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Old 08-19-2009, 05:42 PM   #1
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Thumbs up Kindle US Marketshare at 45%, Sony at 30%

In a recent study on e-book readers by the CleantechGroup they estimated that the total US market for e-book readers was slightly more than 1,000,000 units, increasing to 14.4 million in 2012. Of that, 45% were Kindles, 30% Sonys, and the remaining 25% divided among the remaining brands.

The focus of the study was to determine the life cycle impact of electronic book readers on the environment, in short, the carbon footprint. While they concluded that the number of units in use is too small to have any significant impact on the environment, they did conclude that:

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... on average, the carbon emitted in the lifecycle of a Kindle is fully offset after the first year of use.
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The report, authored by Emma Ritch, states: "Any additional years of use result in net carbon savings, equivalent to an average of 168 kg of CO2 per year (the emissions produced in the manufacture and distribution of 22.5 books)."
A summary of their findings can be found here.
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Old 08-19-2009, 05:57 PM   #2
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"With a little more than 1 million sold to date" and they expect sales of 14.4 million in 2012? Seems a touch optimistic to me. I'm also surprised at their guess that Amazon and Sony have 45% and 30% of the U.S. market, respectively.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:22 PM   #3
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I really don't see 14 million in 3 years to be all that optimistic. Reports have been coming that ebook sales have tripled in the last year or so. Plus as people see them, they ooh and ahh and want one as well. Coworker is buying one for his wife after seeing mine. And my girlfriend, who previously was all "I want the feel and experience of reading on paper, not just from a screen", is asking for one too.
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Old 08-19-2009, 06:34 PM   #4
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they ooh and ahh and want one as well.


one of my friends did ooh and ahh when she saw mine but refused to get one because of the price. But when i asked what she'd think a reasonable price, she couldnt decide.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:12 PM   #5
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Now that the price is dropping to $200, more are saying that is doable. Then again, a lot of the people I know are gadget freaks, or voracious readers.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:39 PM   #6
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Now that the price is dropping to $200, more are saying that is doable. Then again, a lot of the people I know are gadget freaks, or voracious readers.
But if the mainstream players (Sony, Amazon) are releasing crippled devices for 200, and saving the bells and whistles for the 300-500 range, then I don't see the public jumping as fast as they would otherwise.

By crippled, I am referring to the limited features of the 300, which is Sony's 199 price-point device. Any device which is not user-friendly (replaceable battery, user-defined storage like SD cards, etc..) I consider to be crippled, and has an impact on whether or not I will purchase.

I'm not certain what kind of 199 device that Kindle expects to put out. I have not been following them.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:43 PM   #7
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i wouldn't call the sony 300 crippled. for someone who wants a basic reader it looks like it will be an excellent choice ; having seen several 505s and owning a 700 myself i can say that the sony devices are generally excellent, with a very good user interface and excellent build quality. for that price, i know a lot of people who are very interested.
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:46 PM   #8
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It's too bad that anthropogenic global warming is false...otherwise this would have been a big plus for ebooks! but ebooks probably use less overall resources in the process of emitting less CO2....thus score one for ebooks!
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:53 PM   #9
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Seems like a better way to put it is that one ebook reader is an environmental benefit after you procure 22 e-books. I'd think that for a lot of readers, it's beneficial right away. :P

It's unclear what source is used though, and I'd take any such claims with a big grain of salt, since neither Amazon or Sony are currently releasing any sales numbers....
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Old 08-19-2009, 07:58 PM   #10
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But if the mainstream players (Sony, Amazon) are releasing crippled devices for 200, and saving the bells and whistles for the 300-500 range, then I don't see the public jumping as fast as they would otherwise.

By crippled, I am referring to the limited features of the 300, which is Sony's 199 price-point device. Any device which is not user-friendly (replaceable battery, user-defined storage like SD cards, etc..) I consider to be crippled, and has an impact on whether or not I will purchase.

I'm not certain what kind of 199 device that Kindle expects to put out. I have not been following them.
I'd agree, but the iPod has no expandable storage or a user replacable battery and does extremely well. But then again, it is Apple and they are "trendy."

I will be interested in seeing which sells better though, the 300 or the 600. I think the 300 will kick some butt with that price point.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:02 PM   #11
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Oh, I quite agree. Having held and briefly used a 505 in a bookstore, the build quality was quite nice. It had storage, etc. And I am not disputing the fact theat they are solid machines.

However, for my own personal choices, I find the 300 to be crippled, for the reasons stated. For one thing, I have a lot of books that I want to be able to carry around, and an expandable SD card slot is high up on priority. Battery changing is another important feature for me.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:05 PM   #12
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Oh, I quite agree. Having held and briefly used a 505 in a bookstore, the build quality was quite nice. It had storage, etc. And I am not disputing the fact theat they are solid machines.

However, for my own personal choices, I find the 300 to be crippled, for the reasons stated. For one thing, I have a lot of books that I want to be able to carry around, and an expandable SD card slot is high up on priority. Battery changing is another important feature for me.
Oh I agree with that too. Given a choice I'd buy the 600 in a hearbeat over the 300. But I think a lot of people might be ok with less features for a cheaper price point (and not to mention comforted by the option of a higher priced model).

It reminds me of the tactic of the bread machines. I think it was Williams Sonoma. They had a $500 bread machine, and it didn't sell well. But the second they put out a cheaper, lesser model (I think it was $100 cheaper), they both flew off the shelves.
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Old 08-19-2009, 08:11 PM   #13
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I'd agree, but the iPod has no expandable storage or a user replacable battery and does extremely well. But then again, it is Apple and they are "trendy."

I will be interested in seeing which sells better though, the 300 or the 600. I think the 300 will kick some butt with that price point.
lilac, you are right. The 300 is designed to sell far better than the 600. It is the price leader and will get a lot of people into e-books that would not take the plunge at the higher price point. How many of them need or want the additional features of the 600? I feel the answer is, "not that many."

This model introduction and pricing follows the classic business model called "market skimming." In market skimming, the concept is introduced to the early adopters at a high price reflective of the limited sales and high distribution costs. In time the features offered expand on the top models and the price drops on all models. The price leader (the lower priced model(s) becomes the wedge to create and expand the market. Also, as the number of units sold increase, the economies of scale kick in. We have seen this before. Consider the calculator, the Polaroid camera, the digital camera, the camcorder, wide screen TV, cell phones, and PCs. All of them followed the same path.
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Old 08-19-2009, 09:05 PM   #14
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one of my friends did ooh and ahh when she saw mine but refused to get one because of the price. But when i asked what she'd think a reasonable price, she couldnt decide.
I'm a believer in the Gillette school of "Give 'em the razor and sell 'em the blade."

I imagine that it will be a decade or more before eBook readers become so cheap that price doesn't matter. I remember seeing my first pocket calculator in 1972. It was LED, could only add, subtract, multiply and divide, and cost as I recall $99. By 1985, they were so cheap that I received one at a corporate function as a party favor!

But in the meantime, I think that the big boys like Amazon and Sony with DRM links to bookstores to should give a store credit in the amount of the cost of the book.

I think that $300 for the Kindle is too high, considering that the typical Amazon eBook is only discounted a couple of bucks. But if the Kindle came with a $300 Amazon eBook store credit, I think most people would find it much more reasonable.
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Old 08-19-2009, 10:39 PM   #15
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I personally don't care about carbon offsets (the more the better I say....kidding), but I do care about portability of the ebooks I buy, which is why I am telling every single person who asks about my Sony reader about epub. They are getting noticed, asked about, purchased, and used. They are only going to get better. I use mine every day, and have since Sept 25/08

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