Originally Posted by cmdahler
I wasn't necessarily trying to say that a business user would prefer an iPad over a Que. Forgive me for being unclear. I don't think a business user would be very interested in an iPad. What I meant was the price of this unit is more than a capable notebook computer, and it's not likely to entice very many business-oriented folks who are more likely to drop that cash on the notebook versus something that is essentially just a paper reader and nothing else. Also, the timing of its release with the iPad is equally a big problem for the company since quite a few regular consumers who happen to be relatively well-heeled and might consider this as just a large book reader would probably opt for an iPad with 3G instead because of its more combined and extensive capabilities. Only a consumer who is a die-hard e-ink fanatic would likely pick the Que over an iPad if given a choice. If the Que were priced around $400 to $500, then it would stack up as a realistic choice for a lot more potential customers in both the business market and the consumer market. As it stands, though, sales aren't likely going to be robust.
I'll be very interested in when and at what price the Skiff reader is introduced. Ever since both products debuted at CES, I've been far more interested in the Skiff than the Que. I hate the design of the Que, and that shiny black bezel that would show up every tiny water spot and fingerprint would drive me nuts.
I think, the eReader market in total is relatively small.
In one of the threads, an analyst's report was cited. Amazon was claimed to have 90% of the market share and around $ 100m til October 2009.
If the (assumed) market leader only has less than $ 150m per year, you can imagine how tiny this market is.
So I guess, none of the manufacturers/developers who solely sell/produce eBook readers, will expect a billion dollar business.
I guess (as surprising and kind of depressing this is) most companies like Bookeen or iRex probably have (way) less than $ 30m revenue.
If you're that small, your business plan is simple. You don't depend on economy, trends or other main influences of global nature. You simply rely on your 3k enthusiasts per month. For those few enthusiasts, it won't be about +/- $ 200 for the hardware.
iPad of course is a (totally) different story. But here we're talking about a (very successful and professional) $ 50b corporate. Maybe some 1500 times bigger than the "niche players".