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Old 08-22-2014, 02:23 PM   #1
Anthem
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Have e-Readers been superseded by Tablets and Phones

Over at Good e-Reader Michael Kozlowski muses aloud:

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Forrester’s World eReader and eBook Forecast reported in June that just five years after Amazon released the original Kindle, more than 25 million people in the US owned e-readers in 2012. But that figure is set to decline to seven million users by the end of 2017.
What do we think? I have to admit, I suffer from an astigmatism, and the thought of ONLY being able to read e-Books on devices that emit light is a nightmare scenario.

Available at: http://goodereader.com/blog/electron...nd-smartphones
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Old 08-22-2014, 02:47 PM   #2
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I think if 7 million people still want/have them (a figure that is a mere projection anyway), then there will be enough of a market for someone to supply one. I don't care if people want to read primarily on their phone or tablet, as long as I don't have to.
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Old 08-22-2014, 03:35 PM   #3
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All I think it means is that like many other things e-readers are a niche market and that there are those who will try every new thing as it appears and either keep using it or find it isn't for them and discard it. I'm sure if there had been such a survey back when TV 1st became really practical that a similar effect would have been observed. There are a lot of tv's out there now, but then the population has grown from what it was in the 1950's as well and I wager a similar growth will occur in time with e-readers.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:11 PM   #4
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I use my tablets for PDFs. That's the one thing they do better than my ereaders, and about all the reading I do on them.
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Old 08-22-2014, 04:32 PM   #5
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If a tablet appears that has a battery life of over a week, can be read on the brightest of days and has a matte screen, then I'll ditch my reader in a heartbeat. Before that? No way.
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Old 08-22-2014, 05:32 PM   #6
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By the time the e-ink technology evolves enough to show movies, the energy saving aspect of said technology will have prevented e-ink from being obsolete.
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Old 08-22-2014, 07:41 PM   #7
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A reader is a one-function tablet, optimised for that one job.

But if you need (or just enjoy) all the OTHER things a tablet does, and are going to carry one around and charge it daily anyway.... well, it really isn't as bad at reading ebooks as some of you like to believe.
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Old 08-22-2014, 08:36 PM   #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by exaltedwombat View Post
A reader is a one-function tablet, optimised for that one job.

But if you need (or just enjoy) all the OTHER things a tablet does, and are going to carry one around and charge it daily anyway.... well, it really isn't as bad at reading ebooks as some of you like to believe.
My Kindle Fire HDX is AWESOME for reading books. But with my astigmatism (eyes don't bend light properly), it can make eye fatigue problematic for me due to the light it emits.
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Old 08-22-2014, 09:12 PM   #9
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What do we think?
I think that the 7 percent is pulled out of air.

The basic Kindle model was released on September 28, 2011. My recollection is that the advertising-supported price at release was the same as now, about US$70. If my memory is correct, I think that price stability is the biggest reason for eInk sales stagnation. The cheapest eInk readers have not experienced the annual price decline one might expect for a device that doesn't much improve over time. But I think that Moore's law can't be held down forever. Eventually the price of eInk readers will collapse to the point where they become almost as cheap and ubiquitous as calculators. The only thing that may prevent this is if good tablets get to the five-and-below price point first.

Quote:
I have to admit, I suffer from an astigmatism, and the thought of ONLY being able to read e-Books on devices that emit light is a nightmare scenario.
Most eInk readers can be repaired. If eInk does stop being manufactured, eBay (or successor) will be your friend.

Another sign that the nightmare isn't coming true:

Amazon currently sells it's original reader, released November 2007, in "like new" condition, for US$49.74:

http://www.amazon.com/gp/offer-listi...A2L77EE7U53NWQ

Quote:
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By the time the e-ink technology evolves enough to show movies . . .
It's far from clear that the laws of physics will allow this.

Last edited by SteveEisenberg; 08-22-2014 at 10:17 PM.
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Old 08-22-2014, 10:39 PM   #10
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I don't think that it's Moore's law that's holding back e-ink reader prices. Moore's law IIRC applies to the processor, but isn't the most expensive component of an e-ink reader the screen?

I think the lessening or stable demand explains the lack of price drops, though, not the other way around.

The big question is, will a rival to e-ink be released, such as Liquavista?
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Old 08-22-2014, 11:39 PM   #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Katsunami View Post
If a tablet appears that has a battery life of over a week, can be read on the brightest of days and has a matte screen, then I'll ditch my reader in a heartbeat. Before that? No way.
For me, it'll also have to be no heavier than about 200-250 grams (and preferably below 200).
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:52 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by cromag View Post
I use my tablets for PDFs. That's the one thing they do better than my ereaders, and about all the reading I do on them.
Hi:

I'm curious, what PDF reader do you use on your tablet? Is it iOS or Android or both?

Thanks!

Richard Starr
[Promotional link deleted - MODERATOR]

Last edited by Dr. Drib; 09-10-2014 at 09:32 AM.
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Old 08-23-2014, 12:57 AM   #13
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e-readers as loss-leaders

I personally believe that e-readers will continue to have a place in the reading eco-system for some time. For bookstores, however, I believe they will eventually be free or be positioned as loss-leaders.

For example, you buy an e-reader for $35 and you get credits for 5 books or something. I'm sure my math is off on that one, but you get the idea. For all I know, someone might be offering that now; I haven't used an e-ink reader for some time.

At any rate, as an avid reader I can see how someone who just wants to read on their device would really prefer an e-reader over a tablet.

Ultimately, though, I think that e-readers will expire. Someone will invent a less eye-fatiguing setting or or unique screen for tablets and that will be the death knell for dedicated e-readers. How soon that happens, though, is anyone's guess.
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Old 08-23-2014, 01:33 AM   #14
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Eink readers will limp on with tiny improvements until another display tech like liquivista comes along to supersede it. I think there will be a demand for a device with reflective display for a long time because of the eye fatigue factor. It may not be a dedicated reader, it may have tablet functions the way the iPod touch is like an iPhone that does not make calls. Also, since I don't expect Amazon to get out of the book business any time in the foreseeable future, they at least will want to make dedicated e-readers to cater to, um, dedicated readers.

In short, there's no need to hoard eink readers

But yeah, it's interesting that e-reader prices haven't dropped way more. Moore law doesn't apply to display but what about economy of scale?
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Old 08-23-2014, 06:45 AM   #15
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Maybe people think that eInk prices haven't dropped because they keep looking at the same two brands; Amazon and Kobo. MediaMarkt in Germany sells readers starting around €35 or so.
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