Hardware sales precede software (ebook) sales. I only have one 'number,' but a little discussion is in order:
Nook Color sales approach 3 million. It seems like yesterday the nook color was launched. I suspect the Nook Color is now the most popular ereader among my various extended social groups with the Kindle a close 2nd.
The IPad2 is doing well, but I know fewer 'readers' buying IPads and more Video junkies. Any have any good links on stats? The IPad1 seems to have sold to 40% readers... I'm estimating the IPad2 is 25% to 30% readers buying the device (the rest are for video or other apps).
I'm amazed at the number of coworkers (I'm in a large traveling group) who read on large screen smartphones (mostly Android) or IPod touches. Individuals who probably had taken a 5 to 10 year 'sabatical on reading.' This area is expanding the ebook market compared to the pbook market. I used to consider this as only a 'gateway market.' I now realize that smartphones will permanently be a large chunk of the ebook market. Considering how quickly the various companies sell 100 million smartphones (in less than 90 days now), this part of the market will expand dramatically.
I wonder if the Kindle tablet rumors are real? I'm waiting for a 7" e-ink tablet/phone combo to replace my IPod, cell phone, and personal laptop on trips. :) (Hint Amazon!)
I'm not hearing much about Kindle sales... IMHO Amazon needs to drop the price *and* come out with the tablet before back to school. Until then, we're in the slow electronics selling season, so I expect the acceleration of ebook sales to be driven mostly by smartphones and tablets until back to school.
While quite a few people read on laptops and other computers... I'm not excited about the growth potential of that market. Computer based ebooks have been around for a long time and never took off. So while some individuals will continue to read on their computers, I doubt that section of the market will be a 'primary growth market.' Oh, the market will grow, but new (in 2011) computer based ereaders will be a tiny fraction of the ebook market growth. In fact, I expect most will use their computers as a secondary or tertiary reading device.
I'm predicting over $1.25 Billion in ebook sales in the US, including indie authors, in 2011. To reach that goal, about an additional 100 million reading devices need to reach consumers. Between Smartphones, Tablets, IPods, and ereaders, that is an easy target.
Indie author market share.
1. 'Boutique' ebooks were 10% of the ebook market in December 2009. I take this to be Indie/small publisher ebook market share.
2. My browsing of the best seller lists on Amazon came up with a 20% Indie/small publisher market share of ebooks in December 2010.
3. I'm doing a linear extrapolation to 30% Indie/small publisher market share for December 2011 until I see better information. Judging by how many indie ebook authors can now make a living selling ebooks, we could be at 30% today! But I prefer to keep my estimates on the low side.