebook evolution is plateauing in the US but what happens elsewhere is anybody's guess because the combination of the US's wide open publishing market and recreational reading culture is not replicated elsewhere.
For those that might have missed it, Nook has *again* underperformed during the holiday season:
And B&N has sold off another chunk of Nook (to Pearson) to make up their revenue shortfall.
Even Amazon ended up with somewhat lower than expected sales (witness the one-day sale on the FireHD8.9, within the 30day return window for pre-orders and the quiet refunds they offered).
At this point there is no guarantee that *any* recent trends will continue.
And that applies to tablet penetration as well as ereader sales. eReaders sales could rebound with new tech, new features, lower prices--the tablet bubble could just as easily pop, what with fifty companies, each angling for a 5% share of the same market and nobody but Apple, Amazon, and Samsung with even vaguely significant installed bases:
Factor in the proposed BPH mergers (with the attendant layoffs to follow) and the uncertainty from hardware sales and the next year is guaranteed to be full of surprises.
I doubt any predictions will come to fruition.